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Iraq and Afghanistan: Causes of Conflict and Effects on America

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naomi koliba

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of Iraq and Afghanistan: Causes of Conflict and Effects on America

Iraq and Afghanistan: Causes of Conflict and Effects on America Iraq Afghanistan Annotated Bibliography AFSC. "US Labor Against the War : Report: Conflict Assessment - Afghanistan." US Labor Against the War : Index. Report: Conflict Assessment - Afghanistan. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?id=20135>.
A 132 page report, which includes graphs, charts, maps and other data involving Afghanistan's long history of complex intertwined conflicts and how it reflects the magnitude of different root causes and escalating factors of the war with Afghanistan.

"A TIMELINE OF THE IRAQ WAR." Think Progress. Center for American Progress Action Fund, 2005-2011. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://thinkprogress.org/iraq-timeline/>.
Simply a time line of the Iraq war from 2003-2011 that mainly includes exact quotes from U.S. government officials, political commentary, photographs, death tolls, and a range of events from minute details to huge decisions and actions. There is a lot of real but controversial information, meaning that Bush and other government officials contradicted themselves often. The tone of this timeline is that whomever created it did not support the U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Bajoria, Jayshree. "The Taliban in Afghanistan." Council on Foreign Relations. 3 Aug. 2009. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/taliban-afghanistan/p10551>.
A website which focuses on the rise of the Taliban, its early supporters, the structure and management of the Taliban, and the future of the Taliban regime.

Bender, David L. Iraq: Current Convtroversies. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, Inc, 1991. Print.
This is an anthology of various articles debating issues surrounding the Persian Gulf War. Some topics include the effects on the Middle Easy, justification f military action, accuracy of media coverage, and lessons learned from the war. It builds the foundation of that war that would later occur between Iraq and the United States.

Bowman, Robert M. "Why War With Iraq." Bowman for President. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www.rmbowman.com/ssn/iraq2.htm>.
Robert M. Bowman discusses the reasons that the Bush Administration gave for going to war with Iraq. He addresses all seven of these claims and disproves them. Next, Bowman talks about the 2000 document, written by members of the Bush Administration "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For A New Century", which reveals the truth about the Iraq war: the Bush Administration had been planning a radical change in the U.S. defense, and 9/11 was exploited to fulfill these plans.

"Bush Administration on Iraq 9/11 Link." BBC News - Home. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3119676.stm>.
An article that includes President Bush's first declaration that there was no direct link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Below this initial quotation are a series of previous quotes by Bush and members of the Bush Administration that hint a connection between Iraq/Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

CBC News. "Bin Laden Claims Responsibility for 9/11 - World - CBC News." CBC.ca - Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. 29 Oct. 2004. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2004/10/29/binladen_message041029.html>.
An article explaining Osama Bin Laden's admittance of the attack on 9/11. It also explains President Bush's reaction to the statement by stating the "The U.S. will prevail."

"Cheney: No Link between Saddam Hussein, 9/11 - CNN." Featured Articles from CNN. 01 June 2009. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-01/politics/cheney.speech_1_saddam-hussein-qaeda-iraqi-intelligence-officials?_s=PM:POLITICS>.
This article is a series of statements by Dick Cheney. Cheney says a variety of things. First, he concludes that there was no relationship between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Next, he defends the Bush Administration's choices to invade Iraq. Also, he defends the enhanced interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Gibson, Andrea. "Andrea Gibson - For Eli." YouTube- Broadcast Yourself. 5 Feb. 2007. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwh23QSrwKw>.
Andrea Gibson is a well-known poetry slammer who is a feminist and anti-war activist. This is one of her most chilling poems that creatively expresses her opinion of the war in Iraq. I thought I would include this because although it is biased, it is beautiful. It is different from newspaper articles, it is emotional and it is moving.

The History Guy: The War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)." The History Guy: A Resource for History, Military History, Politics, and Biography. 01 May 2011. Web. 13 May 2011. <http://www.historyguy.com/war_in_afghanistan.html>.
A site which gives an overview of the history in Afghanistan as well as a list of many links to other useful resources.

"Gold Star Mother for Peace: "We Need Our Troops Home!"." Youtube. 20 Mar. 2008. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMTfqlJVfQQ>.
This video is of a mother who lost her son in the war in Iraq. She talks about the consequences within her family (his wife and daughter) as well as the fact that she is one of thousands of families having to deal with the loss of a family member.

