Term Paper: War on Iraq, and Considers

Pages: 9 (3561 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Obviously, the transition to democracy in Iraq was not, is not, smooth. To let people loose, who had previously - all of their lives - been told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, was always going to be a shock for them, particularly when there are millennia-long disputes between different factions in Iraq, which had always been kept (more or less) in check by the previous dictatorial style, and when there is no obvious replacement, bar an occupying power, which the people are not sure, based on past experience, whether to be friends with or not (Dawisha, 2004).

War against terror vs. The U.S. grab for oil

Many conspiracy theorists are being joined by a great many more level-headed, truth-seeking individuals, as 'the plot thickens' over Bush's motives for attacking Iraq. A report entitled Crude Vision by Vallette et al. (2002) shows that, in essence, since 1973 (the year of he Arab oil embargo), successive U.S. administrations have equated national security with access to, and control of, oil, and that regime change (the current policy) is merely the latest and most aggressive posture the U.S. has assumed in an effort to ensure the long-term availability of Iraqi oil for U.S. industries and consumers (Vallette et al., 2002).

Shock and awe"

The U.S. described their combination of high altitude, precision air strikes with low altitude precision strikes on mobile units, developed by the National Defense University, as "shock and awe" (www.shockandawe.com).It is estimated that 300-400 cruise precision guided missiles were used each day, in order to destruct - psychologically - the enemy's will, rather than destroying the enemy's military capabilities. It is difficult to see how this volume of fire power could not do both at the same time, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. The point is that "shock and awe" did its job, perhaps, at least initially: intended to destroy the enemy's morale, and to avoid the prospect of a ground war, indeed, in the first few weeks after "shock and awe" there was little ground war.

The enemy was perhaps "shocked and awed" that Saddam was gone, and that Baghdad was almost non-existent after all those bombs, but as soon as anger surfaced, at the way in which power was taken, and not given back responsibly, the mood amongst Iraqi's was more "despair and desperation": this, coupled with the fact that an estimated 100,000 prisoners were now loose on the streets of Iraq, along with an estimated 20,000 'known trouble-makers from surrounding countries, all without even a military police force to help (Dawisha, 2004), meant that there was always going to be trouble in Iraq: shock and awe may have been wanted, but anger and frustration amongst the Iraqi people is now the order of the day.

U.S. occupation of Iraq vs. The liberation of Iraq

As we have seen, Iraq has been liberated from Saddam Hussein, and is currently in the hands of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) (details available at CPA, 2004), with the U.S. leading most policy decisions within this organization, along the way ensuring that much of the rebuilding of Iraq will be done by U.S. contractors, with Iraqi exports also being controlled by the U.S. The U.S., many would argue, having secured its interests in Iraq, and finding the going a little too tough, will leave the mess in the hands of a fledgling democratic government in June 2004.

Is this liberation for the Iraqi people, or is this occupation? This is a difficult one to call, as the Iraqi people had not been liberated politically for years, due to Saddam, nor had they been liberated economically for years, due to U.S. propagated economic sanctions against the country (which have now also been lifted, clearing the way for oil exports to the U.S.). In some sense, therefore, the people of Iraq have been liberated politically and economically, but perhaps, as the saying goes, "better the devil you know." At the moment, most people in Iraq do not have running water, nor healthcare facilities, and the prospects of a truly united, functioning and functionally democratic government are slim, at least for the short to medium term. The Iraqi people are perhaps now occupied by despair, liberated to trade with its liberator.

Iraqi government vs. puppet state

As we have seen in the previous section, it will be difficult - if not impossible - to set up a government in Iraq within years, let alone within the ridiculously short timeframe that Bush has allowed for the pulling of troops from Iraq, in June 2004, in time for his election campaign to begin in earnest.

As we have further seen, the spoils of Iraq have been divided up, in terms of contracts awarded for its rebuilding and subsequent running, between various companies from the liberating country i.e., the U.S. In this framework, then, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how Iraq can be anything other than a puppet state, with the U.S. playing the role of the hand, guiding the Iraqi's to dance to its tune.

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)

OIF, the grand plan of Bush, was pronounced over on May 1st 2003, on board the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, at sea off the coast of San Diego. He surrounded himself with his finest troops, to tell the world that his dream for Iraq had succeeded: OIF had ended, OIF had been a success, Iraq was free! Bush, during this speech, said, "In this battle, we fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world...the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free" (Bush, 2003). It is interesting that Bush used the word 'free' so freely in this speech, as if trying to convince himself his words were true, and it is equally worrying for his wife if he is so premature in all of his actions.

OIF, in terms of bringing freedom to Iraq, has a mixed success rate: Iraqi's are now free of Saddam, but are riddled by factional in-fighting, and live in a land of daily bombings; Iraqi's are free to export goods, but this is controlled by the U.S.; Iraqi's are free to import goods, but they have less than they have ever had, and so this is of little benefit to 'ordinary' Iraqi's; all in all, OIF will not be, cannot be, described as a success until all of the Iraqi people, regardless of religion, and including people of the Ba'ath party, have their basic necessities met, in short, not until they are respected.

Results and Findings

It seems that Bush went to war in Iraq, using enormous fire power, on the basis of false premises: war was to be fought in the name of democratization, and in the hunt for WMD. Neither of these two premises appear to have been fulfilled: Bush has no Iraqi weapons to wield as proof, and no democratic framework to hand over to the Iraqi's when he pulls out his troops in June 2004.


We have studied Iraq, and the war on this country, through an empirical analysis of relevant documents, and through analyses of available statistics, where appropriate. In terms of the eight facets of U.S. policy that were discussed within this paper, it seems that the U.S. has failed on most of them, such that the conclusion of this paper is that U.S. policy in Iraq cannot prevail. Countries cannot be invaded and then governed on a wing and a prayer, sucking out what is good and then left without proper support, especially when the invasion was not legal, and sets a frightening precedent (i.e.. pre-emptive strikes) in world politics.


Bush, G. (2003). Remarks from the President from the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln at sea off the coast of San Diego, California. May 1st 2003. Accessible at http://whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/iraq/20030501-15.html. Accessed on 23rd April 2004.

Chomsky, N. (2003). Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. Metropolitan Books.

Cirincione, J. et al. (2003). Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq: evidence and implications. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Available as a downloadable pdf at http://ceip.org/WMDAccessed on 23rd April 2004.

CPA (2004a). Coalition Provisional Authority: some relevant documents, including the Constitution. Available at http://www.cpa-iraq.org/. Accessed on 23rd April 2004.

CPA (2004b). Coalition Provisional Authority: some relevant documents, including the Constitution. Available at http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/iz_index.html. Accessed on 24th April 2004.

CPA (2004c). Coalition Provisional Authority: some relevant documents, including the Constitution. Available at http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/iz00000_.html. Accessed on 24th April 2004.

Dawisha, A. (2004). Iraq: Setbacks, Advances and Prospects. Journal of Democracy 15(1): 6-14.

Dean, J.W. (2003). Missing Weapons of Mass Destruction: Is Lying about the reason for war an impeachable offense? Accessible at http://www.writnews.findlaw.com/dean/20030606.html. Accessed on 24th April 2004.

International Trade Reporter (2003). War with Iraq not likely to slow progress in WTO talks, Aldonas says. International Trade Reporter 20(3), Thursday March 27th 2003.

Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (2004). Doing Business in Iraq: Frequently Asked… [END OF PREVIEW]

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