Essay: War in Iraq

Pages: 7 (2275 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … War in American History: The War on Terror

After the anger of September 11, 2001 subsided, a plethora of ideologies, philosophies, and opinions on "the war" began emerging in academia, political think tanks, and in media political pundit circles. The majority of these ideas, philosophies, and opinions had two overwhelmingly common factors: they condemned America's military presence in Iraq; and the focus of their discussions was George H. Bush. The promulgators of the prevailing anti-Bush-anti-War ideologies did not base their assessments of the American presence in Iraq, nor the war in general, on Islamic fundamentalism, significant responses by Middle Eastern leaders suggesting that the American action in Iraq and Afghanistan was effective and productive, or the outcome if, as has been demanded, America pull out of the Iraq and resolve its mission in Afghanistan. Listening to many of the arguments against the war on terror, there was a sense that if the U.S. captured and brought to justice, or, killed Osama Bin Laden, then the threat of terrorism and the need for America to be at war would end. These ideas, representing an overwhelming majority of American's thinking, as reflected by George W. Bush's low approval ratings, are flawed and wrong. America has more reason than ever to be alert to what is a growing terrorist threat. It is a threat that will not subside, but will only grow in intensity, destructiveness, and it will not end with the capture or death of Osama Bin Laden.

By 2004, Americans, the same Americans who had cheered George W. Bush when he assured them that the United States would respond to the attack against it by terrorists led by Osama Bin Laden, were exhausted of the war. Their attitudes had changed, and the chant of "What about those weapons of mass destructions?" spread from the far left liberal lines to the conservative camps who began defecting if not to the sidelines of the far left, at least somewhere in between that registered disapproval of the president and the War on Terrorism. Noticeable in the voices of the disgruntled were those easily recognizable from the 1960s (Learn Out Loud, Hanson, 2007). Speaking before an audience at the Hoover Institution's Spring Retreat in May of 2007, Victor David Hanson says the American public, the majority of which now disapproves of the war, is captive in the present (Hanson, 2007). They're unaware of America's history of war, and they're not looking to history for the lessons learned, and it is the first war ever fought with an American perspective of the present, focused only on American losses, and absent of the mind of the enemy (Hanson, 2007).

Hanson is not only right about living the war in the present, but it would also be a fair assessment to say that the loudest voices against the war are those from the past that want to rehash issues from the Vietnam era. Those issues not only no longer exist, nor do the circumstances under which America entered into war, or the way in which Americans fight the war. It is not just a mistake to attempt to contextualize the War on Terror in the framework of the Vietnam conflict, but it is very dangerous, because we see the American public becoming sympathetic of the very people who pose the threat to America. This is the same miscalculation that the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl made when he met with terrorists to get their side of the story. There is no story. There is only an ideology, and that ideology says that the Western world is a threat to the backward looking Islamic tradition. That tradition holds that threats to Islam must be eliminated, and that is what we see happening, and that is what Americans, like Daniel Pearl, are miscalculating in believing that we can negotiate a peace with the jihadists. David Hanson says it is deniability of culpability (Hanson, 2007).

This miscalculated thinking is made clear by the remarks of Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. In 2003, Preble issued a brief statement on the U.N.'s Role in Post War Iraq. In the statement, Preble said that it was in the best interest of Americans to have a pro-active United Nations involvement in the post-war rebuilding of Iraq. Preble was not just miscalculating what he must have perceived as the near end of the war in 2003, but also the nature of terrorist warfare. Preble's statement conveys the sense that there will be a post war sit down with certain parties of conflict, which clearly did not exist in the immediate post Saddam Hussein Iraq, and which will never occur with jihadists who have no particular country affiliation, but only a religious ideology.

As Hanson so rationally points out in his remarks before the Hoover Institution, the very doctrines of western society are what the jihadists are working to destroy. There will be no sit down, and there is no territory that is, like the post World War II Europe, as concerned Germany, to be divided. The Iraqi people have their country, and the United States will support the Iraqi people in their efforts to rebuild their country and their communities.

The Laundry List

Hanson says Americans have put together a laundry list of reasons why America needs to pull out of Iraq and bring about an end to the American military presence (Hanson, 2007). Among the reasons Americans cite, Hanson says, are: the government cannot be trusted to be honest with Americans; we did not get enough international support for the war; and add we did not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and add to these reasons, too, Steven J.. Nider's (2004) remarks that George W. Bush cited the unnecessary deployment of American troops as one of his campaign issues (Nider, 1). Nider's argument turns into a vicious circle of illogical argument that cannot be resolved, and he segues from one argument to the next making points why he believes the deployment of our troops to the Middle East is a mistake.

For instance, Nider begins by making the statement about Bush, then he goes on to talk about the number of soldiers that will elect to leave the military, the Army specifically, after their initial commitment is met (Nider, 1). Then, he goes on to complain about the cost to the military in recruiting new military personnel (Nider, 1). Nider has successfully created a vicious circle of argument, which is closed to anyone responding in a coherent or logical way. The argument, however, serves Nider's point that President Bush is not doing what is necessary to win "today's wars (Nider, 1)." In his remark, Nider is citing "wars," as opposed to war. Nider, like many others, is miscalculating and misunderstanding the nature of the war that is being waged today.

The laundry list of arguments against confronting the real and existing threat of jihadists' terrorism does not make sense, and is an attempt by pundits, academicians, and politicians who have done Americans a huge disservice by supporting these arguments that are an attempt to create a national vicious circle of illogical discussion around the subject of the existing threat to western civilization by the jihadists.

Hanson talks about some of the people who are making the loudest arguments against confronting the terrorist threat. Many of them, Hanson points out have their own agendas in making arguments as to why America should not remain as a military presence in the Middle East; most, Hanson, mentions, have books that have been written against the war (Hanson, 2007). Bush bashing is big business these days, especially when the pundits, academicians, and others leading the charge want to create best-sellers.

The Threat

Any time a country finds hope as America has seemingly done in recent presidential elections is a good thing for a country. Americans have not heard, however, their newly elected president, President Elect Barak Hussein Obama, say that he will end the war against terrorism. Rather, Obama has been consistent in saying that he will pull troops out of Iraq, build up troops in Afghanistan, and even that he will take American troops into Pakistan. This last tactic is one that Hanson agrees with, and Hanson has said that so long as the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan remains unstable, it will remain a safe haven for terrorism (Hanson, audio).

Brian Katulis and Peter Juul (2008) collaborated on an article published online at Americanprogress.org, reminding Americans that the 2008 election would determine the U.S.-Iraqi status of forces agreement (SOFA) in 2009. That Americans are willing to relinquish their position in Iraq to a potential terrorism group is unfortunate, because a view of the map of the Middle East shows that if the U.S. has to confront fundamental Islamists in their terrorist campaign against the world, then Iraq is strategically the place from which to do that. It is located not just within striking distance of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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