Oil + Terrorism = WAR
By: Sara Isgrigg & Mar'kayla Kennedy
"I am President George W Bush and I declare an Invasion on Iraq."
"My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.
On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign.
More than 35 countries are giving crucial support, from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.
To all of the men and women of the United States armed forces now in the Middle East, the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you.
That trust is well placed.
The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military.
In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas, attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his own military; a final atrocity against his people.
I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment.
We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.
I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return.
The soldiers story
BAGHDAD — Staff Sgt. Lucas C. Trammell, a tank gunner with the Third Infantry Division, fought his way into Baghdad in 2003. He was back in 2005, abandoning the tank for foot patrols in a very unsafe Ramadi, and again in 2007 as bodyguard for a battalion commander in Baghdad.
He has killed the enemy and lost friends. He has sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. (“The Army’s gotten a lot better about letting you put your hand up,” he explained.)
He is back in Iraq for a fourth time, part of a force of only 50,000 no longer engaged in combat as of Aug. 31. He is one of thousands of soldiers and officers for whom the legacy of Iraq, like Afghanistan, has been a recalibration of what it means to be an American at war today.
The Third Infantry Division has spent more than four years in all in a war that has lasted seven and a half — and may not yet be over. These soldiers, far more than any other Americans, bear the personal and professional burdens of a conflict that has lost what popular support it had at home.