The invasion of Iraq by the US under George W Bush administration in 2003 was uncalled for, deceitful and it breached on the sovereignty of the Iraqi people. This paper highlights some of the reasons that warranted the invasion as, the need to topple Saddam Hussein oppressive regime, disarm Iraq, free the Iraqi people and combat terrorism. This paper also criticizes the invasion by stating that the war was a deliberate action to fight Saddam’s powerful regime, destabilizing Arab countries, disarm the Iraqi military and revenge. This paper also explores lack of conclusive evidence to all allegations, lack of United Nations support, and the validity of the war option.
The US Invasion to Iraq
The US invasion on Iraq was uncalled for and it breached on the Iraqi people independence as it was beyond the required interventions as per international law. This illustrates the extent to which American foreign policies continue to breach on other states policies. This is an attempt to ensure that the US acquires a super power political and economic stance. This write up is going to enlighten the reader on why it was important for the US to invade Iraq. This, write up is also going to argue against the rationality of Invading Iraq as purported by the US government under the leadership of President George Bush.
Rationality for Invading Iraq
The US plan to invade Iraq was put into place way before the election of President Bush in 2001. This plan was part of US foreign policy that was centered on stabilizing Arab countries with the highest levels of unrest. One of the reasons that the US government used to rationalize their attack on Iraq revolved around Saddam’s regime. This is attributed to the fact that Saddam’s regime was one of the most influential regimes in the Arab region thus a major contributor to the havoc witnessed within the Arab nations. Another reason that was apparent with regards to the US targeting Iraq revolved around the fact that Saddam’s regime was involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction during the 1991 Gulf War. This aspect was viewed as a major threat to the US and the global community (Catley & Mosler, 2007).
After the Gulf War experience, the US was very suspicious about Saddam’s regime and their involvement in production of weapons of mass destruction. This was followed by a number of economic sanctions by the US on Iraq in the quest to assert that Iraq involvement in production of biological weapons was unwelcomed. Some of the sanctions implemented by the US include a veto on flying over Iraq because the region was considered unsafe. This was done to guarantee the protection of the global community. Saddam and his allies are also reported to have the greatest influence on Iraqi’s policy formulation and implementation. Baring in mind that a majority of these policies were not people centered, it was important for the US to intervene in order to safe guide the interests of the Iraqi people. Therefore, it was important to relinquish Saddam’s powers and authority over Iraq and other surrounding Arad nations.
Another reason that was used to support why the US government invaded Iraq includes the production of weapons of mass destruction. According to the US Government and some members of the United Nations production of such weapons violates the Biological Weapons Convention that was ratified in 1972 to ensure that member states do not engage in the production of weapons that are destructive to humans. Even though Saddam’s government had vowed to paralyze the production of weapons of mass destruction, such as the alleged production of Anthrax, a lot of ambiguity and suspension was still at large, as other parties to the convention such as the US were reluctant to believe that Saddam’s regime fulfilled the promise (Catley & Mosler, 2007).
After various mandatory inspections by the United Nations Security Council following the Gulf war, no weapons or programs for mass production of nuclear weapons and other destruction weapons were recorded in Iraq. However, this stance changed in 1998 after some Inspection officials from the United Nations Security Council were expelled from Iraq’s territories. This incident raised eyebrows among United Nations members and thus proving the claim that the US had been trying to prove since the end of the Gulf War that, the Saddam regime was producing weapons of mass destruction in their quest to become a super power and threaten other nations such as the US and the UK (IBP USA, 2008).
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In late 2002, the United Nations Security Council resolved that it was important for Iraq to be disarmed with the weapons of mass destruction. This resolution which, under the United Nations Council Charter is referred to as Resolution 1441 allows members to the Council to undertake any means possible to ensure that a nation is disarmed. It is at this point that the US, UK, and other countries such as Poland and Spain took it upon themselves to invade Iraq in order to disarm the Saddam’s regime and relinquish his powers in the region. However, this claims only prepared the US towards launching any form of formal attack (Catley & Mosler, 2007).
Another reason that called for the need of the US to invade Iraq was to liberate the Iraqi people from an oppressive regime that was not people centered. Saddam’s regime was autocratic in nature and as such, it did not represent the needs of the people but the needs of the elites. Saddam’s regime was also above the law that governed the Iraqi people. This is supported by the fact that officials in this regime could get away with any form of misconduct while on the other hand; the Iraqi people were facing stringent laws and scrupulous punishments for breaching autocratic laws. According to the US government, this type of governance was against democracy, a subject that is very important to the American policy makers such as the then President George Bush (IBP USA, 2008).
It is also for this same reason that the US government was in support of the Iraq Liberation Act. The main aim of this act was to empower opposition leaders and the enemies within Saddam’s regime to take away power from Saddam for the benefit of the civilians who were sidelined and oppressed at the expense of their leader’s comfort. This was also seen as a protest to the overbearing power of Saddam in the oil regions of Iraq and his influence on the economic and political status of Iraq. Therefore, the need to deliver the Iraqi people from Saddam’s oppressive regime was a noble act by the US government in their cry for humanity, equality and freedom (IBP USA, 2008).
