Term Paper: Iraq War

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[. . .] C., that every major move Bush makes in terms of publicity or PR or policy, is orchestrated or at least partially tweaked by Rove.

According to Time Magazine (Elliott, 2003), on May 1, 2003, Bush landed "in flying gear on the deck of the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln" - which had a huge banner reading "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED." Bush strolled across the deck of the carrier and made a speech in front of proud sailors. "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," he declared to the troops assembled. The war, he continued, had been carried out "with a combination of precision and speed and boldness" which the Iraqi forces did not expect; "the world had not seen" such precision, speed, and boldness, he boasted.

But that PR "photo opportunity" appearance by the U.S. president - who, it is worthwhile to note, was "elected" to office on a 5-to-4 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court, not by a popular vote of the people - was a disaster. Since Bush made that speech on the aircraft carrier, over 240 U.S. military personnel have been killed (USA Today, 2003). That brings the total killed in Iraq to something over 380, but it's hard to be specific, because more soldiers are being killed each day. There is the compelling sense that no plan was put into effect to deal with this Islamic country following the fall of Saddam. "Americans in the know claim that thousands of 'insiders' were on 'our side' and would 'put down their arms'" (Shabin, 2003) when the U.S. army rolled into Iraq. But, the article by Shabin (in the journal, The Middle East) continues, but now, "almost all Iraqis who supported the invasion, claim they have been ignored, left out, and in some cases subjugated to house arrest or detention." Shabin also says that by "handing over power to disconnected groups [in Iraq] rather than institutions the Americans have made their own presence a pre-requisite for stability." On top of that, the Middle East research article continues, "The chaos that reigns in Iraq is good for a few, mainly American businessmen seeking to create a foothold in Iraq" prior to a new set of rules are instituted.

Meanwhile, Bush's "favorability" numbers have dropped to 54%, according to Investor's Business Daily (Guinto, et al., 2003), and his "job approval" rating dipped to 51.9% (a drop of 10.1% since April). His "leadership rating" slid to 55.9%, as well. And the news is not good: despite "five months of searching," according to Time Magazine, "the weapons of mass destruction...are still nowhere to be found." In fact, there is currently a team of 1,200 troops, led by David Kay (former CIA weapons expert), searching for WMD, and "they have come across only parts and pieces and things..." (Elliott, 2003).

The money aftermath: Billions to corporate friends of Bush to "rebuild" Iraq

It's no secret that prior to joining Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, Dick Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton. And it is no secret now - although it was for several months - which Halliburton has profited enormously from the Bush effort in Iraq. Indeed, "Halliburton scooped up the biggest contract" (Europe Intelligence Wire, 2003): $2.3 billion...to support the U.S. military and rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure." In fact, Democrats in the U.S. Congress are demanding an investigation into Bush's "no-bid" contracts to Halliburton and others - and some of those contracts were awarded by Bush prior to the launching of an attack on Iraq.

The other Halliburton contract that senators want to look more closely at is a $1.25 billion deal to "rehabilitate Iraq's oil fields," according to Europe Intelligence Wire (EIW). That deal was originally reported to be a $700 million contract, but the truth leaked out that it was in fact $1.25 billion, according to EIW. Also, EIW has published another report that states: "firms doing U.S....business in Iraq and Afghanistan donated more to President George W. Bush's 2000 election campaign than they gave any other politician in the past 12 years" (EIW, 2003). That research was done by the Center for Public Integrity, a watchdog group in Washington. There are 70-plus U.S. firms now with contracts in Iraq that gave money to Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, according to CPI's story in the EIW. Those 70+ contractors gave more than $500,000 to Bush to help him get elected, and now they're reaping the rewards of political patronage to the tune of $8 billion in construction business in Iraq. As for Halliburton, they're doing very well; according to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Oct 2003), "the war may be taking a toll on Americans, but at least it's sparking a turnaround at Halliburton." In fact, Cheney's old company has "converted a half-billion-dollar quarterly loss a year ago into a tidy quarterly profit for the same period this year." The reason, of course, is that Halliburton is "bolstered by a monopoly on hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi rebuilding and oil contracts" awarded by Bush, with no bids taken.

The $87 billion Bush aftermath

Bush just recently managed to push through legislation that will allow his Administration to spend another $87 billion on Iraq. A near majority of U.S. Senators were demanding that at least half of the $87 billion Bush asked for would be a loan, to be paid back when the Iraq oil supplies are up and running again. It is a fact that Iraq has the second largest oil reserve in the world - right behind Saudi Arabia. But Bush threatened to veto the bill if any of it were made a loan.

Meanwhile, Time Magazine (Elliot, 2003) published a partial list of what one portion of the $87 billion would go for in Iraq. 1) One billion to train Iraqi police and fire fighters (although Bush fought a $200 million increase for America's own police and fire fighters recently); 2) $5.7 billion for electricity, including $1 billion to rehabilitate Iraq's infrastructure for electricity (and here in America, there was recently a huge blackout on the East Coast because of old, out-dated, antiquated electrical infrastructure delivery system); 3) $2.1 billion to "import" petroleum products and invest in oil infrastructure (the world's second-largest oil producer "importing" oil makes no sense); 4) and most ridiculous, according to Time, $1 million to "build a museum documenting atrocities by Saddam Hussein."

Aftermath: non-support from other Islamic nations

According to the New York Times (Bearden, 2003), since the focused attacks began (roughly after May 1), "most Arab League missions in Baghdad have distanced themselves from the coalition," the UN has withdrawn its international staff from Baghdad; The Red Cross has left Baghdad; Spain has decided to withdraw the bulk of its staff. There is clearly an exodus from Iraq, but will Bush get the message?

Conclusion

This paper has identified some key aspects of the pivotal history of Iran, and Iraq, and the United States' involvement in both countries. This paper has also shown that Bush did not always tell the truth when he sought to justify his attack on Iraq. This paper also documented that Bush and Rumsfeld apparently had made only sketchy plans for what to do in, with, and for Iraq, once the major fighting was completed; and obviously the continuing daily bloody attacks on American soldiers was not something they planned preventative measures for very effectively. However, Bush and his Administration clearly did make very specific and definitive plans for doling out no-bid billion dollar contracts to political supporters and other corporate friends - including Cheney's former company - and this is an unconscionable misuse of the public trust, and of public funds. Now, the American taxpayers - thanks to Congress going along with Bush - are again mortgaging their financial future by giving another $87 billion to Bush's war effort; we say "mortgaging" because every dime that has been spend so far, and every new dollar that goes into the effort, is being borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund. The U.S. Treasury is facing the largest deficit in American history, and nobody seems to care.

Is Bush pursuing this misadventure in Iraq just because his daddy didn't finish the job in 1991? Is Bush just lining the pockets of his corporate friends? Is Bush misguided? Is Bush just trying to get re-elected using the flag and patriotism as his platform? How many Americans, and how many innocent Iraqis, will be killed before this is over? All these questions are valid, although at this moment, there are no definitive answers.

References

Al-Sudani, Zuhair. "Insecurity may… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Iraq War.  (2003, November 9).  Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/iraq-war/6729336

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"Iraq War."  Essaytown.com.  November 9, 2003.  Accessed June 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/iraq-war/6729336.