The Iraq War

Can you answer these questions about the Iraq War which started when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003?
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Last updated: November 21, 2019
First submittedNovember 21, 2019
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Question
Answer
What 2001 event precipated the war, even though it had almost
nothing to do with Iraq?
The 9/11 Attacks
Who was the dictator of Iraq when the war began?
Saddam Hussein
That dictator had two sons. Name either.
Uday or Qusay
Who was the President of the U.S. when the war began?
George W. Bush
Who was the U.S. Secretary of Defense?
Donald Rumsfeld
Who was Prime Minister of the U.K.?
Tony Blair
Who was the U.S. Secretary of State, notable for falsely claiming to the U.N.
that Iraq had WMDs?
Colin Powell
What does the D in WMD stand for?
Destruction
What term was given to the early bombing campaign?
Shock and Awe
What was the nickname of Iraq Defense Minister Ali Hassan al-Majid?
Chemical Ali
What was the name of the countries that agreed to support the U.S.?
Coalition of the Willing
What did some U.S. congressmen rename "French Fries", in a fit of pique over
France's refusal to support the war effort?
Freedom Fries
Other than Iraq, who were the other two members of the "Axis of Evil"?
Iran
North Korea
What city, starting with the letter F, was a major center for the insurgency?
Fallujah
What was the nickname of the International Zone of Baghdad?
Green Zone
What company, formerly led by Dick Cheney, got several valuable
government contracts in Iraq?
Halliburton
What prison was the site of a scandal involving U.S. abuse of detainees?
Abu Ghraib
What autonomous region, with its capital at Erbil, was established in northeastern
Iraq after the war?
Kurdistan
What bloodthirsty "caliphate" sprung up in northern Iraq in 2014?
ISIS
+19
Level 79
Nov 21, 2019
Seriously, changing the name of the french fries because France didn't support the war was the most childish tantrum ever done... and it was made by grown-ups!
+7
Level 72
Nov 21, 2019
Germany refused to join as well. They should have renamed German Shepherds as "Freedom Shepherds".
+2
Level 81
Nov 21, 2019
They were called Alsatians during World War One in deference to culturally German area that France had occupied after Napoleon took it and which France had lost back to Germany in 1870-71.
+1
Level 58
Jan 21, 2020
Alsace is french since the westphalia treaty in 1648, nothing to do with bonaparte. To call it a occupation is tendancious at least. It was a part of the HRGE before that. If anything it was occupied during WWII.
+1
Level 74
Feb 14, 2020
^Do you mean tendentious?

I didn't know that word but it's the nearest that Google gave me and fits in context so I assume so.

Good word.
+7
Level 72
Nov 21, 2019
I think it is Orwellian to call them freedom fries.
+1
Level 71
Nov 21, 2019
Funny - liberating one of the most repressive regimes and calling it freedom is called "orwellian?"
+14
Level 74
Nov 22, 2019
^ that's not what s/he said
+4
Level 69
Jan 21, 2020
liberating, eh? that's what happened?
+1
Level 79
Jan 22, 2020
They were liberating the regime? From what? Life? Actually that makes sense.
+10
Level 65
Jan 21, 2020
"most childish tantrum ever done." I just imagine current GOP senators and the current president reading that and saying 'hold my beer.'
+5
Level 67
Jan 21, 2020
"Was the most childish tantrum ever done." Past tense. Now seemingly being surpassed on a daily basis.
+2
Level 71
Jan 21, 2020
To be fair, a lot of the people who had the tantrum in 2001 are also having a massive tantrum right now. As my grandma says: Maturity is not measured by age.
+1
Level 79
Jan 23, 2020
yeah you've identified two problems: stupidity in Congress and the troubling rate of incumbent reelection.
+2
Level 68
Nov 21, 2019
A bit more leeway on the spelling of the city starting with F. I got it thanks to Mr Google after 3 or 4 incorrect attempts.
+2
Level ∞
Nov 21, 2019
It's very lenient. The only tricky thing is that you have to type the ending H because we get a ton of complaints when we don't require the concluding letter.
+7
Level 71
Nov 21, 2019
Poor Iraq...
+1
Level 71
Nov 21, 2019
Why?
+24
Level 74
Nov 22, 2019
^ wtf kind of question is why?
Because of all the terrible things that the people have had to endure obviously.
+2
Level 56
Nov 22, 2019
I wanted to know the Americans opinion on whether they think that the Iraq War was justified or another game of the US for showing their power? Do you think that ISIS and Al Qaeda formed because of the US invading Iraq for no meaningful reason?
+8
Level ∞
Nov 27, 2019
Most Americans now think the war was a mistake. At the time of the invasion about half of Americans supported the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion_in_the_United_States_on_the_invasion_of_Iraq

+2
Level ∞
Nov 27, 2019
Al-Qaeda has been around since 1988.
+2
Level 70
Jan 21, 2020
And America’s support for Afghan rebel groups cleared the way for their rise.
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
Wan: didn't have a lot to do with it. The CIA helped arm the Mujahideen, who already existed and were fighting the Soviet union in the name of the defense of Islam before the Americans gave them Stinger missiles.

