Questions About Iraq and the War on Terror
Over 1700 American service members have died in Iraq. I don’t like focusing on arbitrary numbers as they never make anything more than a morbid point and often ignore the true worth of those sacrifices.
But Iraq has been on my mind lately. Or, I should say, the whole war on terror has been on my mind. This coming weekend my home here in Washington, DC will go on sale and, in just under two months, I’ll be leaving this city I’ve called home for 4 years. Why is that important? Because for the first time since 9/11, I will be living in a city that isn’t clearly a top target.
If you’re expecting a sweeping analysis and solid conclusions, stop reading here. I don’t have definitive answers. Over time, I have settled on the opinion that, all things said and done, our goals in Iraq are noble and our mission just. But this doesn’t mean I don’t think we could have or should have done things differently in both the lead-up and execution of the war. I’m no soldier or military expert and I can only offer one citizen’s perspective, and, to me, there are a lot of unanswered questions.
The questions that follow are not intended to be leading (although some readers will invariably assume they are) or imply I have answers (even though I do have opinions). Please feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section.
Did we go to war because of WMD and specific threats or was the Bush administration more concerned about installing a democracy in the Mid-East and Iraq was the most obvious target?
Does Iraq set any precedent for going to war? If so, what is it?
Are we any safer because of the war?
When did a desecrated Quran become more important to some than the 3,000 that died on 9/11?
While 9/11 brought us together, why has what come after so divided us? Is anyone to blame for this or was it inevitable?
Why do such a vocal minority believe Bush is evil—even going so far as to think he’s worse than those we’re fighting?
Why do some feel it is un-American to harshly criticize Bush or imply the Iraq war may have been a mistake?
Is it really possible to support our troops but oppose their work?
Has the sweep of democracy been the result of the war in Iraq or of other, less publicized work to advance freedom or both?
What’s the next step in the war on terror?
If Iraq becomes a real and stable democracy, will we all be able to agree it was worth it?
If Iraq descends into anarchy or a terrorist-supporting theocracy, will we all be able to agree Bush made a mistake?
How do we know when the war is over? When do the troops get to come home?