Below is a letter I wrote to BYU's Daily Universe, it was published in the opinion section, responding to an earlier opinion piece that a BYU student that served in Iraq for the US military wrote.
Dear Daily Universe,
I would like to take issue with Kyle Gronegut’s assertions regarding the Iraq war, as published on Friday Feb. 29th 2008. Gronegut contends that the US military is waging “a war of freedom” to liberate Iraqis. However, the US cannot be liberating Iraqis when, according to polls conducted last summer by the BBC, 79% of Iraqis either strongly or somewhat oppose the US military presence in Iraq (53% and 26% respectively, BBC, September 10, 2007). Gronegut contends that pulling out would mean leaving “the country to fester and rot.” According to focus groups conducted for the US military, however, “Iraqis of all sectarian and ethic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of ‘occupying forces’ as the key to national reconciliation (Washington Post, December 19, 2007).” Gronegut sees the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq as crucial part of the so-called War on Terror. However, the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies contend unanimously that “the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks (New York Times, September 24, 2006.).” Simply put, the war in Iraq is a war of aggression that has led to the tragic deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and almost 4,000 US soldiers. Rather than support it, we as Mormons should instead “renounce war and proclaim peace (D&C 98).”