Term Paper: Temperatures and Tempers Are Soaring

Pages: 8 (2685 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Appoint, not elect. The United States wants to control every aspect of Saddam-free Iraq; the meaning of "democracy" seems to be eluding U.S. officials. The Iraqi people understandably hold "deep reservations about Mr. Brenner's insistence on putting off elections, and his opposition to turning over sovereignty to a provisional assembly or government," (Tyler 2).

Instead of focusing attention on the real problems of humanitarian services, infrastructures, institutions, and creating a new constitution for the people of Iraq, the United States concentrates on military might. The occupying forces, both American and British, hope to build a new Iraqi army of 40,000 soldiers within three years (Tyler 1). Moreover, salaries of now unemployed Iraqi military men, those who once served under Saddam Hussein, will be paid. The creation of a new army and the payment of "up to 250,000 'idled' Iraqi soldiers" will have a huge bill (Tyler 1). While Iraq does need some basic military and the United States can afford to help, this seems like a disproportionate diversion of monies. The Iraqi people need more than just a military; they need services, schools, and safety from imperialism.

The solution is not simple, however. The Iraqi people are incredibly diverse in their ethnicity, economic status, and opinions and visions of their own nation. Their diversity makes it more difficult to create a viable government. The United States, with the help of an international coalition, could help various ethnic factions within Iraq create a heterogeneous, representative democracy. However, as the American presence in Iraq continues to irk and disillusion the average Iraqi citizen, our country loses its legitimacy. As a result, the Iraqi people will begin to mistrust the intentions of Americans even more than they already have. Trudy RXXX suggests leaving "the rest of the job to the Iraqis themselves," (1). In other words, the Americans have done enough damage.

However, the common view in Washington is to "stay the course," ("Welcome to Iraq"). The President promised not to stay "a minute longer than necessary," and some believe that the Americans should also not leave too soon, citing Afghanistan as an example. One of the main problems with staying the course is economics. The author of Newsday article "Welcome to Iraq" admits that the nation-building going on in Iraq "must not be done on the cheap," (1). President Bush and the American government must take responsibility for the condition Iraq is in now and devote the necessary time, energy, and resources to rebuild the nation.

The problem with this seemingly ideal attitude is that the motivation and objective of rebuilding Iraq is blatantly self-serving for the United States. The American public, let alone the government, do not really care about the fate of individual Iraqi citizens. They are still viewed as dangerous, backwards, or as potential terrorists. Americans probably harbor unspoken desires to completely colonize Iraq, mostly in the hopes of seizing the second-largest proven oil reserves in the world. By putting off holding elections, diverting money more into military power than into social services, and by perpetuating myths about the Iraqi people through the media, the American government is admitting that oil and oil revenue is our top priority. This is why the exorbitant costs of nation-building are being downplayed: the eventual profits will refill the coffers. The costs of reconstruction and of continued military presence in Iraq are not being released (Morris 1). Obviously, if the American people were made aware of these costs, support would dwindle fast.

Under the guise of "liberation," the American government invaded Iraq hoping to seize control of a major nation in the Middle East. Hendrik Hertzberg points out, "Iraq has become a theme park of conservative policy nostrums: There are no burdensome government regulations," (40). As an official occupying force, the United States basically has free reign over the natural resources and the workforce in Iraq. Moreover, the government hopes to encourage privatization in the "new" Iraq. Instead of investing time and money into creating viable governmental institutions run by elected officials, a privatized, company-cum-corporation would be the ideal scenario for the American government and economy. The goal is to have easy, unregulated access to Iraqi oil. A government of elected officials will not do, because there is a high possibility that that new government would be hostile toward the U.S. Especially as the occupation drags on, the Iraqi people would be more likely to develop nationalistic, anti-American attitudes that would be unfavorable to the American vision of the Middle East as a satellite oil reserve. "Iraq must change its economic underpinnings," according to Jim Garamone, a reporter for the American Forces (1). Unfortunately, prospering Iraq will not prosper the Iraqi people, the vast majority of whom will see very little of the oil revenues generated by an American-created government.

Therefore, the occupation perpetuates a number of social, political, and economic problems. It prevents the Iraqi people from naturally evolving away from dictatorial regimes toward self-rule. The Iraqi people might prefer socialism or other forms of government, but this will not do for the current U.S. administration, which demands that Iraq become a capitalistic, "democratic" society. Ignoring fundamental truths about the constitution of the Iraqi population, the American occupying forces rely on military muscle to control and dominate the citizens of what should be a sovereign nation. The occupation also creates problems domestically, as the administration will lose support as bloodshed continues. The Americans should leave Iraq soon, and save face before it is too late.

Works Cited

Garamone, Jim. "Security Will Set Stage for Iraqi Economic Growth, Bremer Says." DefenseLink. U.S. Department of Defense. 20 June 2003.

Hertzberg, Hendrik. "?

" The New Yorker.

Jiminez, Marina. "Iraq: Going Home." National Post. 27 March 2003.

Morris, David. "Officials Say Iraq Reconstruction will be Lengthy, Costly." Gov.com. 4 June 2003.

Moniz, Dave. "Grenade Attack Kills Soldier; Pipeline Burns." USA Today Online. 23 June 2003.

O'Reilly, Bill. "Declaring American Military Morale in Iraq." Fox News. 23 June 2003.

R?, Trudy. "Mission Impossible in Iraq?" Philadelphia Inquirer. 10 June 2003.

Tyler, Patrick E. "U.S.-British Project: To Build a Postwar Iraqi Armed Force of 40,000 Soldiers in 3 Years." New York Times Online. 23 June 2003.

Welcome to Iraq." Newsday. 18 Apr 2003.

Zakarla, Fareed. "How to Make Friends in Iraq." Newsweek. 23 June 2003.


Thesis: Because of the immense humanitarian, economic, and political repercussions for both sides, the United States should cease trying to control the sovereign nation of Iraq.

I. The humanitarian costs are great on both sides.

A.U.S. soldiers die daily.

B. Iraqi people are suffering.

II. The political costs damage the United States and especially Iraq.

A. The United States acts with imperialistic motivations.

B. The backlash in Iraq includes increased nationalism and anti-American sentiments.

III. The occupation of Iraq by American forces is economically costly.

A. Too much money is being spent on heavy military presence, rather than on social services both in Iraq and in the United States.

B. The government has its eye on Iraqi oil… [END OF PREVIEW]

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