Iraq War Essay
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The Iraq war is also known as the Occupation of Iraq and it started on 20th March 2003, the war was spearheaded by the United States of America which was also backed by the U. K. There were other countries that had small forces in the invasion but they did not have many troops as compared to the US and the Britain, these countries included Australia, Poland, Denmark and Spain. This invasion marked the beginning of the current Iraq war.
The major reason for the invasion was to end the Saddam regime which was believed to be supporting terrorist activities, it was also aimed at disarming Iraq which was said to be in possession of weapons of mass destruction and the last reason for the invasion was to free the people of Iraq from the dictatorship of Saddam (Allen, Mike and Juliet, 2002).
The trigger of the war is said to have been the failure of Iraq to disarm itself of the biological, chemical and nuclear weapons that the US and its allies said were a threat to the world peace.
Some of the traditional allies of the United States opposed the war and argued that there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; some of these countries were Germany, France and Canada. The invasion started with an air strike at the Presidential palace which was later followed by attacks on the southern side of Iraq. The coalition forces operated from a point near the Kuwait-Iraq border. The Iraq war is said to have caused very many protests all over the world with the largest protest in Rome where more than three million people protested against the war.
The United States-Turkish relationship was greatly affected by what preceded the aftermath of the war on Iraq. For the last Fifty years there has been a very good Turkish-American partnership which can be seen in the efforts that the two countries have made in Korea, Kosovo and Bosnia. In the year 1999 when President Clinton visited Turkey after an earthquake he described their relationship as a very strategic partnership and there was a lot of support fir the partnership between the two nations.
The strong partnership began to deteriorate in March 2003 when the US was almost attacking Iraq. The effect of this was felt when the Turkish parliament rejected the request by the US to allow the US troops to go through Turkey just before the war started. Most people in Turkey were against the war with 95% of the whole population being against the war and this forced the government to reject the US request although it was seen as a loss to the Turkish government as it lost a lot of grants and loans that would have come with the agreement.
Although the Turkey government wants to renew the relationship with the United States there is a feeling that the instability that was caused by the war on the Turkish border with the Northern Iraq has caused a lot of damage to the Turkish tourism industry. The Iraq war caused the relationship that existed between the US and the Turkish government to be highly affected.
The US sees Turkey as a very important country because it is a country with a makority of Muslims but it has exercised a successful democracy, Turkey is also a link between the Central Asia and the Europe in matters relating to energy and Turkey has also played a major part as a broker in the Middle East. The effort of the US government to encourage the Turkish government to form good relations with the Iraqis was greatly affected after the war due to the instability that exists in the Northern Iraq region.
The Iraq war also led to an alarming increase in the anti-American slogans among the Turks because of the instability in Turkey that was as a result of the Iraq war. The Iraq war resulted in a lot of strain between the Turkish government and the US but this can be put on hold by the US allowing Turkey to perform a Major role in the reconstruction of Iraq. The other area that was greatly affected by the war is the education sector in Turkey, students from Turkey no longer wants to socialize with the Americans and the Europeans after the war (Council on foreign relations, 2003).
The other major effect of the war in Iraq is that it created fear in the Arab countries and most of these countries no longer trust the US or the UK. Most of the Arab countries felt that Iraq was only the first country in what they referred to as the domino effect of democracy and they believe that with the successful introduction of democracy in Iraq there will be more attacks in the Middle East with the aim of installing democracy. This has caused the Arab countries to live in fear of attacks from the US and the UK and therefore they end up arming themselves and at the same time carrying out jihads.
The war has also created very high sensitivity in Iran about the regional involvement of the U. S in the country and they believe that those people in the Islamic republic are surrounded by a number of countries which are allies to the U. S and this has caused a lot of fear to the people in the Arab countries. The other major effect that the war has had is that it has led to the collapse of the strong relationship that existed between the United States and the U. K and Syria.
