The War in Iraq
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Pick up any newspaper or point your web browser to any major or minor news publication and questions like these will be all over them. A lot of Americans feel that the War on Terror and our presence in Iraq has lasted too long. Are they correct? Should we pull out and call it quits? Should we have another repeat of the Vietnam War? Believe it or not, that's how a lot of people view this war, as another Vietnam. They feel that we are out there, putting the American nose into something that shouldn't be picked. But they are not entirely true.
[I] feel that the war in Iraq was a justifiable one and that it was something that was needed. Saddam Hussein was a dictator who ruled with an iron fist and if someone opposed him or he didn't like anyone, he found a way to "eliminate" them. He was starting to become a threat not only to himself, but to his neighboring countries. Back in the early 1990's, he was a threat to Kuwait and we helped quell that conflict, but because the American public did not want the troops or the president to go any further, they held back for one reason or the other.
The War in Iraq has sparked an abundance of criticism since its start in March of 2003. Now, four year later, the criticism has only intensified. The fact of the matter is that upon invasion of Iraq four years ago, the reasons were justifiable based on the evidence at hand. Our American troops, some 3,386 of our armed service members have given their lives for a cause that they felt was just, according to an Associated Press count that was conducted on Friday, May 11, 2007 (Associated Press, 2007). The devastating number is a cruel reminder as to how dangerous a war can be in general, but even more so when guerrilla warfare is present. In general, the majority of surveys conducted nationwide, showed that the public feel that the war has gone on a much greater period of time than anticipated, and now want the American troops to come home. The question at hand is how to withdraw the troops, safely, without leaving the country of Iraq with devastating effects. Officials may speculate amongst themselves and debate the matter in full intensity, but no answer has ever been reached.
As the months go on, more and more evidence is apparent to the general public as to why we have staked our stay in Iraq so long.
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Among these reasons is the fact that President George W. Bush said point blank that America was not into nation rebuilding, but now it seems as if that is our main reason for staying in Iraq. Sadaam Hussein was taken out of his position, where he caused such an enormous threat to the United States and Iraq's neighboring countries, and executed. Top key Al-Qaeda members have been either captured or killed, and the country now has elected officials, and now progress in the country slowing advancing. Critics may say that the War in Iraq has not put the country in any better state than it was in, has made it worse in some cases, but that all is simply not true. Women and children now have the ability to get an education, families are earning incomes now to better support their dependants, and residents are now getting the right to vote. Even before the United States invaded Iraq for the welfare of the Iraqi people, bloodshed was seen all too often. As with any war or major conflict, time will only tell what will come of all the bloodshed. There is no telling whether or not a Civil War may result from the United States pulling out of Iraq too soon, but if so, it is their battle to overcome. When the United States had their Civil War between the North and the South in the 1800's, only the United States was involved, not other countries. We fought our battle and both sides lost lives defending what they felt to be true (many, many more than the War in Iraq, I might add), and in the end, now we see that it was beneficial for the American way of life (Codevilla, 2005).
Some critics say that we are only still in Iraq for reasons that deal with Iraq's oil industry. According to an interview that was conducted with a Chairman from Chevron/Texaco, Iraq's supply has rapidly decreased in productivity since the war began (O'Reilly, 2007). Under the dictatorship of Sadaam Hussein, billions of dollars worth of oil was being produced, now only a very small percentage is being produced, due to the blowing up of the oil fields. The United States is not benefiting from their oil industry as some might otherwise think.
Upon examination of various debates that are currently underway in Congress to withdraw troops, I feel that it is not feasible to pull out all troops suddenly from the country (Associated Press, 2007). By considering a deliberate pullout, "This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops," Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House (Associated Press, 2007). A slow, lengthy withdrawal seems to be the best solution for the matter at hand. How Iraqis, in general, will react to the withdrawal process should be a top priority. By slowly withdrawing the troops, gives the Iraqis time to adjust to a life that will not have the protection of the United States armed forced members around the corner, as the majority of them have been accustomed to over the past four years. There is no telling if violence will increase by the insurgents or decrease because of the American troops leaving the country, but the main reasoning for us invading has been resolved and now, we, our military, must clean up to the best of their ability and withdraw in the most adjustable fashion as possible, so the Iraqi government can pick up with what has been taught to them and defend their country. Yes, there will be flaws and uncertainties but there has not been a single government in the history of civilization that hasn't taken decades, sometimes centuries, to perfect. Even after years and years of methodically correcting short comings of the new founded government, there will still be flaws. No one government is perfect and only time will allow the room for growth and corrections.
