War in Iraq
What allegations made the USA opt for military actions against Iraq? In discussing this topic such a question becomes central.
There exist many speculations regarding the real motives of the USA administration to invade Iraq. The USA attacked Iraq in 2003 alleging that there was an urgent or grave threat from the country. The USA cited numerous aims for carrying out military action in Iraq. People were made to assume that the attack was logical and necessary. Before conducting a research, I was tempted to assume that the USA had not applied all possible options such as diplomacy and negotiations before employing military action on Iraq.
During the attack there appears to have been a possibility of the existence of one or more objectives that the USA had to attack Iraq. These caused confusion among people. Many motives and arguments were put forward in order to justify the USA military attacks. Among the allegations that the USA had, Iraq was suspected to be developing weapons of mass destruction. Another allegation was that Iraq was working on nuclear plant in order to manufacture chemical and biological weapons. The world was made to assume that there was a substantive ground to consider Iraq as a threat to the USA and peace of the whole world.
People also imagined that the then Iraq president Saddam Hussein had a direct link with an international terror groups including al-Qaeda. His regime was also considered to be very oppressive and this deceived the world that by the end of the military action democracy would be spread in Iraq and the entire Middle East.
There was confusion as to whether the USA had a motive to secure control over major oil resources in Iraq. As we know, Iraq has the highest number of oil reserves on the planet.
It is interesting how the Bush Administration easily convinced the majority of the Americans to enthusiastically accept his policy of non-negotiation with countries that were suspected to be collaborating with terrorists. Another question worth research was why many Americans were made to believe that the administration was determined to avenge the 9/11 attack by attacking alleged sympathizers.
In the quest for truth, I conducted a comprehensive research to unearth the evidence that the US administration had to justify the Iraq conquest in 2003. In the research, I wanted to know why the USA saw military action as inevitable. The contact between the US and Iraq goes back to the 1963 coup. The US was alleged to have backed the 1963 coup against the government of Iraq, which was headed by General Abdul Karim Qassim. Abdul Karim had five years earlier deposed the western allied monarchy. In 1967 further breaking of US - Iraq relations occurred. Even after al Bakr seized power in 1968, their relation remained strained. In 1972, an Iraq Petroleum Company was seized and Iraq had to declare that they were prepared to use oil as a political weapon in order to counter the growing imperialism.
In 1979 counter Core Saddam Hussein seized power prior to the war in Iraq, the government of the United States and the United Kingdom had allegations that Iraq had possession of weapons of mass destruction. The end of Cold War period left USA and Iraq with strained relations. There existed constant mistrust between the two nations over their policy on international peace and security.
Over the years 2002 and 2003 there was a great uncertainty as to whether the USA would actually resolve to military invasion. Hardly did it seem like war time to almost everybody around the world. This belief was further emphasized by the fact that the UN nuclear experts sent to the country found no substantial evidence to suggest that the country was developing nuclear weapons or rather having huge deposits of uranium. In fact, in March 2004, the United Nations top two weapon experts said that the invasion of Iraq was not justified by the evidence in hand at the time. But the USA Vice President Dick Chiney responded by arguing that going by the track records of the international atomic energy agency on the matter, especially where Iraq was concerned, suggested that they had consistently underestimated or missed what Saddam Hussein was doing. He asserted that there was every reason to believe that the Iraq president had in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons.
Tension was however high over a possible war. Certain events around the White House suggested that the Bush administration had made a decision to go to war and deliberate plans were put in place. For instance, in August 2002, the White House created the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) with a sole mission “to market a war against Iraq to the American people”. According to a New York Time’s article on September 7, 2003, the Bush administration “was following a meticulous planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein” and had decided to “wait until after Labor Day to pick up their plan”. The knowledge that this development occurred two months before the congressional midterm elections and the Bush administration must have been actively trying to retain and win republican seats that could not be ignored. Not coincidently, on the same morning of September 8, the New York Times reported that Iraq had “sort to increase aluminum tubes for alleged use in enriching uranium to build a nuclear weapon”. This assertion has long been held by different people from different quotas as being false.
At the time, Bush officials used a television station to outline many other justifications for a preemptive war, displaying a notable coordination in their talking points:
- Hussein’s possession of WMD;
- Iraq contacts to lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta;
- Iraq’s ties to Al-Qaeda;
- Iraq was 6 months away from having a nuclear weapon.
All these allegations could not be evidenced. There is a strong belief circulating online that the USA was pushed by the uncertainties of post 9/11 world and hence there was the great zeal to take a military action.
Many parties from all corners of the world warned of the possible adverse effects of the war. During the run-up to invasion, professional associations and individual scholars contacted the civilian and military authorities in Washington warning of dangers to Iraq’s cultural heritage –the cradle of civilization, which includes some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures and sites, extraordinary museums and libraries as well as historical mosque and shrines, and hundreds of important archeological sites (Guardian, March 21, 2003).
Eventually, the war broke out in Iraq on March 2, 2003. The war was characterized by an extensive air campaign and the obvious high speed ground campaign that calumniated in the fall of Saddam regime on April 9, 2003. The most significant losses were, however, reported to have begun on 10th April 2003.
