I pull this section directly from Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
The roots of this current conflict in Iraq are rooted in money. Even Najinksy, the eccentric Russian ballerina put it best. I know why wars are fought. Wars are fought over commerce [money].
Begin passage from Howard Zinn:
The United States fitted the idea of W.E.B. Dubois (noted Black socialist activist). American capitalism needed international rivalry--and periodic war--to create an artificial community of interest between rich and poor, supplanting the community of interest among the poor that showed itself in sporadic movements.
This was in 1917!
Visionaries like George Orwell saw this coming. Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us all of the the presence of the military-industrial complex. But the roots of this all started with the first World War. In reality, the roots of this started at the turn of the last century when America became an imperialist nation due to a totally unreasonable, irrational conflict with the Spanish in 1898.
My own great-grandfather, in a spirit of devotion, took his place amongst the throngs clamoring for war and glory. He was poor and needed money. In that respect, men from the poorest ranks have always fought our conflicts. My great-great grandfather fought, in true mercenary fashion, for the North during the Civil War.
Although much has changed, some things still stay the same.