The Iraq War
The Iraq war started in March 2003, with Iraq on one side and United States alongside United Kingdom and smaller contingent from Australia, Denmark and Poland on the other side. The initial invasion lasted between March 2003 to May 1 2003, whereby US released 248,000 troops, United Kingdom 45,000 troops, and Australia 2,000 and Poland 194 troops to attack Iraq (Hutchinson 190).
Reasons for Iraq War
Several reasons for Iraq war were cited by Administration of United States. The main objective of this war was to stop Saddam Hussein, the then president of Iraq from possessing and using weapons of mass destruction which he had been using even on his own people. The people of Iraq hated Saddam Hussein because of his brutal acts of rape and mass murders. This was evidently so because mass graves of Hussein's people had been uncovered and reported over and over again. He used poison gas on his own people, killed several political rivals and therefore his people deserved to be liberated from him (Bowman). Saddam had the largest oil deposits in the world, earning billions of dollars in revenue. He had everything but had no heart. He made his people live in extreme poverty as he build for himself a military, not for defense but for offense. He used his defense to attack and plunder Kuwait. Since Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and others did not have their own military; they asked US for help (Hutchinson 198).
The second reason for Iraq war was because Saddam Hussein had ignored and violated resolutions of United Nations Security Council relative to inspections and disarmament. United States administration argued that this warranted Saddam's removal in order to protect the credibility and integrity of United Nations (Bowman). He was further said to have been in possession of weapons of mass destruction which posed a threat to Iraq's neighbors and to US interests in the region (Hutchinson 197).
Saddam was said to have had direct or indirect links with the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on World trade Center Tower, the pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania in September 11, 2001. Thus warranting war to fight against terrorism (Bowman).
Consequences of the War
During this war, it is estimated that more than 1.5 million people were killed, at least 157 Iranian towns with a population of over 5,000 people were destroyed and 1,800 villages were virtually wiped off (Hutchinson 198-199). There was massive destruction of Iraq's oil reserves, material destruction on water resources, electricity supply, buildings and structures.
Was the Iraq War Justified?
Many questions have been raised on justification of reasons given by US administration for Iraq war. Countries such as England, France, and North Korea possess weapons of mass destruction but they have never been compelled to surrender their weapons. In any case, all nations have a right of self defense and this right entails the right to possession of weapons. Much as Saddam might have been an evil man killing and committing inhuman acts to his own people, those attacking Iraq did not do anything to show their concern for Iraq people. They should have ended sanctions imposed upon Iraq, they should have assisted Iraq to rebuild water supplies, electrical power systems and buildings which had been destroyed during the war even tyrants have been killing their own people for many centuries with all kinds of weapons without justifying warfare. No nation is morally bound to warfare in defense of any people other than its own (Bowman).
Under the terms of gulf war ceasefire, Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were to be destroyed and indeed Saddam complied pretty well with United Nations inspection and destruction of weapons of mass destruction although at times he had to be kicked and dragged by inspectors, the job was done. If US administration during this time really cared about credibility and integrity of United Nations, they would not have spent the last several decades protecting Israel from punishment for their flagrant and continuing violation of UN Resolution 242 (Bowman).
There has never been evidence of that Saddam had any ties with Al Qaeda or any other terrorist network. Much as they tried and wanted to find evidence, the US administration during did not find any evidence linking Saddam with Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attack (Bowman).
- Statistics on human and village loses extracted from: Amir Taheri, The Cauldron: The Middle East Behind the Headlines, (Hutchinson, 1988), pp. 198-199; on refugees see: Martha Wenger and Dick Anderson, `The Gulf War,' MERIP Middle East Report, 17:5 (September-October 1987), p. 25.
- Tiel Jeffrey, War with Iraq: Right or Wrong. Ashbook Center 2002 http://www.iraq-up-close-and-personal.com/causesofwarwithiraq.html Iraq Up Close and Personal Cuses of War with Iraq http://www.skeptically.org/curpol/id2.html The Reason For the Wr: Oil Harpers Magazine. Sunday, April 10, 2005/ Bowman, Robert Why War With Iraq It's Really anout Saudi Arabia. http://www.rmbowman.com/ssn/iraq2.htm