This has been attributed to the fact that it is feared that Iraq transferred its weapons of mass destruction to Syria when it was about to be attacked by the coalition forces, this has resulted to a lot of tension in Syria for the fear that the country may be attacked by the coalition forces in search of the weapons of mass destruction. The other major effect of the war on Iraq has been in Saudi Arabia, there have been fears of a military attack against Saudi Arabia and also the increased pressure from the United States of America on Saudi Arabia to collaborate in the war against terrorism.
The Saudi-U. S relations have been less than ideal in the current days and this made the Saudis think that the Bush administration was using its military force in Iraq so as to influence something from the Saudis. There has been a great deal of uncertainty in the Arab countries with the people thinking that because of the success of the military action on Iraq the United States and its allies may use the same on most of the Arab countries.
The other major effect of the war was that there were increased cases of terrorism activities in the U. S and the U. K when the war against Iraq was declared, this was because the Arab countries were opposed to the war and because they could not convince the U. S and the U. K not to attack Iraq they opted for terrorist activities. The attack against Iraq was also aimed at bringing out the link between the 9/11 bombing in U. S and the Saddam regime but this was not evident and therefore most of the Iraqis felt that the attack was simply to impose a government that was created by the United States and its allies.
Baghdad and Damascus are towns in Iraq that are filled with terrorists of the old days but there was no evidence to link these people to the 9/11 bombing in U. S. and this clearly indicated that those who lost their lives in Iraq during the war were not the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks (Leslie, 2004). Muslims all over the world had at first opposed the attack by Al Qaeda on U. S, but this was then reversed when the U. S attacked Iraq and triggered more chaos from the Arab communities.
As a result of the war on Iraq moderate Muslims began to support anyone who is out to defend the Muslim land and the values of the Islam religion against any group of people aimed at crashing the Muslims. Due to this the relationship that was there especially in Iraq and Palestine between the U. S and the U. K and the Muslims was greatly affected as the Muslims thought that the U. S and the U. K were out to bring to an end their religion. The war in Iraq has resulted in more bitterness and instability in Iraq as more young Muslims are coming up with a form of jihad that is more volatile than it used to be in the past.
The American policy makers have very little appreciation on how their military actions in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan is causing a lot of radicals in the Muslims opinions and also creating very many radical groups that are aimed at fighting for the sake of their faith. This has caused a very poor perception of the citizens of the Arab countries in that they are seen as terrorists just because of being an Arab. The relationship between students from Arab countries and those from the United States or the U. K has also been affected by this perception (Fawaz, 2006).
The civil unrest that was experienced in Iraq had very major effects on the relation of the U. S and U. K and the neighbouring countries of Iraq. The problems that the neighbours of Iraq are facing will continue even with a steady improvement of the situation in Iraq and the situation would be worse if the situation in Iraq deteriorates. The most dangerous effect of the Iraq war would be due to sectarian and ethnic conflicts in Iraq. The sectarian hatred that may arise in Iraq will lead to civil unrest in Iraq and this would also affect the countries that are neighbouring Iraq.
These countries would then in turn blame the U. S and its allies because they caused the war in Iraq. The Iraq people and its allies felt that they would not be welcomed in the United States in case they face any disasters in their countries and this also broke the relationship that was there between the Arab countries and the United States. This can be seen during the war because those Iraqis that were affected by the war were put in refugee camps and treated in a very inhuman way.
The other major effect of the war on the relation of the Arab and the U. S and U. K was that there were reduced tourism activities between these nations for the fear of terrorism (Andrew, 2008). The war against Iraq also had an effect on the global terrorism and contrary to what George Bush and Tony Blair argued it is evident that the war brought about increased global terrorism. This is evident in that the number of people killed in jihad attacks has increased steadily from the time when the Iraq war started.
The Iraq war is also seen to have caused an increase in the spread of the Al Qaeda activities in the Arab countries with the reason that they are out to fight for the Muslims all over the world. The increase in the Al Qaeda activities has caused a lot of insecurity in most of the Arab countries and this is attributed to the war against Iraq and therefore the Arabs find the U. S and the U. K as countries that are out to cause more problems in their countries (Kim and Patrick, 2007).