Griffis, Margaret. "Casualties in Iraq." Antiwar.com. 1 May 2011. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://antiwar.com/casualties/>.
This website provides a clear table of the official American casualties in Iraq from 2003 to the present. The website is antiwar.com, so it tends to have a biased opinion. This becomes clear comparing the official wounded Americans vs. the "estimated" wounded Americans.

Hayes, Laura. "Al-Qaeda — Infoplease.com." Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free Online Reference, Research & Homework Help. — Infoplease.com. Sept. 2008. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.infoplease.com/spot/al-qaeda-terrorism.html>.
This article talks about the rise of Al Qaeda during the eighties, the leadership- under Osama Bin Ladin's rule, the goals of Al- Qaeda (to defeat America), its position in the war on terror (our enemies), and current major attacks from Al Qaeda members.

Jaffe, Greg. "War in Iraq Will Be Called 'Operation New Dawn' to Reflect Reduced U.S. Role." The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines. 09 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/18/AR2010021805888.html>.
This is a brief article that relays Obama's decision change the name Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn. This is meant to reflect the U.S.'s declining role in Iraq, and send the message that the war is coming to a close.

Joyner, James. "How Perpetual War Became U.S. Ideology" The Atlantic — News and Analysis on Politics, Business, Culture, Technology, National, International, and Life – TheAtlantic.com. 11 May 2011. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/how-perpetual-war-became-us-ideology/238600/>.
This article contrasts the differing philosophies between neoconservatives, liberal interventionists, and realists. Joyner suggests that perhaps there are more similarities between neoconservatives and liberal interventionists than we may realize. Although they have different intentions, the end product is consistently the same: war. Realists are simply not as effective or convincing to our people because they appeal to logic as opposed to emotion. Americans would rather be spiritually or emotionally moved than logically convinced.

Kagar, Kawan. "An Introduction of the Taliban." [AFGHAN CONFLICT/header1.htm]. Institute for Aghan Studeis, Fall 2000. Web. 28 May 2011. <http://www.institute-for-afghan-studies.org/AFGHAN%20CONFLICT/TALIBAN/intro_kakar.htm>.
An article which explains the rise of the Taliban as well as who the Taliban are, what they believe and enforce in Afghanistan, and their foreign policy. It seems to paint the Taliban as a misunderstood cause who is often being looked down upon by almost every other country.

Miller, Debra A. Iraq. Greenhaven Press, 2004. Print.
Includes the Iran-Iraq war, invasion of Kuwait, Saddam and Iraq history, and the U.S. war in Iraq up to 2004. It says that the war has officially ended. However, Saddam must be found as well as weapons of mass destruction. It is also an anthology of various articles that present opinions about these topics.

Obama, Barack. "YouTube - President Obama's Afghanistan Speech Pt.1." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. MoxNewsDotCom, 01 Dec. 2009. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I65QiUhvAq8>.
Video of President Obama giving reasons for why the US began conflict in Afghanistan,as well as plans for the war with Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the home for Al- Qaeda and Taliban forces- a group of people which threaten to destroy not only Afghanistan but also the United States.

Pierce, Olga. "Mental Disorders Affect Third Of Iraq Vets." Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense. Space War, 26 Jan. 2007. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Mental_Disorders_Affect_Third_Of_Iraq_Vets.html>.
This article talks about the mental health of many returning vets. It had many statistics and percentages of affected vets with mental conditions as well as those vets who receive actual help.

"Public Attitudes Toward the War in Iraq: 2003-2008." Pew Research Center. 19 Mar. 2008. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://pewresearch.org/pubs/770/iraq-war-five-year-anniversary>.
This website is designed to express visually the American public opinion regarding the war in Iraq. Three graphs are used that address questions such as the decision to use military force in Iraq, how well the war is going, and should the U.S. keep troops in Iraq? This website shows how the pubic opinion changed over the course of five years.

Rovics, David. "Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L) - David Rovics." YouTube- Broadcast Yourself. July 2003. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwKvR9mbYH0>.
This is a satire, in the form of a song. It is written and performed by David Rovics. It is extremely controversial, as you can tell by the comments. It is blatantly anti-war, which is made clear by the lyrics. Although it is biased and provocative, it is definitely worthwhile to listen to.

