Iraq has been a country at war for more than 20 years. Iraq went to war with Iran in 1980 and continued the devastating conflict until 1988. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraq maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns since Sept. 4. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein claimed the dispute over the Shatt al Arab as the reason for his attack on Iran. After two years of peace, a misunderstanding between Kuwait and Iraq started the next war for Iraq. In July, 1990 negotiations between Iraq and Kuwait stalled with a huge Iraqi army amassed on Kuwait's borders. August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and within a few days the United Nations gives Iraq a withdrawal deadline of January 15, 1991. Iraq doesn't move. On January 16, 1991, one day after the deadline set in UN Resolution 678, the coalition launched a massive air campaign codenamed Operation Desert Storm: more than 1,000 sorties per day dropped bombs on Iraq targets. The bombing was followed by a ground attack. One hundred hours after the ground campaign started, President Bush declared a ceasefire and on February 27 declared that Kuwait had been liberated. Iraq continued to simmer and in 1998 President Clinton bombed Iraq again for a period of 4-Days between December 16th and December 19th, 1998, it was the "largest bombing offensive to date" against Iraqi targets. Clinton's reason was to prevent Saddam Hussein from being allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons. The bombing did not alter the course of Iraq's direction. Many in the media and countries who dislike America enjoyed the cat and mouse game Iraq played with the US. Finally in March of 2003 the third president facing Saddam Hussein laid down the gauntlet and ended the charade. The war, "Operation Iraqi Freedom" began on 20 March 2003. US Forces entered Baghdad 3 weeks later and the war of armies ended. In the first year of the conflict in Iraq, American soldiers sustain 568 deaths. For comparison sake that is 31 less deaths than the number of murders committed in Chicago, IL for the same period of time. Chicago murder count for 2003 was 599. US losses in Iraq for a one year period from march 20, 2003 to March 19, 2004 was 568. In short we have an awesome military that is professional and can make a war zone safer than the city of Chicago.

Homicide Rate in America
The District of Columbia (Washington DC) finished fifth in number of homicides behind Los Angeles at 654, Chicago at 648, New York at 590 and Detroit at 402 for the year 2003 according to the Washington Times.

Current events and an overview of the past in Iraq
This is a great site That gives you an overview of the constant political struggle that has been a part of Iraq for the last 80 odd years. Covering the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1918 up to the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Frontline: the war behind closed doors: chronology - the evolution of the bush doctrine
A war with Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein would be the first test case in the Bush administration's larger strategy for projecting U.S. power and influence in the post-Cold War world. Here's an overview of the people, the events, the major statements, and the policy battles behind what's become known as the Bush Doctrine.

Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad
Even a very short, victorious shooting war against a disorganized, dispirited, vastly outnumbered and underequipped enemy is hell. That is the central message that Los Angeles Times correspondent Zucchino brings home startlingly well in this riveting account of the American military's lightning capture of Baghdad in April 2003.

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom consisted of the largest special operations force since the Vietnam War. While the vast majority of special operations forces were American, the United Kingdom and the Australian militaries also provided forces.

Boots on the Ground: A Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq
A fast-moving story of courage and competence, written by an observer who offers a far different picture from what was presented by our mainstream media. A moving tribute to what free soldiers united in a common cause can accomplish.