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Mon Mar 19, 2018, 09:17 PM

15 Years Ago Today: Shock and Awe; The Beginning of the Iraq War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_invasion_of_Iraq



The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 20 March to 1 May 2003 and signalled the start of the Iraq War, which the United States dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom (prior to 19 March, the mission in Iraq was called "Operation Enduring Freedom", a carry-over from the War in Afghanistan). The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally-fought war which included the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces with the implicit assistance of the United Kingdom, alongside Australia and Poland.

The American-led Coalition sent 177,194 troops into Iraq during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003. About 130,000 arrived from the USA alone, with about 45,000 British soldiers, Australia (2,000), and Poland (194). 36 other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U.S. troops assembled in Kuwait by 18 February. The coalition forces also received support from the Peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to U.S. President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, the coalition aimed "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people." Others place a much greater emphasis on the impact of the September 11 attacks, on the role this played in changing U.S. strategic calculations, and the rise of the freedom agenda. According to Blair, the trigger was Iraq's failure to take a "final opportunity" to disarm itself of alleged nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that U.S. and British officials called an immediate and intolerable threat to world peace.

In a January 2003 CBS poll, 64% of Americans had approved of military action against Iraq; however, 63% wanted Bush to find a diplomatic solution rather than go to war, and 62% believed the threat of terrorism directed against the U.S. would increase due to war.[26] The invasion of Iraq was strongly opposed by some long-standing U.S. allies, including the governments of France, Germany, and New Zealand. Their leaders argued that there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that invading that country was not justified in the context of UNMOVIC's 12 February 2003 report. On 15 February 2003, a month before the invasion, there were worldwide protests against the Iraq War, including a rally of three million people in Rome, which the Guinness Book of Records listed as the largest ever anti-war rally. According to the French academic Dominique Reynié, between 3 January and 12 April 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the Iraq war.

The invasion was preceded by an airstrike on the Presidential Palace in Baghdad on 20 March 2003. The following day, coalition forces launched an incursion into Basra Province from their massing point close to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. While special forces launched an amphibious assault from the Persian Gulf to secure Basra and the surrounding petroleum fields, the main invasion army moved into southern Iraq, occupying the region and engaging in the Battle of Nasiriyah on 23 March. Massive air strikes across the country and against Iraqi command-and-control threw the defending army into chaos and prevented an effective resistance. On 26 March, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was airdropped near the northern city of Kirkuk, where they joined forces with Kurdish rebels and fought several actions against the Iraqi Army to secure the northern part of the country.

The main body of coalition forces continued their drive into the heart of Iraq and met with little resistance. Most of the Iraqi military was quickly defeated and the coalition occupied Baghdad on 9 April. Other operations occurred against pockets of the Iraqi army, including the capture and occupation of Kirkuk on 10 April, and the attack on and capture of Tikrit on 15 April. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the central leadership went into hiding as the coalition forces completed the occupation of the country. On 1 May President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations: this ended the invasion period and began the period of military occupation.


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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply 15 Years Ago Today: Shock and Awe; The Beginning of the Iraq War (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Mar 2018 OP
quartz007 Mar 2018 #1
HopeAgain Mar 2018 #4
Skittles Mar 2018 #2
johnp3907 Mar 2018 #3
Gidney N Cloyd Mar 2018 #5
Guy Whitey Corngood Mar 2018 #6
democrank Mar 2018 #7
GeorgeGist Mar 2018 #8
Rhiannon12866 Mar 2018 #9

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 09:20 PM

1. Wasted $7 Trillion starting Iraq war

 

not to mention creation and rise of ISIS, and
destabilization and chaos in the middle-east.

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Response to quartz007 (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 09:45 PM

4. Tens of thousands of lives lost for what?

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 09:30 PM

2. people still die EVERY DAY because of that disaster

THEY WERE *NEVER* HELD ACCOUNTABLE

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 09:31 PM

3. Back in the days of shock and awe.



Back in the days of shock and awe
We came to liberate them all
History was the cruel judge of overconfidence
Back in the days of shock and awe

Back in the days of "mission accomplished"
Our chief was landing on the deck
The sun was setting on a golden photo op
Back in the days of "mission accomplished"

Thousands of bodies in the ground
Brought home in boxes to a trumpet's sound
No one sees them coming home that way
Thousands buried in the ground

Thousands of children scarred for life
Millions of tears for a soldier's wife
Both sides are losing now
Heaven takes them in
Thousands of children scarred for life

We had a chance to change our mind
But somehow wisdom was hard to find
We went with what we knew and now we can't go back
But we had a chance to change our mind.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 09:56 PM

5. I'll never forget Mike Malloy's Shock & Awe broadcast.

He mainly let us hear the bombs drop while verbally drawing a picture of Iraqi mothers trying to protect their children. If I could I'd sentence GWB and Cheney to sit in a cell and listen to it daily... forever.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 10:00 PM

6. Can't kick or recommend enough. nt

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 10:12 PM

7. I still think about CNN's "Shock and Awe" graphics.

At home, our small town local newspaper started running lists each week of all Vermonters serving. Blue Star Service Banners began appearing in local windows. Support the Troops signs were everywhere.

I remember seeing a Gold Star license plate for the first time, and pickup trucks with decals on the back window, In Loving Memory Of......

and death hit close to home at our local American Legion.

Everything changed, including with older combat vets here. There was a tension, sadness, anger.

What an awful time in our history this was. And is.

Such suffering. The long-lasting impact on Iraq and its people is heartbreaking.

I hope for ~PEACE~





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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 10:18 PM

8. And the war criminals remain free ...

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2018, 03:37 AM

9. K&R. I remember that very well. I was right here on DU.

After hearing an impassioned speech against it by Nelson Mandela, I was sure it wouldn't happen. But I read on DU that the invasion was imminent and the poster was right.

I also remember a post of a photo of a little Iraqi boy launching a tiny handmade boat with a candle aboard as part of an Iraqi peace effort. When we heard that "shock and awe" had started, I thought of that little boy, wondered if he was scared that night or if he was even still alive.

That was the first time I felt physically sick after reading the news on DU, the second time was after what I felt were the unexpected results of the 2004 election. But I was also grateful that I had found DU, since I wasn't alone.

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