Ruzek, Josef. "Treatment of the Returning Iraq War Veteran - National Center for PTSD." National Center for PTSD Home. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 30 June 2002. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/treatment-iraq-vets.asp>.This is a section of a the larger Veteran Clinician Guide. This particular section focuses on the affects of PTSD on Iraq war vets and what sort of treatments are available for them.

"Saddam Hussein Biography." Biography.com. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www.biography.com/articles/Saddam-Hussein-9347918?part=1>.
This is a biography that concentrates more on Saddam's role in the goverment in Iraq. It talks about the Persian Gulf War and the invastion of Kuwait. It discusses the UN's involvement with Iraq, 9/11, and the process that America took entering Iraq. It ends at Saddam's execution.

Sapien, Joaquin. "More than Half of Recent War Vets Treated by VA Are Struggling With Mental Health Problems." ProPublica. May-June 2011. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.propublica.org/article/more-than-half-of-recent-war-vets-struggling-with-mental-health-problems>.
This article focuses on the psychological damage that increasing numbers of American war veterans are suffering. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals report that the rate has increased from 20% in 2004 to over 50% presently. Perhaps this reflects the attitude of soldiers. As the war progresses, more soldiers are questioning why they are fighting and what the are fighting for.

Stewart, Gail B. Saddam Hussein. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 2004. Print.
This is an autobiography of Saddam Hussein. It follows Saddam through his rough childhood, involvement with the Baathists, and his rise of power in the new goverment in the 20th century, and his role in the revolution as well. The Baathists appealed to the masses - education was made a top priotity. It ends before the U.S. found Saddam Hussein; at the beginning of the Iraq war.

Thompson, Paul. "9/11 Research." For Those Who Want to Know: Reliable Information on Health, Energy, Media, War, Elections, 9/11, More. Winter 2010. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://www.wanttoknow.info/9-11timeline60pg>.
An article which includes an in-depth time line of the events leading up to 9/11. The time line begins in 1982 with the production of opium in Afghanistan. It ends in 2009 with the belief that the Commissioner's report of 9/11 was false.

Walsh, Joan. "How the Iraq War Saved Bin Laden's Life." Salon.com. 10 May 2011. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2011/05/10/iraq_war_saved_bin_laden/>.
This article relates the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and our quest to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Walsh proposes the belief that because Bush spent so much time and effort getting the U.S. troops in Iraq, it prolonged what truly needed to happen, which was to eliminate bin Laden. There are powerful direct quotes from Bush and Chaney, among others.

"The War in Iraq, Detrimental to American Families « The Good Democrat." The Good Democrat. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://thegooddemocrat.wordpress.com/2007/08/01/the-war-in-iraq-detrimental-to-american-families/>.
This is an article that discusses the effects of the Iraq war on families. It shows proof from studies that show that there is a higher level of stress in families when a family member was deported to Iraq. Also, there were higher levels of child mistreatment and abuse. Mothers took a huge blow. The stress of the absence of their husbands made them neglect their children.

Wikipedia. "War in Afghanistan 2001- Present." Afghanistan. Wikipedia, 25 May 2011. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_%282001%E2%80%93present%29>.
A source outlining the historic background of the war in Afghanistan. It gives many detailed examples in change of policy towards Afghanistan as well as the death of certain military Afghan leaders and various battles fought.

Wolf, Paul. "The Assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud, by Paul Wolf, 9/14/03." Ratical.org. 14 Sept. 2003. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/ASMassoud.html>.
A website with a main focus of educating about "Crimes Against Humanity."

