Term Paper: Iraq War-Justification

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[. . .] But they must be reminded of the facts to help them understand that containment without military action was no longer possible since Saddam had repeatedly thwarted all attempts of non-military containment. Once he threw out the U.S. inspectors in 1998, United States made numerous attempts to restore them but failed.

Inspection is at the heart of containment, and as Mr. Blix so often emphasizes in his book, "Disarming Iraq," only a credible military threat could restore the inspectors, and only maintaining that threat could keep them there. Mr. Bush did succeed in restoring the inspectors in the fall of 2002, but it was not possible to maintain a military threat for more than a few months. A serious force could not be retained in the region for any considerable period, and once reduced could not realistically be replenished, considering all the doubts there would be as to whether a threat required new forces. We now know the inspectors would have shortly reported there were no weapons (probably because the stockpiles, the red-herring of all red-herrings, were destroyed and the facilities dismantled or hidden), making it impossible to again threaten Iraq. (Borden: 2004)

Anti-war quarters obviously believe otherwise. They refuse to accept that there was no other way of containing Iraq but through military attacks. They only react to the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq and feel that since David Kay also confirms this, there was certainly no reason to launch military attack against Saddam's regime. They believe that Bush actually deceived the public and Congress in his desire to attack Iraq when other means of containment were available. They feel that since containment worked in some cases in the past such as Soviet Union, it would have worked in Iraq's case as well.

This may sound like a valid argument but we must not forget that Saddam was no ordinary dictator. He was a man who would ruthlessly pursue his ambitions even if that meant using chemical and biological weapons to wipe out a sizeable population. This is evident from the fact that Saddam attacked his own neighbors and used chemical weapons too. "...the U.S. State Department lists 10 incidents of Iraqi chemical attacks between August 1983 and March 1988. All were launched against Iranian and Kurdish populations, resulting in casualty tolls in the tens of thousands. Saddam would have used these weapons against Americans, too, if he'd been given the chance."(Feulner 2004) The critics argue that U.S. should have used other means of containment the way it did in Soviet Union's case. Undoubtedly United States' use of non-violent containment during the Cold war worked extremely well, but for that kind of containment there are certain requirements which were found missing in the case of Iraq. In the word of Senator McCain:

For a policy of containment to work, as it did in the Cold War, four components are necessary: reliable allies; a clear goal with a consistent doctrine; the economic and military capability to enforce the doctrine; and the political will to support the demands of the policy. We had each of these assets -- allies, doctrine, capabilities, and political will -- during the Cold War, when a policy conceived in the 1940s endured over four dangerous and tumultuous decades until our adversary collapsed. We enjoy none of these assets today with regard to Iraq. (Senator McCain statement: 2003)

Thus while it may appear to the opponents of war that other means of containment were available, the U.S. administration knew that those means were could never work in the case of Iraq because of the absence of significant factors. A policy of containment couldn't possibly work and regime change was thus found to be the only alternative. This alternative could be achieved with military attack only. We therefore believe that the world is definitely a much safer place now with Saddam no longer enjoying a position of power in Iraq.

References

Arthur Borden, Saddam, the uncontainable; Any terror group could have done his bidding.(OPED) The Washington Times; 9/20/2004

David Kay: Public testimony: Key excerpts: Retrieved online 24th September 2004:

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/archive/index.php/t-1638.html

ED FEULNER, Iraq war is just and necessary The Record (Bergen County, NJ); 9/21/2004;

U.S. Senator John McCain Center for Strategic & International Studies Washington, D.C. February 13, 2003 Retrieved online 24th September 2004:

http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20030218a6.html [END OF PREVIEW]

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Iraq War-Justification.  (2004, September 25).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/iraq-war-justification/5971552

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"Iraq War-Justification."  Essaytown.com.  September 25, 2004.  Accessed May 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/iraq-war-justification/5971552.