Off topic for a bit now, in contrast to the above mentioned arguments, here is the big question and/or issue to be addressed, the 800-pound gorilla in the corner, if you will. Why are we Still in Iraq? Here is a little truth that most people don't know; real apes max out at around 400 pounds. But this is the important thing: even if you could magically supersize a 400-pound gorilla into an 800-pound one, you wouldn't want to because the larger variety wouldn't be twice as scary. In fact, it would have trouble holding up its own body mass. This result from a fundamental rule that applies to animals, skyscrapers, organizations, and even Free Countries: Scaling up is more than a matter of sizing up.
Back on topic, our 800-pund gorilla is really: Why are we still in Iraq? There were many important reasons to topple Saddam, terrorism being one of them. The root causes of terrorism, I think, are the lack of capitalism, the lack of democracy, and of course, the lack of modern education. What have stood in the way of those things have primarily been the regimes of Iraq, Iran, and Syria. We only have at least one of them out of the way.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, describes war as a large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people. (Source)) So it makes sense that we are still occupying Iraq, because by all accounts, there is still conflict and until that ceases to exist I feel we should be there indefinitely. The Wikipedia site also states the factors leading to war are often complicated and due to a range of issues, where disputes arise over issues, such as territory, sovereignty, resources, or ideology. This is clearly a case of ideological beliefs.
Some hostilities, such as an insurgency or a civil war, may persist for long periods of time with only a low level of military activity. (Turchin, 2005) In some cases there is no negotiation of any official treaty, but fighting may trail off and eventually stop after the political demands of the belligerent groups have been reconciled, a political settlement has been negotiated, or combatants are gradually killed or decide the conflict is futile. (Van Creveld, 2000)
So give our opponents their capitalism, democracy and modern education. Let them fight for those three-story houses, trophy wives, and those fucking Lamborghinis. To quote maybe one of the coolest fictional races of cyborgs in the universe, "Resistance is Futile." (20th Century Fox, 2001)
20th Century Fox. (2001, Augest 29). The Borg. Retrieved May 20, 2007, from Star Trek: http://www.startrek.com/home/borg/quotes
Associated Press. (2007, May 1). Bush Vetos Troop Withdrawal Bill. Retrieved May 2007, 2007, from CBS News: http:www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/01/ap/preswho/main2751238.shtml
Associated Press. (2007, May 11). Iraqi President: Us Troops Should Stay. Retrieved May 20, 2007, from CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/11/ap/europe/main2792533.shtml
Associated Press. (2007, May 13). US Military Deaths In Iraq At 3393. Retrieved May 2007, 2007, from CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/13/ap/middleeast/main2796174.shtml
Codevilla, A. M. (2005). No Victory, No Peace. Rowman and Littlefield.
O'Reilly, B. (2007, May 15). Top 10 Pros and Cons. Retrieved May 20, 2007, from US Iraq Pro Con: http:www.usiraqprocon.org/top10.htm
Source), V. (. (n.d.). War. Retrieved May 20, 2007, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War
Turchin, P. (2005). War and Peace and War: Life Cycles of Imperial Nations. New York, NY: Pi Press.
Van Creveld, M. (2000). The Art of War: War and Military Thought. London: Wellington House.
Terrorism has threatened the human population for as long as humans have existed. Terror is a person or thing that causes intense fear while terrorism is the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal. (Centre for Human Rights, 3) Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled to, including the right to life, liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law. (Centre for Human Rights, 5) “War on Terror” has created more general concerns for the enacted in its name. With violent actions being caused with only political interests in mind, humanity suffers more than the government. The war on terrorism has led to increased security, surveillance of the general population, as well as specific groups of interest.
After the September 11th attacks on the United States, the U.S. declared a “war on terror.” Within American people, it was economic insecurity that aroused the greatest anxiety among them, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt. That had involved “open and covert military operations, new security legislation, efforts to block the financing of terrorism, and more.” The effort has included several wars, lately the Iraq war and recently, Syria and also the war in Afghanistan.
