Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Reasons for Going to War

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq stated 22 reasons why the United States went into Iraq
(in order written in the resolution)

1. Iraq’s past war of aggression and illegal occupation of Kuwait in 1990.
2. Iraq’s failure to abide by the unequivocal sanctions agreed to after 1991.
3. Iraq’s history of possessing chemical and biological weapons and advanced nuclear weapons development program (and failure to prove complete destruction of such weapons)
4. Iraq’s flagrant violation of the cease fire
5. Iraq’s attempt to thwart efforts of weapons inspectors up until 1998
6. U.S. Congressional resolution conclusion that Iraq was continuing WMD programs in 1998
7. Iraq posed a continuing threat to the national security of the U.S, international peace and security in the Persian Gulf regions
8. Iraq continued to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability
9. Iraq supported and harbored terrorist organizations
10. Iraq engaged in brutal repression of its civilian population
11. Iraq refused to release, repatriate or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman
12. Iraq failed to return property wrongfully seized from Kuwait
13. Iraq has demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people
14. Iraq has demonstrated hostility toward and willingness to attack the United States by attempting to assassinate former President Bush
15. Iraq has demonstrated hostility toward and willingness to attack the United States and Coalition Forces by firing on many thousands of occasions on US and Coalition Armed Forces enforcing United Nations resolutions
16. Members of al Qaida are known to be in Iraq
17. Iraq continued to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens
18. The attacks of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations
19. Iraq’s demonstrated WMD capability (noted above), willingness to use WMD (noted above) and the risk to use or provide such weapons to terrorists (noted above)
20. UN Security Council Resolution 678 authorized the use of all necessary means to enforce UN SC resolution 660 and subsequent resolutions
21. The Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expresses the policy of the US to support efforts to remove the current Iraqi regime from power and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace the regime
22. It is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region

I hear a lot of how the war was wrong or all about oil. I hear both sides of the issue parading reason after reason out for why we are in Iraq. But it truly comes down to the men and women who are there and their personal reasons for joining the military and going. For some who serve the reason is on that list. Or it's a variation of one or more of the reasons in the resolution passed by our congress. For some the reason for going is not on the list. And whether you agree or disagree with the war in Iraq you have to look beyond the politics to the personal reasons of each man and woman who has made the choice to serve.

For Pokey the reasons were more along the lines of #10 and #18

10. Iraq engaged in brutal repression of its civilian population:
Micheal hated bullies. Despised people who preyed up on the weak. He felt is was the height of cowardice. When he read about the treatment of the Kurds he was truly upset. He saw the similarities to the treatment of the Jewish in WW2. When he chose to go infantry the mom in me kicked in and I did my best to talk him into an other "safer" MOS. Linguist school in Montery CA sounded lovely. After a few days of me hinting and pleading he look me in the eye and said "Mom, You taught me to stand up to bullies. I'm going infantry." I never said another word about it. One of the reason Pokey went to Iraq was to stand up to the bullies and help those oppressed by them. I think that has happened. Today you see Iraqis shopping, going to schools, voting. It will be a slow process for them to gain their confidence but now they have that chance.

18. The attacks of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations 9-11-01 pissed my son off. Being a history buff he saw the dots and connected them. Although just like every other American he was surprised by the act carried out that day he quickly put together the events leading up to it in order. And he knew if we ignored or appeased this act it would only embolden those who did it to bring more to our shores. It would be years before he could join the Army but I think the desire to began that day. And you know what.. US soil shores have not seen an attack since then.

Those were his reasons. I don't know maybe he had more. I'm sure he did but those are the big ones. So if you believe Iraq was all about oil.. great you believe that. Maybe for some it was. But for every man and woman fighting the reason are different. So if your reasons for the war don't justify it then they don't but for those who's reasons do they went and fought.


joyce said...

Thank you. These words need to be said. And we need to learn from history.

Bob said...

Very well put! You are so patient to explain this to some who'd rather not hear it. But in fact, we owe you and Pokey a debt we can never repay, so the least we can do is simply say, "Thank you."

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/11/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.