"9/11 Attacks — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts." History.com — History Made Every Day — American & World History. History.com. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks>.
An article which focuses on the ins and outs of the attacks of 9/11. It goes into specific detail as to who was responsible for the attacks, as well as an outline for all the events that took place on the day of. Effects on U.S. Operation Iraqi Liberation When it began: October 7th, 2001
What: Operation Enduring Freedom
Why: In response to the September 11 attacks
Stated goals: To eliminate the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization in Afghanistan. To remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state. History of Afghanistan Al Qaeda Osama Bin Laden Attacks of 9/11 On the morning of September 11th 2001, , 19 terrorists from al-Qaeda hijacked 4 commercial passenger airplaines with every intention of distroying the twin towers. Two of the four planes were deliberately crashed into the Twin Towers. Within two hours of the attack, both buildings completely collapsed. Within 30 minutes of two planes hitting the World Trade Center, a third airplane- Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. Soon after, the fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania. The reported reason behind the attacks was that al- Qaeda under the rule of Osama bin Laden, were acting in retaliation for America's support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War, and also its military presence in the Middle East.
Over 3000 people were killed, included over 400 police officers and firefighters. This was the spark that led the U.S. to enter Afghanistan and topple the Taliban. After al- Qaeda and Osama bin Laden took responsiblity for the attacks, they immediately became our enemies and reason for securing and entering Afghanistan. Everything began with the rise of a man named Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein, born in 1936, had a rough childhood. He did not receive the love and encouragement every child deserves. The effects of his abusive family, lack of money, and trouble fitting in caused Saddam to develop evil qualities and a deep desire to be recognized. As a young man, Saddam joined the Baathists and was involved in the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Iraqi prime minister. In 1968, the Baathists overthrew the government and Saddam had an instrumental role in the new government. He was in charge of interrogation processes, where he brutally tortured and murdered victims. Eventually, Saddam became president after Bakr’s resignation and had a tyrannical and powerful reign over Iraq. In 1990, Saddam ordered his army to overrun Kuwait, supposedly to control the oil and boost Iraq’s economy. However, this triggered a negative response from the United Nations (including America), and many countries sent troops into Kuwait in order to defeat Saddam’s army.

The Persian Gulf War is crucial in understanding the nature of the Iraq war. It was America’s first step in taking military action against Iraq. Prior to the Persian Gulf War, the United States and Iraq were on good terms, however this was the beginning of a future tension that would lead to war. The Persian Gulf War had many consequences – human damage, environmental damage, and political consequences. Much of this damage lay in Iraq. There were revolts from the Shiites and the Kurds, which caused much violence and civil unrest. Saddam was ready and willing to murder anyone who spoke against his personal beliefs. The Persian Gulf War also split the political opinion in Iraq: while some supported the U.S. involvement in the Persian War, many opposed it. The Persian Gulf War was the catalyst of extremism in Iraq. Now many were strongly behind Saddam, admiring his courage and fearlessness. Those who were strongly against Saddam were oppressed. This produced a country of civil unrest, tension, violence, and extremism. The Persian Gulf War increased Arab resentment of the United States. Saddam Hussein & The Persian Gulf War All was relatively quiet prior to September 11, 2001. However, on this unfortunate day, members of al-Qaeda hijacked airliner planes and flew them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field. Approximately 3,000 died, including the suicide terrorists. President George W. Bush and the Bush Administration were itching for war. Wolfowitz had written documents with intentions of strengthening the security systems in the United States.

President Bush and members of the Bush Administration discretely yet repeatedly spoke of a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks. 9/11 “‘Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror.’ President Bush in his State of the Union address, January 2002. The speech was primarily concerned with how the US was coping in the aftermath of 11 September.”

