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GET UP, STAND UP: The Story of Pop and Protest Flash Points
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War in Iraq
War in Iraq

Watch the video (U.S. Army soldiers in Fallujah, Iraq)
In March 2003, a U.S.-led coalition launched a preemptive war against Iraq. The administration of President George W. Bush charged that the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the United States and its allies because it was continuing to stockpile weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), in violation of the cease-fire agreement brokered at the end of the Gulf War in 1991, and had ties to terrorists, including al Qaeda. The coalition, dominated by troops from the United States and United Kingdom and aided by a few other nations, defeated the Iraqi military in several weeks. Attempts to reconstruct and stabilize the nation after the Hussein regime was toppled -- beginning with the U.S.-led Coalition Provincial Authority (CPA), which was replaced by the Iraqi-led interim government that drafted a proposed Iraqi constitution and held elections for a transitional National Assembly in January 2005 -- have been hampered by an insurgency that has grown more violent since the end of major combat operations in May 2003.

The U.S. decision to go to war was supported by a majority of Americans, according to polls in 2003, but it also sparked large antiwar protests in the United States and Europe. New songs of protest that have emerged include System of a Down's "Boom!," the Beastie Boys' "In a World Gone Mad," and Billy Bragg's "The Price of Oil." Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" and Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" have become popular hits with those who support the war.

Air Force fighter jets over Iraq and antiwar protests


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(Photos: Department of Defense [top right and bottom left])

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