After 9/11, America was in a dark position. Despite the renewed patriotism and unity, there was great fear. The strength of the United States was challenged when a group of foreigners slipped past security, hijacked airplanes with boxcutters, and turned them into a living suicide bomb. It was the final flight for many people. The debris would be the final resting place for many and become the spot where first responders were made widows and widowers out of spouses.
The final result was thousands of innocent lives dead.
The Bush Administration had a brilliant political opportunity. Fear gripped a nation and as a result, a scared nation looked to the President and his leadership team for security and hope.
To Iraq we went.
The result was almost five thousand soldiers dying. Think of all those families deprived of a parent, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, or even children? The U.S. Department of Defense also estimates almost 32,000 soldiers were wounded in action. This sacrifice made by almost 40,000 soldiers being either killed or injured was because the Bush Administration deemed Iraq a threat. Those stating Iraq was an imminent threat included spokespeople for the President and the Pentagon, multiple Press Secretaries, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush.
Over the years, the purpose of the intervention has been haunted by growing scrutiny. Questions about supposed Al Qaeda connections and alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction have come to light, bringing the Bush Administration’s honesty in question.
Had all these brave soldiers died for a lie?
The declassified 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report suggest that may be the case. While we were led to believe that the invasion of Iraq was to fight terrorism, the United States Government was actually protecting a nation with proven terrorist ties. Saudi Arabia, according to the CIA and FBI as shown in the 9/11 Commission Report, had a lot of connections.
Where was the invasion of Saudi Arabia? There was more reason to put boots on the ground there, if anywhere at all, than in Iraq.
But soldiers were sent to die in Iraq, instead. In retrospect, given the revelations of the 9/11 Commission Report, former President George W. Bush’s Administration was less concerned with chasing terrorism and more about fighting a political battle.
Soldiers died. And for what purpose?