Let me refresh everyone's memory.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 hijackers overtook four jet airliners and used them as missiles to take down the World Trade Center towers and part of the Pentagon. Had it not been for the passengers of Flight 93, the U.S. Capital might have been obliterated too. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda cohorts in the worst terrorist act ever on American soil.
We are rapidly approaching the four year anniversary of 9/11, and we are still asking ourselves the same question we asked almost four years ago: Where is Osama bin Laden?
Immediately after 9/11, President Bush vowed to hunt down and kill those responsible for the attacks. So what did he decide to do? Invade Iraq. Now, four years later, Bin Laden has been all but forgotten.
The Bush administration might not know much, but on September 12th, 2001 they knew that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Queda were responsible for the events of the prior day. Four years later, Al-Queda is still attacking places worldwide (i.e. the recent bombings in London) and Bin Laden is still at large. How is this acceptable?
Rather than focusing on who attacked us, President Bush decided to use the country's patriotism as ammunition to invade Iraq. Now, after 1,864 American soldiers have died (according to the AP, as of 8/19/05) and thousands more have been injured, people are starting to realize how misguided this invasion was.
Did Iraq do anything to us? Did they have Weapons of Mass Destruction? Were they an "imminent threat?" No. No. No.
Initially, the argument for the war was that we needed to take out Saddam's Iraqi regime because they had WMD that posed a threat to America. When both of these were proven to be false, the rationale for war turned into bringing peace and democracy to Iraq.
Great idea. And while we're at it we might as well bring peace to Israel and Palestine. I'm looking forward to the day that I can enjoy a nice espresso on the Gaza Strip alongside a Jew and a Palestinian.
Let's get real here. Our soldiers are sacrificing everything, but for what? Even more, is it necessary? According to President Bush, our soldiers are dying and losing limbs, "to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy."
But I offer this to President Bush and any of his blind followers: If we did not invade Iraq, and every one of our injured and fallen soldiers were still alive and well in America, would life today be any different? No, it wouldn't.
The fact that we have not been attacked again in almost four years has nothing to do with the Iraqi invasion since Iraq and Al-Queda were and still are mutually exclusive. The fact that Al-Queda is still operating, including Bin Laden, has everything to do with the Iraqi invasion because we have lost where our focus should be and lack the manpower to adequately respond to those who attacked us.
Invading Iraq in response to 9/11 is like bombing Thailand or any other Asian nation instead of Japan in response to Pearl Harbor. Just because the people are in a similar region of the world and look the same doesn't make them the same enemy.
Simply put, Iraq was unbelievably misguided and it scares me that the American people are complacent with it. It is truly ridiculous that it takes thousands of our soldiers to die and even thousands more to get maimed before we rethink anything. I'd like to think that four years from now we'll have bin Laden and be out of Iraq, but I also realize that our President is George W. Bush.