Among them were the cultural property and archaeological sites looting as the coalition troops that captured Baghdad and other Iraq cities did not act to protect cultural sites. They also failed or never attempted to prevent any acts of looting and destruction.
There was also the extensive damage to cultural property by the coalition forces. The damage to the important cultural sites caused by misguided coalition was adversely significant.
Significantly important was the cultural neglect and the lack of protection during the occupation. In response to public criticism to the extensive looting, Washington undertook an operation to recover the lost museum objects. The manner, in which this was done, raised questions as it ignored the basic human rights and left alone the fundamental cultural reservation for the Iraq people.
The extensive killing of civilians was a major outcry besides the high magnitude of human suffering that was experienced. Despite the assertion by the coalition troops to target areas with no population, there were extensive deaths. The numbers reported were highly reduced by the USA military reports on the war and the media accessibility was limited strategically perhaps to enable significant cover-up of certain facts.
The two governments claimed that this was a grave threat to their security and that of the world at large. The allegations were taken to the United Nations Security Council. The council passed a resolution, which called for Iraq to cooperate with the UN weapon inspectors lead by Hans Blix. In its report, the United Nation Monitory Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Neither was the Iraq president Saddam Hussein harboring and supporting al-Qaeda. According to major world news outlets, there was no evidence or meaningful connections.
Rejecting the reasons put forth by the US government to invade Iraq was not simple as it had been earlier thought or imagined. It was a talk that prompted a lot of library research. At first, the allegations that the US government under the presidency of George Bush had provided, appeared to be authentic, justifiable and morally upright so to say. Who would fancy a world at risk falling apart by entertaining selfish actions of few individuals of a country like Iraq, which does not require peace consciously? Eliminating troublemakers remains the only way to guarantee societal peace.
All said and done, I still wonder who would be given the key custodian of the world peace. Is it the US or any other country? If Iraq was manufacturing nuclear weapons, does it mean that the US was not? Who should be trusted in the possession of nuclear weapons: Iraq or the US? At this juncture I could not help noticing an element of hypocrisy in the US case.
This sent me to look for books, journals, magazines and newspapers to establish the relations between the US and the Middle East, particularly Iraq. Again I wanted to establish the economic status of states, their source and the future of their social-political and economic visions. In terms of natural resources, Iraq was at par. What a great feat to stir jealously claiming universal supremacy.
I found out that Iraq had many oil deposits and this is what motivated the Bush-uniformed men to force peace. From the above discussion we can observe that the Bush administration had made plans for the Iraq war and Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attack. The US had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil once Saddam Hussein had been conquered. Iraq witnessed an increase in the bombing of the oil facilities and the pipeline. Major world news sources confirmed that there had been secret meetings in the US. They had resolved to destroy OPEC cartel through massive increases in the production above the OPEC quotas. There had plans to privatize Iraq oil industry.
Mr. Robert Ebel, a former energy and CIA oil analyst confirmed that there were plans, which were pushed by the US, to sell off Iraq’s oil. They installed governing council in 2003. The council helped to instigate the insurgency and attacks on the US and British occupying forces. Another former CIA official Vincent Cannistraro and a counter-terrorism expert concluded that the unit from the office of special plans within the defense department was not appropriate. The unit was set up to gather and interpret intelligence information. However it obtained much of its information from Iraq national congress (INC) as an Iraq exile group. The group was headed by Ahmand Chalabi. Their agenda was primarily to oust Saddam Hussein.
On the issue of presence of weapons of mass destruction, James Bamford in his book, A Pretext for War, noted that the office of special plans supplied false or exaggerated intelligence on the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They used forgeries. The UN commission investigating presence of such weapons also confirmed Iraq had none. It can also be observed that the Bush administration was trying to retain Republican seats by using Iraq war campaign strategy in order to win the public. Major world news outlets including CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox also confirmed that Iraq had no direct links at all with the terrorist including al-Qaeda group. Iraq neither possessed weapons of mass destruction.
If the US government was open and honest about their reasons for the war in Iraq, it can be realized they had decided to attack Iraq in April 2001, six months before 9/11 attack. The main reason was to improve western access to Iraq oil. The decision for military action had nothing to do with 9/11, war on terrorism, violation of UN weapon inspection, weapons of mass destruction and Iraq human rights. These were just war-time propaganda.
The US – Iraq question refreshed the question of Cold War threats and the query as to whether the spillovers of the tensions of post-World War era were still well within the world. The position of peaceful negotiations between nations with conflicting ideologies can then be said to be at stake. The UN’s ability to achieve the goals it was created to attain need to be reviewed, especially on the maintenance of the international peace and security. The world population needs to be well-assured of the world safety by efforts to minimize if not eliminate the rising tension between the West and the nations in the East.
The partial goodwill of the US administration needs to be clarified, especially on foreign policy. The US needs to convince all interested parties that it evaluated all other options and found military action the most appropriate. Finally, every effort needs to be made towards easing tension between nations. The rationale is that the world cannot afford ‘a Third World War’. Every well-wisher wants to see peace prevailing in every corner of the globe and make people of all walks of life enjoy peace and liberty to make it possible to attain the fulfillment of a meaningful life.