To answer SWAT: no, the formation of ISIS and Al Qaeda had little to nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq. In the case of Al Qaeda: nothing. In the case of ISIS: the destabilization of Iraq and Syria created an environment where ISIS could take shape, but the original founders of ISIS were fighting against what they saw as corrupt un-Islamic leaders in Damascus and Baghdad. They hate the West and the United States, and US wars fought on what they see as Muslim lands is part of the reason for that hate, but they're not exactly fans of Saddam Hussein, either. Unless the US invaded Iraq to start a conservative theocratic Islamic caliphate there, it would not have mattered to them what the rationale was. They see the US as infidels.
+1
Level 78
Jan 23, 2020
Regarding Afghanistan, although not completely historically accurate, the film Charlie Wilson's War (written by Aaron Sorkin who did The West Wing for TV and The American President film) was based on a true story and gives a fair picture of what was happening at that time in Afghanistan. It shows how a handful of people can change American foreign policy for what they believe to be the right reasons, but sometimes with unintended results - behavior that seemed to be repeated again in Iraq.
+1
Level 65
Jan 21, 2020
I personally did not support it at the time, and had some pretty heated debates with people who did. But, I will say that they all honestly believed it was the right thing to do at the time, and all of them from W on down to they guy at the mall who supported it were doing their best to be what they thought was patriotic. I miss that.
+4
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
I was split in 2002. I knew the war and its aftermath were not going to be as easy or rosy as Bush and Cheney and their allies in the media were predicting it would be, and that an ongoing occupation was likely to be horrible. At the same time, Hussein was routinely flouting UN resolutions and was undoubtedly a monster and a dangerous individual. I could see some rationale for taking him out, I just thought that the administration rushed in to it haphazardly and without adequate support from allies. I would have liked to have seen more effort placed on resolving any differences through diplomacy. I guess I was with the French.

As the occupation and Bush's inept presidency dragged on year by year, I gave up on the president and his administration and came to hate him and the war same as most of the rest of the country.
+2
Level 65
Jan 21, 2020
I did too. Absolutely hated him and Cheney (and Rumsfeld). But, I never thought they were traitors who were working with our enemies. So, you know, in that sense they were much better times.
+2
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
Speaking for my present self personally, I think that the invasion of Iraq was a horrible short-sighted mistake. It should have never happened, even if you believed in the rationale for it I don't think that it can be justified given the cost in lives; even if it could the execution was awful. Though the invasion and war went off mostly without a hitch, the buildup to it was highly problematic and alienated many American allies while strengthening hardliners among her enemies, and the subsequent occupation was marred by many very stupid choices starting with the disbanding of the Iraqi military and most recently culminating with the decision to assassinate a high-ranking Iranian official at an Iraqi airport.

The war was never about liberating Iraqis from the evil Saddam Hussein, and certainly was not about fighting "terror." Only the naive believe it was. However, it also was not a game for displaying American military power. Nor was it a cynical ploy to steal Iraqi oil.
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
You'd have to be ignorant to believe the latter characterizations, as well.
I believe that president Bush honestly believed that he was doing the right thing. But Bush was never a terribly deep thinker and his grasp of geopolitics was limited at best (though in both respects he is far superior to Trump, and he was also humble enough to seek help from advisors and take his job seriously, ill-suited for it as he was). In Bush's mind, Hussein was an evil man who had tried to assassinate his father. He was also something of an unpredictable wild card, constantly antagonizing the West and the international order, and he was sitting on top of a huge portion of the world's known oil reserves. I think that Bush probably thought that his father had made a mistake during the Gulf War when, after easily defeating the Iraqi military and pushing them out of Kuwait, the Americans voluntarily withdrew. Bush Jr. was seeking to correct this perceived mistake by removing Saddam from power.
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
Bush Jr. also had a (naive) dream of bringing democracy to the Middle East. He believed in all the flowery BS that many Americans do about democracy and capitalism, and was under the impression that after Saddam was toppled, a democratic free Iraq would rise up and flourish, inspiring other countries in the region to follow suit. He believed that a democratic Iraq would be friendly toward the US and the West, as historically most democratic countries get along relatively well with one another.
But the main thing was that he wanted to get rid of Saddam so that a Western-friendly government could replace him. It was believed that this would make the region and the world's economy and flow of energy more stable and reliable.

