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History is philosophy learned from examples.
Dionysius

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September 11, 2001

he September 11, 2001 attacks were a series of coordinated Islamist terrorist attacks carried out in the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. According to the official 9/11 Commission Report, nineteen men affiliated with al-Qaeda, a network of militant Islamist organizations, hijacked four commercial airliners. They crashed one into each of the two tallest towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City, shortly after which both towers collapsed. The third aircraft crashed into the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters, the Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, just outside the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.. The fourth plane crashed into a rural field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania following passenger resistance.

The attacks were the most lethal ever carried out in the United States. The death toll of 2,986 exceeded the toll of 2,403 dead after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The September 11th attacks are arguably the most significant events to have occurred so far in the 21st Century in terms of the profound economic, social, cultural, and military effects that followed in the United States and many parts of the world.

The Invasion of Iraq

The 2003 invasion of Iraq, also called the Iraq War or "Operation Iraqi Freedom", is a war that began March 20, 2003, between the United States, United Kingdom and a coalition of their allies, against Iraq.

2003 Invasion of Iraq

Map of Iraq
Date
02:30 UTC March 20, 2003–April 15, 2003
Location
Iraq, Southwest Asia
Prelude
Iraq disarmament crisis
Targets
  • Alleged weapons of mass destruction.
  • Opponents of the Kurdish allies of the USA in the North.
  • Eliminate Human Rights abuses.
  • Deter terrorist support being gained from Iraq.
Results

The invasion began without the explicit authorization of the United Nations Security Council, and some legal authorities take the view that the action violated the U.N. Charter. The Bush Administration has cited Security Council resolutions from early 1990s as legal justification, though there is no clear position in any of them with regard to the use of military action against Iraq.

On 17 March 2003, in his Address to the Nation, U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his two sons Uday and Qusay leave Iraq, giving them a 48-hour deadline [1] (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/iraq/20030317-7.html). The following day, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer recinded Bush's previous statement, saying that the U.S. would invade Iraq whether Saddam Hussein left or not [2] (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030318-4.html).

United States military operations were conducted under the name Operation Iraqi Freedom. United Kingdom military operations as Operation Telic, and Australian operations as Operation Falconer.

After approximately three weeks of fighting, Iraq was occupied by coalition forces and the rule of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath Party came to an end. Subsequently, the period known as post-invasion Iraq began. Approximately 260,000 United States troops, with support from 45,000 British, and smaller forces from other nations, collectively called the "Coalition of the Willing", entered Iraq primarily through a staging area in Kuwait. Plans for opening a second front in the north were abandoned when Turkey officially refused the use of its territory for such purposes. Forces also supported Iraqi Kurdish militia troops, estimated to number upwards of 50,000.

Facing them was a large but poorly equipped military force. The regular Iraqi army was estimated at 290,000–350,000 troops, with four Republican Guard divisions with 50,000–80,000 troops, and the Fedayeen Saddam, a 20,000–40,000 strong militia, who used guerrilla tactics during the war. There were an estimated thirteen infantry divisions, ten mechanized and armored divisions, as well as some special forces units. The Iraqi Air Force and Navy played a negligible role in the conflict.

Celebrity Deaths

  • Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, died February 12 at the age of 77.
  • Walter Matthau, actor best known for his costarring roles in The Odd Couple and The Sunshine Boys, died July 1 at the age of 79.
  • Ring Lardner Jr., last surviving member of the Hollywood 10, died November 1 at the age of 85.
  • Larry Linville, actor best known as Major Burns on the tv version of MASH, died April 10 at the age of 60.
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