The September eleven attacks which comprised of four terrorist attacks coordinated by al-Qaeda followers -who were majorly Muslims against Americans and American policies- was the major event that triggered the beginning of war on Iraq by the American government. This attack left an estimated 3000 people dead or injured. This provoked President Bush to address the congress on the need to deal with terrorism from a global perspective, by way of attacking Iraq. The major reason that contributed to this finality was attributed to the fact that, Saddam Hussein and his regime had continuously associated with the alleged terrorist group through coordinated talks and meetings (Catley & Mosler, 2007).
It is also alleged that Saddam’s regime supported al-Qaeda activities by providing the group with training grounds that were under the watch of the Iraqi military. Saddam’s regime is reported to have provided support for the group through finances and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The plan to terrorize US is also believed to have been organized within Iraqi’s territories under the supervision of Saddam’s officers. The established links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda infuriated the US government leading to the invasion of Iraq (Catley & Mosler, 2007).
The plan to invade Iraq was successful as the US in collaboration with UK and other United Nations troops took twenty one days to throw Saddam Hussein regime out of power and deliver Iraq into democracy. Further, to ensure that justice was served to the people of Iraq, Saddam was captured in December 2003, sentenced and executed in 2006 for crimes against humanity (IBP USA, 2008).
Criticism for the Invasion of Iraq
The US government has over the years justified why it had to invade Iraq. However, a number of critics have clearly indicated that the US conduct with regards to the invasion of Iraq was uncalled for and neither was their reason for the attacks legitimate. Critics assert that the argument used by the US in their quest to explain why they had to invade Iraq does not hold any water as it was only based on mere speculation. This is with reference to the alleged presence of programs that dealt with production of weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear bombs. According to Tucker (2010), this claim was never clarified because up to this date no weapons of mass destruction have been discovered in Iraq.
Segell (2004) argues that the US used this claim as an excuse to get some members of the United Nations to join them in their quest to dismantle what they considered a regime that was ready to fight American foreign policies. Further, with Saddam’s influence on the Arab countries, America did not stand a chance to intimidate or influence policy formulation and implementation in such nations. Therefore, this was a political strategy orchestrated in order to gain power over Arab countries.
Further, Segell (2004) also asserts that the inspection officials that were expelled from Iraq were never expelled but, they retreated from their inspection schedules after they were directed by the US government to leave Iraq because plans to attach Iraq were already being implemented. This also proves that the inspectors were US spies as instigated by Saddam Hussein regime officials in their explanations as to why the inspectors had to live the country instead of fulfilling the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.
It is also alleged that the US government did not have any conclusive evidence that established a link between Saddam Hussein regime and al-Qaeda before the September eleven attacks. Two reports tabled in 2004 and 2006 by Carl Levin and the Defense Department respectively, clearly indicated that the American government did not have any tangible evidence that indicated close links between Saddam Hussein and any Islam related terror group. The two reports indicated that the Bush administration was involved in a conspiracy that was designed to illustrate Saddam Hussein involvement in the terror attacks in order to rationalize the Iraqi invasion (Tucker, 2010).
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Critics also argue that, the war on Iraq was not authorized by the United Nations. This is attributed to the fact that though members of the UN are allowed to intervene when issues of international importance are concerned, the use of force to disarm a country is not applicable under the United Nations laws. Therefore, critics argue that, the US overstepped their mandate as members to the United Nations by engaging in war in the name of disarming Iraq. Further, this invasion was not unanimously supported by all parties to the UN. Therefore, the US government was not acting on behalf of the global community, but it was fulfilling its own vision of solving hostilities that develop during the Gulf War (Tucker, 2010).
In view that the Saddam regime did not oblige to US foreign policies, this invasion was more of a vendetta for lack of submission. Segell (2004) also indicates that Saddam’s regime was more influential than the US regime with regards to the Arab region therefore, necessitating the need for the US to find a level ground by destabilizing Iraqi’s regime through invasion. Saddam’s resilience during the Gulf War was also a major underlying factor that did not augur well with the US government therefore, necessitating the need to fabricate information in order to outwit Saddam and his followers.
Other critics argue that war on Iraq was an economic strategy for the US. This is because, the main agenda of invading Iraq revolved around destabilizing the politics and economies of the Arab oil rich countries surrounding Iraq with the intention of controlling oil prices globally. Thus, the US was trying to strategically ensure that America become a super power at the expense of Saddam and his regime. Segell (2004) asserts that critics to the invasion of Iraq by the US argue that Saddam’s military was better equipped and trained as compared to the US military This again was viewed as a major threat to the US military, a condition that did not augur well with the Bush administration thus, calling for the need to disarm the Iraqi army before they made major strides towards strengthening Saddam’s command.
Burkeman and Borger (2003) assert that, going to war was not the best way of dealing with Iraq and all the allegations tabled against their leader and government. They argue that, there are other amicable and democratic ways of dealing with such issues of international importance. The fact that the US government did not consider dialogue as an avenue for conflict resolution is suspect to conspiracy. Therefore, questioning the rationality of the invasion and the validity of all claims table against Saddam Hussein and his regime.
In conclusion, it is quite evident that though there were valid reasons leading to the invasion of Iraq by the US government, a lot of questions are yet to be answered with regards to the real reason of the invasion, the validity of the claims and the rationality of opting to use force rather than employing democratic approaches.