The U.S. Invasion of Iraq: Was it a Just War? &#0151 PRO

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">RYAN PILE
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Last week’s one-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq brought new life to a debate that has raged since the bombs began to fall. Let us take a look back at some of the images of Operation Iraqi Freedom.??

We have seen streets stained with blood, a somber reminder that the enemy we face is real and seeks to destroy everything we stand for.
We have seen home-bound coffins draped in the stars and stripes, a humbling reminder that we should be thankful there are thousands of men and women with the courage, honor and commitment to take up arms and protect us. ??

We have seen pictures of a haggard, depraved Saddam Hussein crawling out of a hole in the ground, a sight that brings shouts of jubilation across the volatile country of Iraq and beyond.?We have seen the shattered bodies of children, a reminder that the vicious homicide-bombers will stop at nothing in their pursuit of terror and destruction.

Despite all odds, Iraq is now in the first stages of drafting a constitution. The document includes rights for women, an equal voice for all ethnic Muslims and elections that will actually produce elected officials. It is considered by many to be the most liberal in the region. ??

Saddam Hussein and his band of Baathist mercenaries have been forever disbanded as an institutionalized government. More than 300,000 bodies have been discovered in mass graves throughout the country, a testament to a tyrant who utilized torture chambers and rape cells and used poison gasses on entire Kurdish villages. ??

It is difficult to argue that an Iraq without Hussein is not a more vibrant, free and humane Iraq. ??

In spite of this, there are still those who proudly sport signs and bumper stickers that read, “Impeach Bush” and “War Is Not The Answer.” Others say that Bush “lied” about weapons of mass destruction to wage an unjust war for oil.

These baseless accusations are still being flung as Iraqi schools and police forces are being built up.?

The facts speak for themselves. The accusation that Bush lied, or twisted the truth to justify the invasion of Iraq with falsities about weapons of mass destruction, is a very serious one and lacks a very vital component: evidence.

If those who accuse the President were serious, they would call for charges to be brought against him, a move even his most outspoken critics do not pursue.?

They should also be calling for charges to be brought against former-President Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations, all of whom are on record stating that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed a grave threat. They must have been a part of this massive conspiracy, spreading such “deceptions.” Even David Kay, the former U.S. chief weapons hunter who told the world there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found, said there was no sign of any coercion, deceit or manipulation of the facts. He is on record saying that President Bush made the right decision with the information available.??

We need to be taking a serious look at our intelligence apparatus, not throwing around very grave and often baseless accusations. What went wrong? How can we avoid this happening again? How can the CIA regain the trust of the American people? ??

On Sept. 11, 2001, more than 3,000 American civilians were slaughtered and war was declared. We can no longer solely rely on discussions at U.N. roundtables or double-talk diplomatic sanctions to qualm terrorism.

We face a deadly, organized and fanatical enemy that must be actively pursued and destroyed before they destroy us.??

Thank God we live in America, where we have so much to fight for and so many who are willing to lay their lives down for it.