The Iraq War[a] was the second war against Iraq by the United States and its vassal states. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 after falsely claiming that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The US called their invasion 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' at one time using the term 'Operation Iraqi Liberation' (which ironically spells OIL). The war, under the pretext of "freedom", was really an imperialist struggle for access to and control over vast oil reserves. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, sitting President George W. Bush urged his advisors to investigate the link between the event and Iraq, saying, "I want to know any shred." This adds credibility to the theory that Bush was actively looking for a pretext to invade Iraq.
At least 480,000 people died directly from violent causes during the war, including 244,000 civilians. If deaths from disease, displacement, and destruction of infrastructure are also included, the death toll is around 2.4 million. According to the Red Cross, 43,000 Iraqis were detained, more than 70% of whom were innocent.
An unmentioned major long-term effect of the US invasion of Iraq is cancer and birth defects due to the US firing depleted uranium. Iraqi government figures show the following pattern regarding the rate of cancer cases: 40 people out of 100k prior to the First Gulf War (1991); 800 out of 100k (1995); >1,600 out of 100k (2005). Dr. Samira Alani, a pediatric specialist in Iraq, noted that childhood cancer rates in Al-Fallujah sat at around fourteen percent but were difficult to determine and were likely underreported:
We have no system to register all of them, so we have so many cases we are missing... I think I only know of 40-50 percent of the cases because so many families have their babies at home and we never know of these, and other clinics are not registering them either.
Further research has shown that the issue has not gone away, remaining a lasting impact of the war.
U.S. war crimes
- During the occupation, the United States actively tortured Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib and sexually abused female prisoners.
- In 2007, US mercenaries working for Blackwater killed 17 civilians in the Nisour Square massacre.
- In 2010, documents leaked by Chelsea Manning showed that the majority of Iraqis killed by US forces were civilians.
- In 2016, Barack Obama dropped a total of 12,095 bombs on Iraq.
- In March 2017, a US air strike killed 112 civilians in Mosul.
The Iraq War cost US taxpayers an average of $8,000 per person or over $2 trillion total.
- Arabic: حرب العراق هي
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- Bonnie Bricker (2007-10-19). The Costs of the War for Oil Foreign Policy in Focus.
- Eric Lichtblau (2004-3-29). "President Asked Aide to Explore Iraq Link to 9/11" The New York Times.
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- Karen Parker (2006). War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability (p. 20).
- Dahr Jamail (2013-3-15). "Iraq: War’s legacy of cancer" Aljazeera.
- Murtaza Hussain (2019-11-25). "Iraqi Children Born Near U.S. Military Base Show Elevated Rates of 'Serious Congenital Deformities,' Study Finds" The Intercept.
- Luke Harding (2004-5-19). "The other prisoners" The Guardian.
- Sabrina Tavernise (2007-09-18). "U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings" The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2020-10-18. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
- "Baghdad War Diary" (2010-10-22). Wikileaks. Archived from the original on 2022-01-27. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
- Ghast Lee (2017-01-23). "Shocking Map Shows Where Barack Obama Dropped His 26,000 Bombs" Sick Chirpse. Archived from the original on 2017-07-15.
- Ghazi Balkiz, et al. (2017-03-28). "Mosul: 112 civilian bodies pulled from site of coalition airstrike" CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-10-13. Retrieved 2022-02-02.