“‘We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who've had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.’ Mr Cheney in the same interview, commenting on the war against Iraq,
“[Saddam Hussein posed a risk in] a region from which the 9/11 threat emerged.’ National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice defending the reasons why the US went to war against Iraq, September, 2003.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3119676.stm President Bush and the Bush administration’s continuous statements that made correlations between 9/11 and Iraq were ambiguous enough so that they were not necessarily true or untrue. However, they occurred so frequently that the supposed connection between Iraq and 9/11 certainly made a large impression in the minds of the public. The media readily distributed these statements. “A recent opinion poll suggests that 70% of Americans believe the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3119676.stm These false ideas in the American public were taken to be true. Because of this, support of the Iraq war was large at the beginning. Bush successfully brainwashed the United States citizens in a way that was not necessarily illegal. Congress voted President Bush to have complete executive control over the military during the time of the Iraq war. Unfortunately, not enough people questioned his power. Reasons Why We Went To War, According to Bush and the Bush Administration (1) Saddam is an evil man who used poison gas on his own people, has killed political rivals, and violates the human rights of his people, especially the Kurds. The Iraqi people deserve to be liberated from him.
(2) Saddam has ignored and violated resolutions of the United Nations Security Council relative to inspections and disarmament and must be removed to protect the credibility and integrity of the United Nations.
(3) Saddam has weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological weapons) in violation of UN demands. These weapons pose a threat to Iraq's neighbors and to U.S. interests in the region.
(4) Saddam has ties to Al Qaeda and therefore bears some responsibility for 9/11 and must be removed as part of the War on Terrorism.
(5) Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda and his possession of chemical and biological agents which he could transfer to them pose a threat to the U.S. homeland and to our people.
(6) Saddam has been trying to buy aluminum tubes useful in a uranium separation plant. Such a plant could produce the highly-enriched U-235 required for making an atomic bomb. If Saddam succeeded in building such a bomb, he could transfer it to Al Qaeda who could use it in the U.S. If we wait for a smoking gun, it could be a mushroom cloud.
(7) UN weapons inspectors won't do any good. They failed to disarm Saddam before, and would fail again. Iraq only agrees to inspections as a stalling tactic. http://www.rmbowman.com/ssn/iraq2.htm taken directly from These above are various reasons that the Bush Administration has given for going to war in Iraq. All of them have been in one way or another disproven in the article written by Robert Bowman titled “Why War With Iraq?” So why are we in Iraq? What is President Bush’s goal? Saudi Arabia & Lies “The general consensus of those in the know is that the primary purpose of the war on Iraq is to set the stage for permanent military occupation of Saudi Arabia. U.S. multinational oil companies are getting by without Iraqi oil, but are unwilling to do without Saudi oil.” (Bowman, Why War With Iraq) “George Bush I in 1990....lied to King Saud (and to the rest of the world) by showing doctored satellite photos which (he said) showed that Saddam had massed 250,000 troops and 1,500 tanks on the Saudi border. Russian satellite photos taken at the same time, however, showed that there were no troops or tanks -- only empty desert. Now his son, George II, is using a phantom Iraqi nuclear threat to justify starting a war which will only end with the U.S. occupying not only Iraq, but Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran as well!” (Bowman, Why War With Iraq) The administration leaked reports that tens of thousands of Iraqi troops were massing on the border of Saudi Arabia in preparation for an invasion of the world's major oil fields. The globe's industrial economies would be held hostage if Iraq succeeded.
The reality was different. Two Soviet satellite photos obtained by the St. Petersburg Times raised questions about such a buildup of Iraqi troops. Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency viewed an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia as probable. –Victor Marshall, Los Angeles Times “‘We were told that Iraqi troops were massing at the Saudi border. And these satellite photographs were shown to the Saudi leadership, to get them to change their mind and allow US troops to enter their country. Well it turned out that those satellite photos were fake. They never existed.’ - Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies http://www.representativepress.org/LiesAboutIraq.html So, there is proof of the Bush Administration lying about why we are going to war with Iraq, and lying to get the public to want to go to war with Iraq. The causes of the war in Iraq are many. The legitimate causes of the war in Iraq are unknown. President Bush told the citizens of America a multitude of reasons. He said that Saddam Hussein had ties to 9/11 so we had to restore justice. Later, he contradicted himself and said there was no correlation. Bush also said that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, so we must go into Iraq in order to prevent Saddam Hussein from using them against us. There were no weapons of mass destruction proven. One word was floating around the public for quite some time, and it still is. This word is oil. Both ignorant people and well-educated people can be heard giving this as the reason we went to war with Iraq. However, there is no evidence of this that Bush would ever admit either. Unfortunately, the true causes of the war in Iraq may never be known. Conclusion The current situation in Afghanistan is the result of a long history of events which include a significant amount of influence of foreign powers. It all began in 1949 when the Eastern border of Afghanistan became an issue of conflict betweeen Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghanistan strengthened its forces with the Soviet Union and India, while Pakistan had aligned with the U.S. Besides this, communism was on the rise. Aghan scholars also imported Islamic concepts into the country. The King was overthrown in 1973 in order to turn Afghanistan into a republic. The King, Daoud was assasinated in 1978 by a member of the communist party.
