Term Paper: Iraq War History Teaches Humans Lessons

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Iraq War

History teaches humans lessons. History tells us that when American occupation in Vietnam took the country to hell but today the country survived. Americans withdrew from Vietnam and country was built again from the ashes. It was not American forces that eventually rebuilt Vietnam. It was the people of the country who did not give up and took the country out of trouble. There are numerous examples in which occupying forces left the country and the countrymen themselves fought with the difficult situations. The force and power of the nation itself can never be undermined. Today people in Iraq have a difficult situation to deal with but Iraqis themselves have to come victorious in the current scenario.

Thesis Statement:

People in Iraq can become a force of change ad only they can put an end to the violence that has engulfed the country. They can do it by creating consensus within factions and sects, by creating consensus among factions and sects and by working under a single and umbrella leadership.

Background:

After the success in Afghanistan, the U.S. administration had the Iraq situation to deal with where they were facing defiance from the Saddam Hussein. U.S. had the opinion that it wanted to deal with the tyrant regime that is hiding weapons of mass destruction. They also viewed the regime of Saddam Hussein as the epitome of tyranny and a hurdle in the U.S. vision of democratic and peaceful Middle East. U.S. finally invaded Iraq and toppled the Saddam Government.

Critics claim that Iraq invasion was one of the biggest mistakes of the Bush Administration. Instead of controlling Al-Qaeda and its network worldwide the administration entangled itself in the tricky situation in Iraq. The brouhaha created by the administration regarding the weapons of mass destruction fizzled out and a civil war tied U.S. resources in Iraq. Proponents on the hand view it as an attempt by the administration to free Iraq and its people from the tyranny of a suppressive regime. "In reading the materials on the war, one is struck by the fact that, whatever else was going on, the war against Iraq had an unmistakable humanitarian component. Liberating Iraq was always part of the motivation for the invasion. The public debate made clear that, other things being equal, the fact that the target of military action was such a notorious tyrant was a reason in favor of the war. Removing tyranny is not always a sufficient reason for war, but it certainly inclines us toward intervention" (Teson, 2005).

Iraq after Saddam:

After the toppling of Saddam government, security situation in Iraq could not be controlled by the coalition forces. The chaos that started with looting and plundering soon after Saddam's fall ended in blood and gore. The years that ensued saw all kinds of violence erupting in Iraq creating a real mess for the U.S. government. 2004 in particular can be considered very bad for Iraq as number of attacks increased every day and targeted important occasions like the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) transfer of power, Ramadan and later the January 2005 election. So, 2005 also kicked with violent actions of the insurgent forces within Iraq. During this period mainly Sunni dominated regions in Iraq remained badly affected. The attacks in Iraq targeted the Coalition Forces, Iraqi Security Forces, Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) and foreign nationals to intimidate U.S. As well as general public. Even though officials and infrastructure were targeted primarily but consequently Iraqis suffered the most.

The real problem with Iraq's situation is that the real culprits behind all this insurgency remained unclear. In this scenario the military or force option remained mostly ineffective. Many say that the solution of the problem lies in political uplift and economic well-being. However, in grave situations economic uplift is not possible when the cities are burning and dozens of people are being killed daily creating a worse law and order situation. "The basic approach of the Pentagon to the insurgency was right from the beginning. 'The strategy was always political as well as military,' says a Pentagon official. A counterinsurgency is never about simply killing enemy fighters the way it is -- or at least seems -- on a conventional battlefield. Insurgents have an endless capacity to replicate themselves, unless political conditions are created that drain them of support. If top policymakers always knew that intellectually, we have had to stumble our way to finding the correct ways to act on the insight" (Lowry, 2005).

Fight after the War:

Both the coalition forces and Iraqi people started their fight against these new enemies acting within society. Some of the positive developments were:

Establishment of Security Forces: Poor post war planning by the U.S. coalition forces in Iraq became the cause of initial commotion created by the security vaccume. The situation after the fall of Saddam's regime gave insurgents a chanse to organize and recruite unemployed youth. The youth was heavily used in the initial activities against the coalition forces. The Iraqi people again came forward in nation rebuilding efforts when security forces were set up in Iraq. Despite attempts to sabotage the whole process of establishing Iraq's own security forces by bombing recruits and recruitment centers, Iraqis did not give up and Iraqi Security forces started functioning. They knew they had to take charge and so instead of giving up in the face of opposition by the violent elements, iraqis are now trying to handle the situations themselves with ofcourse the help of coalitin forces.

Political Process: Political process is the first step in moving towards peace anywhere. Once political process is underway the nation can take charge of the rebuilding efforts. In Iraq the political process started with election in 2005. Iraqis have a will and determination to fight anything as we saw that Iraqis braved the worst law and order situation to cast their votes kick off the democratic process in their country. Though America is trying to stabilize a constitutional democracy in Iraq but it was people's psrticipation that made first elections a possibilty. "Much of the world was surprised and thrilled by the dramatic efforts of Iraqis to vote even in the face of terrible threats. January 30 demonstrated clearly that most Iraqis want democracy, and are willing to sacrifice to implement it" (Muravchik, 2005).

Formation of Government: After the election it was a very difficult tasks to bring Shiities, Sunnis, Kurds and the secular forces together U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad had to really work hard to get these forces together to make this government work under the leadership of prime minister al-Maliki. The formulation og governbment increased hope that Sunni insurgeny and *****e militias would be controllled by it in the future. Though al-Maliki is not a very popular fgure among common public and his pariality is challenged by the critics, still formation of government can be considered a step in the right direction.

Sunni Participation: Insurgency in the beginning was more by the Sunni Bathist elements as they resisted change and were fearful of the future position of their sect's representation in the country. Sunnis themselves later on came forward helped in overcoming the insurgency by participation in the peaceful dialogue. Another example of Iraqis' will to fight insurgency can be seen in this Sunni participation in the political process and as a result this particular insurgency subsided. The insurgency however never ended but reduction in its impact can be considered a good move.

Fight with Foreign Elements: The current turmoil in Iraq is mostly created by those coming from outside the country. Different elements are supporting such actions as it has been witnessed that those captured recently by the Iraqi or coalition forces have been non-Iraqis. For the current insurgency many put the blame on foreign financiers, jihadis and even the governments of Syria and Iran. Jihadi forces again can be dealt sternly by the Iraqis themselves. They should not let themselves get exploited by such forces into helping or abetting their plans.

Current Burning Issues

Bridging the Sunni-Shiite Divide: Iraqi government and the Bush Administration are trying to improve the situation of Sunni Shhiite division in Iraq. Firstly they considered the murder of Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi a harbinger of change and they hoped that the situation would improve but sadly that did not happen. In later developments further efforts made by appointing a Sunni and a Shiite on two prominent ministries of Defence and the Interior. The two important appointments on teo crucial ministries dealing with the security situation were meant to deal with the corruption in them. Both the ministers were touted as non-sectarian personalities brught to end shiite and sunni division even within the security forces. For example, Shiite militias present at different levels in police and other sewcurity forces used their power to victimze the Sunnis who previously used their power and marginalized and victimized them.

The Sunni Shhite divide has been hard to bridge. Prime Minister al-Maliki also seems helpless in managing the shaky government… [END OF PREVIEW]

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