When asked for the reasons for the U. S attack against Iraq most of the citizens of the Arab nations like Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Jordan give three most common answers. Of these most of the Arabs think that the United States was out to acquire oil reserves in Iraq and protect Israel, but the most astonishing answer given by citizens in the Arab nations is that they were out to weaken the Muslim community. This has led to break down of the relationship that existed between the Arab nations and the U. S and U. K. as the Arabs see the U. S and the U. K as people who are out to weaken them.
The broad perception of the U. S military attack against the Muslim world is that there has been a collapse in the confidence that the Arab nations had on the United States and the U. K. Before the failure of the U. S backed peace talks between Israel and Palestine in 2000 that were mediated by President Clinton, around 60% of the people interviewed in Saudi said that they had confidence in the United States but this ceased with the attack by United States against Iraq in 2003.
Lack of trust in the U. S and the U. K meant that there would be no negotiations that were headed by the two countries in the Arab countries because without trust negotiation does not make any sense at all. The other factor that led to the failure of the relation between the Arab nations and the United States is because of the insistence of the Bush administration on democracy in the Arab nations. They argued that instilling democracy in the Arab nations would greatly increase security in the world, but this was not the case because after the formation of a democratic government in Iraq there have been increased attacks in Iraq by jihads (Kevin, 2005).
The war against Iraq also brought about some economic and emotional effects in the Arab nations. The Arab nations felt that they had the responsibility of supporting their fellow Muslims who were suffering in Iraq and therefore they dedicated a lot of resources to the Iraqis, was it not for the war that had been sparked by the United States and the U. K the Arab nations argue that they would have used these resources for their own developments.
The Arabs also feel that they were weakened by the war on Iraq in that America took control of the oil wells in Iraq indicating that the Americans were not aimed at imposing a democratic system of government in Iraq but they were out to capture the oil wells in Iraq (Bruno, 2007). In the past five years four and a half million people have left Iraq as refugees, this has therefore put a lot of pressure on the neighbouring countries in that they have to care for the refugees.
The neighbouring countries to Iraq have therefore broken the strong relationship that they had with the United States and the U. K because they term them as the major cause of the problem they are currently facing. Security in the countries around Iraq has also deteriorated due to the fact that terrorists are heading to the neighbouring countries from where they launch their attacks claiming to be fighting for the Muslim religion. The Arab nations feel that the war against Iraq has led to congestion in the Iraq hospitals due to the many casualties that have to be treated in the hospitals and at the same time the hospitals lack qualified personnel and equipments to treat all the casualties. This has made the United States and the U. K be seen as very inhuman hence collapse of the relation between them and the Arab nations (Robert, 2005).
The other major decline in the relations between Arabs and U. S and U. K can be seen in the area of trade. After the war on Iraq was declared the Arab nations reduced their trade with the two major countries that spearheaded the war. This caused a rise in the price of oil which is the major product of the Arab nations. The Arabs also felt that the war on Iraq caused an increase in the Cross border terrorism due to the large number of refugees who flew the war torn Iraq.
These acts of terrorism that the neighbouring countries suffered from made them lose the trust they had on the Americans and the people of U. K. There was also the issue of trans-national crime that came with the refugees from Iraq. Tourism activities were also greatly affected in the Arab countries because people from the U. S and the U. K feared travelling to Arab countries because of the increased acts of terrorism that had hit the whole world.
The Arabs also developed a very bad perception for the Americans and the people of U. K; they viewed these people as oppressors of the Muslim community. This had a great effect in those U. S and U. K citizens that were living in Arab countries with some of them having to be forced to go back to their home countries due to fear of being attacked by jihads. The U. S and U. K relation with the Arab countries declined due to the war and this forced some of the U. S or U. K organizations that were based in the Arab countries to return back to their home countries. This shows that business ties between the Arabs and the U. S and U. K were declining.