An imbalance among Aghanis left the Soviet Union fearing Afghanistan would create an alliance with the U.S. In 1979, Afghanistan was invaded. Eventually, after suffering great loses, the Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1986. Shortly after, the communist regime leader Abdur Rashid Dostum defected to mujahedin. With the loss of the common enemy of communists, Afghanistan began fighting among itself. Thus insued a civil war. Taliban During the violent times of the civil war,the rise of the Taliban movement in the South of Afghanistan in 1994 was considered a blessing by many. They gained support from Pakistan and Saudi private citizens. They conquered Kabul in 1996 and by 1998 controlled about 90% of the country. They then established a strict Islamic regime based on Pashtun tribal values and a strict interpretation of sharia, the Islamic Law. The regime was most oppresive in populated areas. The Taliban has more enemies than it does friends. This seems to be partly because of their lack of experience, sophistication and in-depth knowledge of the world affairs, and partly because, with the exception of Afghanistan's neighboring countries, the West and Russia view the Taliban as a threat to their national interests. Otherwise known as Osama Bin Laden's network of terror, al Qaeda had its origins in the uprising against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. When Muslims were recruited from all around the Middle East. The first actions of al-Qaeda against America were attacks on U.S. servicemen in Somalia. In August 1996 bin Laden issued a "Declaration of War" against the U.S. After relocaing forces to Afghanistan, al Qaeda and bin Laden were guests of the Taliban. Although Bin Laden is the face of al- Qaeda, there are other leaders as well. Bin Laden's advisor is Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's theological leader. In 1998, al- Zawahiri was one of five Islamic leaders to sign on to bin Laden's declaration calling for attacks against U.S. citizens. Al-Qaeda mainly operates as a franchise. It provides financial and logistical support to terrorist groups operating in the Philippines, Algeria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Kashmir. The principal stated goals of al-Qaeda are to drive Americans and American influence out of all Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, and to destroy Israel. Bin Laden has also said that he wishes to unite all Muslims and establish by all means necessary, an Islamic nation which follows the role of the first Caliphs. Osama Bin Laden is infamously known for his leadership of Al- Qaeda. In the 80's, Bin Laden helped to organize thousands of volunteers who came from around the Middle East as mujahideen, or warriors fighting to defend Muslims. In the mid- 1980's Osama Bin Laden bacame the head of the Muslim recruiting movement from mosques. Bin Laden also studied with radical Islamic thinkers and may have already been organizing al-Qaeda when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Bin Laden was outraged when the government allowed U.S. troops to be stationed in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. In 1991 he was expelled from Saudi Arabia for anti-government activities. After this, he established headquarters for Al- Qaeda in Sudan. Bin Laden was expelled from Sudan since they were under pressure from the U.S and Saudi Arabia. He then moved to Afghanistan, where he relocated al- Qaeda forces. Bin Laden openly admitted to being responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Besides that, he accused George Bush of negligence on 9.11.
He also threatened new attacks if the policies of the U.S. government did not change. PTSD and returning Vets Suicides of Returning Vets PTSD: What is it? Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after someone has been through a traumatic event. PTSD is commonly found in returning war Veterans, especially from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Side effects of PTSD include a relieving of a particular event that triggered the PTSD, feeling numb, depressed, and jittery. Many vets return home and are not the same afterward, which is mainly due to PTSD. PTSD is a serious mental condition, so it's very important that these affected veterans get the support and treatment they need. One reason vets may not get the help they need is because they don't get help in time, or don't go for help when they first showed symptoms.
Nearly 19,000 veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were treated for post-traumatic stress between 2002 and 2005. In addition, 14,000 of the veterans diagnosed with PTSD were also treated for drug dependencies -- although the mix of drugs differs somewhat from the Vietnam era -- and 11,000 were treated for depression. One third of all returning vets are affected by a mental disorder aftger returning home. Many refuse to get help, as they think it would make their fellow military peers look down on them. When one looks at the statistics of deaths of American soldierd in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are unfortunate but not surprising. In 2005 alone there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. These numbers are chilling. CBS news calls it the suicide epidemic, for former soliders are twice as likely to commit suicide than regular civilians. Veterans aged 20 through 24 who served in the war on terror highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. Six thousand suicides per year is quite a large number, especially when many of these suicides could have been prevented if they had gotten the help they needed. “Rates of neglect and abuse of the children of servicemen and women rose 42% within the family when the enlisted parent was deployed on a combat mission, according to a new study led by senior health analyst Deborah Gibbs of RTI International, a research institute in North Carolina. Previous studies have shown an association between combat-related deployments and higher levels of stress in the family, and it is this stress that is thought to play a major role in the maltreatment of children by the parent who stays home.”

“The study suggests that Mom is the one taking it out on the kids. During the deployment of her soldier-husband, rates of child maltreatment tripled; neglect quadrupled; and physical abuse nearly doubled.” Effects on Families By: Naomi Koliba and Liza Mackey
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