In 1967, Israel kept Palestinian areas under their control and Israeli troops were stationed there for years; Israelis hoped they might exchange the land they won for Arab countries. In 2005, Israel left Gaza; later a group called Hamas had taken control there. Hamas didn’t want Palestinians to remember that they were responsible for all rocket fire and wanted Palestinians to return to their homes, in Gaza. Many people in the world labeled Hamas a terrorist organization. “In 2012, at least 167 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed during an Israeli operation.” During the operations, Israeli armies killed Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and destroyed their homes. This is an example of the violation of human rights due to terrorism within a country.
The war on terror is creating great misfortune on the lives of its victims. Governments have pointed at the War on Terror as justification to take away the rights of privacy of average citizens. The Israeli attacks on Palestinians are a direct example of how the war on terror has led to genocide. The lack of morals in the war on terror has contributed to the growing abuse of human rights. One could witness the massacre of civilians in most of the major Islamic countries like Syria, Pakistan, Gaza, Palestine, and Afghanistan. In these countries these citizens become victims of the massacres. Most of these civilians are denied the right to live because they are invaded by militaries from the western countries that kill them all in the name of fighting terrorism. Since February 2012, 1,179 civilians have died in Syria and since the start of the uprising in March 2011, over 9,000 civilian deaths had occurred. (Human Right First, 2012) “Robinson Jennifer, a London-based human rights lawyer said it is time for the US to re-examine the consequences of its dehumanizing deadly attacks in Pakistan” (Al- Jazeera, 2011).
There is no way to control the shootings and bombings of these supposed terrorists. According to Al- Jazeera (2011), “Pakistanis have become increasingly angry over a US drone that kills civilians, such as a 16-year-old boy named Tariq Aziz”. Furthermore, Manach (2011) found that, the “War on Terror” civilians suffered the greatest number of deaths, between 100 and 110,000 civilians died violent deaths since 2003 to present. (http://owni.eu/2011/05/05/the-war-on-terror-in-numbers/) She further stated that the estimated number of victims from the Iraqi War could range from 100,000 to over one million. As a result, this is outrageous and an injustice which shows a breach of international Law and Pakistani law by the US government hence a violation on their human rights. In addition, torturing these citizens without trial is a significant breach of human rights. The “War on Terror” has contributed to the growing abuse of human rights. Under the United State Act and Human Right Act, everyone has the right to be judged, tried and have access to a lawyer. Suspected terrorists that are captured by the US Army are being exiled.
These civilians are tortured and detained on the slightest guilt coming from some secret organizations of the US. Sometimes, most of the civilians remain behind bars in the US prisons for the rest of their lives without being tried in any court of competent jurisdiction. President Obama and the CIA tortured and detained suspected terrorists in the Guantanamo Bay with drones without them being trialed. (http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15086-bush-detained-terrorists-without-due-process-obama-is-killing-them-with-drones) Placing civilians accused of terrorism in prison and without trial is a major abuse of human rights but the United States government finds itself justified. Destruction of public buildings such as schools, hospitals, and power stations is also a huge issue. Due to “War on Terror”, the countries’ buildings are destroyed and it prevents the citizens from enjoying government benefit.
More than a fifth of Syria’s schools have been destroyed or made unusable in more than two years of conflict, jeopardizing the education of 2.5 million young people. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/us- syria- crisis-children-idUSBRE96A14G20130711) Due to demolition of the buildings such as hospitals, civilians do not get access to shelter and healthcare which makes them become very sick. A report by the Feinstein International Center in November 2012 stated clearly that, one in three Afghan children are very ill, with rates of malnourishment far higher in conflicted affected regions such as those in the country’s south. Among children under 5 years old, Afghanistan has the highest rate of stunted growth in the world. Access to healthcare remains very limited, with 15% of the population without access to even the most basic healthcare services.
In areas where there is still fighting happening, militants lack respect for the neutrality of healthcare facilities, making attending these facilities dangerous. Additionally, the “War on Terror” forces citizens to move out of their country due to the broken down state of the country after the shootings and bombings. Since they have no place to stay and can’t get access to food nor safety, the situation forces them to migrate to other neighboring countries hence becoming refugees in order to survive and have basic human rights.
We have been witnessing the deteriorating state of which this “War On Terror” is being used to actively break the law on the fundamental human rights of civilians’ of the victimized countries, in the likes of them being killed unfairly and tortured without any particular reason. Indeed, there is no argument that the “War on Terror” has increased surveillance of the general population of specific groups and given the police more powers in their jurisdiction to fight against terrorist.