Iraq War Debate

History and Debate of Iraq War

The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by troops from the United States and Great Britain. This war has also come to be known by several other names including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Second Gulf War.

Before the invasion, the government of the United States claimed that there was a possibility that Iraq was storing weapons of mass destruction that posed a threat to the wellbeing of the United States and other nations. The United Nations asked Iraq to cooperate with weapons inspectors and verify their possession of cruise missiles and other weapons, but the nation's officials were noncompliant. Surprisingly, none of these weapons were ever discovered following the invasion. This, along with several other incidents, has led to a great controversy regarding the necessity of the Iraq War.

Following the invasion of Iraq, the goals of the United States and Britain changed somewhat. The invasion led to an occupation by American and British troops and the eventual capture of Saddam Hussein, the leader of the Iraqi government at the time. Efforts were also made to improve the quality of life of the people of Iraq by removing the oppressive government and replacing it with a democratic government that was more or less set up by United States' officials.

Over 300,000 American and international troops were involved in the invasion and matched up against an Iraqi army of about 375,000. Thousands have lost their lives on both sides. Over 16,000 Americans have lost their lives and between 98,000 and 107,000 Iraqi civilians have also been killed. This is one of the main reasons why so many people have been opposed to the war.

Human rights have been a very controversial issue throughout the duration of the war. Both sides have been accused of violating basic human rights with their practices. The Iraqi government is criticized for their use of torture and death squads and massacres of their people. Many supporters of the war rally behind the effort to end these practices. However, others argue against the war because the other side has also been using practices that could be considered inhumane. White phosphorus was used in Iraq and has had negative effects on the health of civilians. Many bombings of American troops have also resulted in civilian deaths.

Public Opinion of the War

The public Iraq War debate appears to resound largely with disapproval. In 2007, BBC World Service polled over 26,000 people in 25 nations. They found that 73 percent were opposed to the way the United States handled the Iraq invasion. Another survey conducted in 2007 showed that over two-thirds of people internationally believed that the United States should withdraw from Iraq. Withdrawals have since been initiated and President Barack Obama supports the removal of troops in as timely a manner as possible.

Citizens of nations in the Middle East also have mixed opinions of the war. Over 60 percent of Saudi people have a negative view of the war and ninety-six percent of Jordan was opposed to the war as of 2007. The majority of people in France, Jordan, Lebanon, China, and Spain all believe that the world was safer before the Iraq War.

Did the United States make a bad move in its invasion of Iraq? Public opinions vary. The war has led to a large number of casualties, but the Iraq War debate still lingers on whether or not the invasion was ultimately justified.

For Iraq War

22% of members
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Against Iraq War

78% of members
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