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War Versus Peace

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War versus Peace
Victoria Hartley

A recent poll, conducted by CBS News, revealed that 59% of American citizens believe the U.S. did not do the right thing in going to war with Iraq. According to several other surveys, many also think that the U.S. has not accomplished our goals in Iraq, and has not made us any safer from terrorism, or even made us less safe. The decision to enter into a war in Iraq was a bad one indeed. The world has not become safer from terrorism, Iraq has not been made a better place to live, and over a million people have died as a result of this unnecessary war. Do you think the war on terror has helped to rid the world of cruel terrorists? Think again. In the years after Bush led America into this war, researchers have found that there have been a total of 1,833 suicide attacks (about 1,500 more than the 23 years before the war) and the anti-American attacks have been raised from 15% to 92%. In a debate hosted by CNN in 2010, Marco Rubio, a candidate for Florida's senate seat, stated, “the world is better off because Saddam Hussein is no longer in charge.” Maybe he is right; maybe the world is better off without Saddam Hussein ruling a country, but why then have incidents of terrorism increased by 600%? Maybe it is because America's invasion led to the breaking of the record for longest time a country has spent without a government. This leads to another question; has The U.S. succeeded in making Iraq a safer place to live?

Regardless of what some may think, with a little research, this questions brings up a resounding no. Iraqi citizens seem to be suffering as much, if not more, than ever. Since the establishment of a new government, fuel prices in Iraq have risen about 500%, and there has been major inflation on just about everything. One dollar a day, or even less, is all millions of Iraqi citizens have to live on. These people can't afford the inflated prices of basic everyday needs. On top of this, due to the collapse of the social infrastructure in Iraq, many more people are suffering greatly for other reasons. In a country rimmed by two very large rivers, it seems strange that a man would have to walk nearly 6 kilometers for clean drinking water, but this is the way they live now. Many of those who can get running water into their homes only have this privilege for a few hours a day. Joseph Christoff, who works in the Government Accountability Office even admitted, “So, we really don't know how many households get potable, drinking water.” Many households cant even get electricity for more than two hours. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the power grid was working at about half its normal capacity, but has all but collapsed since then. As if all this isn't enough to worry about, the amount of violence immediately rose after the downfall of Saddam Hussein. In 2005 it was found that an Iraqi citizen was 58 times more likely to die violently than before the invasion. It hasn't been only Iraqi citizens dying, however.

During the war itself, the U.S. military has lost about 4,500 soldiers. Allies of America have lost about 300 of their men. That is not all though; at least 719 people were killed while helping to rebuild Iraq. They were not fighting, they were simply there to help, and they lost their lives doing so. Add these deaths up and you get a total of more than 5,500 American citizens and allies of the U.S. who have lost their lives in Iraq. This, however, is not much compared to the estimated more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths. Whether this be from fighting, protecting those who were fighting, or just simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, this is a terrifying number. No life is worth more than another. The life of an American citizen is no more precious than that of an Iraqi, yet both have been sacrificed in a pointless war.

Pointless, unnecessary, harmful, devastating; these words all describe this war on terror, in which America has thrown itself into. The goal was to create peace and democracy, but instead has created chaos, suffering, and death. All for what? To prevent events that may not have even occurred? Until there is total world peace, the goal of ridding our world of terrorists is unattainable. There will always be those willing to sacrifice themselves for their beliefs. Tearing apart a country and killing hundreds of thousands of people is not worth the tiny satisfaction from setting up a miserable democracy. So now, the question is, how can we help repair what is so broken, and should we even bother?

Sources

CBSNews. Web. 2 December. 2012.

Judd Legum, Igor Volsky. Think Progress. Web. 2 December. 2012.

World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International. Web. 2 December. 2012.

Fow News. Web. 2 December. 2012.

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