Coalition forces have fought for freedom in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the past year and a half. Many of these brave soldiers are college-aged people that have just as much life experience as us here at UCI. Whether you are for the war or against it, we owe these troops gratitude and support for what they are doing. Our country is far from acknowledging the positives that these forces have accomplished.
When the war on terror officially began in late 2001, more than two-thirds of the American public supported such an action. President Bush received praise and support from the American people with one of the highest approval ratings that any president had received in history. However, today we find that we are split 50-50 on both issues and more people have started to think of the war as a failure. Why is there such a statistical differential? Is it because we have not yet found Bin Laden? Perhaps because we have not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Could it be that we too often hear of more and more tragedy striking against coalition forces?
The American people want instantaneous and clear results. With constant reports of how we have not yet found any weapons of mass destruction or that more soldiers have suffered tragedy, it is not surprising that more Americans are starting to protest the war. The media constantly focuses on the negatives. But is there anything positive to report? YES!
Capitalism has been reinstated in Iraq, giving Iraqis the ability to build up their economy without a dictator. Coalition forces have successfully transported supplies to some of the most oppressed people in Iraq. For the first time in almost 15 years, the United Nations has lessened sanctions and given indicators to remove them from Iraq, sanctions that arguably led to thousands of Iraqi children dying every month. Oil fields have been given back to the Iraqi people and Saddam Hussein has been removed from power, allowing Iraqi people to take the steps in selecting a government of their own choosing. Coalition forces took down a regime that was constantly hostile to the U.S. and have made the world a more secure place.
Granted that Iraq still has some war torn regions, but the positives of the coalition invasion are clear but just not reported in the media. We cannot expect an overnight change in a situation that requires gradual progress.
Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt has called Bush a ‘miserable failure.’ Similar comments have come from other Democrats, hence making more Americans feel that Iraq has been a miserable failure. I support free speech, but when that speech covers up some truth, then that free speech is at some degree fallacious. Coalition forces are hearing the ‘miserable failure’ echo overseas and most are definitely starting to think that they have failed miserably in Iraq despite their positive accomplishments. We must encourage the media and our politicians to comment and report on the positives