Of course, many of these assumptions were wrong. Though Bush's vision of the toppling of Hussein inspiring democracy across the Middle East did actually sort of come true - the Arab Spring was in large part inspired by the new democracy in Iraq.
+2
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
and it ushered in a wave of popular democratic uprisings across the Arab and Muslim world. In Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began, they were actually somewhat successful. In Egypt, they managed to oust military dictator Mubarak; but then not long after the democratically-elected Morsi was replaced by another military strongman. In Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Iran, pushes for democracy were quickly and violently suppressed and came to very little; though may have had something to do with some small democratic reforms in Saudi and Iran since. In Syria, Libya, and Yemen, democratic uprisings evolved in to awful, grinding, never-ending civil wars.
On balance, the entire region is considerably less stable now than before the Iraq War, gains for democratic values have been pretty minimal, sectarian violence has increased dramatically, terrorism has increased dramatically, thousands of Americans have died and the West is substantially *less* safe than it was.
+2
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
While I think Bush probably thought he was doing the right thing, I also think it's obvious that he got his math wrong, and that many of the things he took for granted or believed were wrong. I also think that many of the people he surrounded himself with (Cheney, et al.) were probably as much concerned with lining their own pocketbooks, or advancing their own political careers, as they were with actually making decisions that were right for the US, Iraq, or the world. Though Cheney probably also wanted to create a strong American foothold in the region, and believes in American hegemony and empire, it's hard to ignore the links with Halliburton etc. And this might be the inevitable result of electing two businessmen from the oil industry to run US foreign policy. No oil was ever stolen from Iraq (dummy Trump believes that it should have been), but that doesn't mean there weren't billions of $ to be made on contracting work, etc, in the new democracy the US installed there.
+1
Level 74
Nov 22, 2019
I wonder how many people would know what ISIS is an abbreviation for? I didn't - just found out after looking it up.
+1
Level 71
Nov 22, 2019
I know that the first IS stands for Islamic State.
+3
Level 81
Nov 22, 2019
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, aka ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
+2
Level 78
Nov 25, 2019
I thought it was DAESH now
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
Islamic State in Syria. aka ISIL. aka ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām (the State of Islam in Iraq and greater Syria). Da'esh is how Arabic-speaking people pronounce the acronym of the latter name, and is usually used by those who are mocking them in lieu of their preferred ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah.
+5
Level 64
Nov 27, 2019
Should accept Daesh.
+1
Level 66
Dec 4, 2019
I agree
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
9/11 did NOT precipitate the Iraq War. This is a complete and utter fallacy, QM. Just look up clips from Sean Hannity's show for August of 2001. The Republicans were pushing for the invasion of Iraq already, and were already trying to build a case for it. 9/11 had nothing at all to do with it. If anything, 9/11 DELAYED the invasion of Iraq, because Bush, somewhat reluctantly, was forced to do something about the Taliban and Al-Qaeda first, before he could pivot and turn his attention to what he, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were really interested in from day 1 of his presidency. They just incorporated the BS "War on Terror" talking points into their rationale for invading Iraq, but this was an addendum to the case that they had already been building for a year prior.
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
Of course many Americans do believe that The Iraq War was in response to 9/11, but many Americans also believe that Hillary Clinton has murdered over 50 people and is involved in human trafficking.
+1
Level 52
Jan 21, 2020
It's true that an invasion of Iraq was planned and being drummed up for a while. For example, the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act mandated that US foreign policy should "support a transition to democracy in Iraq", and later on the 2000 Republican party platform advocated using the ILA as a starting point to "remove" Saddam from power, which became official policy with the outcome of the election. However, I highly doubt an invasion would have happened without the political climate following the 9/11 attacks, and I think this is what QM is referring to by precipitate.
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2020
I maintain that if anything 9/11 delayed the Iraq War. Bush was going to invade one way or another.
+1
Level 74
Feb 14, 2020
Well of course Hillary Clinton is involved in a human trafficking network of paedophiles. Why else would she mention "pizza" when discussing what to have for "lunch" - that's obviously code for some very sinister activities...
+1
Level 67
Jan 21, 2020
The question on Kurdistan is false. It was not established after the 2003 war but in 1992, shortly after Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and the Kurdish uprisings.
+2
Level ∞
Jan 21, 2020
The reality is complicated, but I would say 2005 is the best date to choose for the dejure establishment of an autonomous Kurdistan.
+1
Level 82
Jan 21, 2020
Abu Ghraib should have more type-ins. It is called Abu/Abou Ghareeb/Gharib in Arabic.
+1
Level 70
Jan 21, 2020
why didn't it accept 'september 11 attacks' or 'twin towers attacks' for the incident that was used to justify the war? do we have to write the date in the American way to get counted as correct?
+1
Level 74
Jan 21, 2020
Yes I tried “World Trade Center Bombing” and that didn’t work
+2
Level 79
Jan 22, 2020
The World Trade Center bombing was in 1993. Different thing.
+1
Level 63
Jan 22, 2020
"America" is where the attack occurred, so why would it be written in any other format? Most Americans refer to those attacks as the 9/11 attacks so I think it is fitting.
+1
Level 58
Jan 26, 2020
Accept 'Edgar' as one of that dictator's sons? ;)
+1
Level 80
Jan 28, 2020
Eric and Don Jr. should also work.
+1
Level 18
Feb 8, 2020
Operation Iraqi Freedom was the most poorly thought out military operation ever with regards to the effect it's had on Iraq since Operation Iraqi Freedom/Telic. Whilst the execution of the military campaign was successful because America and the Coalition forces failed to come up with a plan to help rebuild Iraq the country has fallen into ruin
+1
Level 56
Jun 30, 2020
Given that it's been downplayed to the point that absolute ghouls like Bush, Cheney and Blair can show their faces in public without getting pelted with rotten eggs, it's not particularly surprising to see how little is known about this century-defining war crime.