Five yearsgone in Iraq

The United States can be nothing but occupiers as the military remains in Iraq.

Since the United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, 4,000 members of the U.S. military have died as a result of the war. Thousands more Americans have been wounded. More Iraqis though – insurgent and civilian – have died. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than 5 million have been displaced from their homes.

Just prior to the Iraq invasion, Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States would be greeted as liberators and not occupiers by the Iraqi people. Five years later, the United States can be nothing but occupiers as the military remains in Iraq. Since the president declared “Mission Accomplished” in the Iraq war on May 1, 2003, the United States continues to falter as, in Iraq, violence is a constant, the economy has been destroyed and Saddam Hussein’s rule has been replaced with an inept government.

Last Wednesday, in a speech marking the beginning of the sixth year of the Iraq War, President George W. Bush demonstrated that he and his administration do not understand the cost of this war. To the Bush administration, it is only referred to as the “loss of life and treasure.” But as the Bush administration continues to not acknowledge their mistakes in this war – not anticipating an insurgency and the nonexistence of WMDs – Bush makes this loss of life and treasure in vain as no purpose of the United States to still be in Iraq is legitimately made clear.

Abraham Lincoln said in his 1863 Gettysburg Address, as the Civil War continued to divide America in conflict, “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” The loss then, and in subsequent wars, had a purpose. Now, the United States lingers on needlessly in Iraq as Bush has not redefined this war since his original purpose, to remove Hussein, failed to bring about victory.

When asked, “Who will stop the United States?” in the 2004 documentary Control Room, Al-Jazeera senior producer Hassan Ibrahim, said, “The United States is going to stop the United States. I have absolute confidence in the American Constitution and I have absolute confidence in the ability of the American people – the United States people are going to stop the United States empire.”