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‘May God bless our country and all who defend her,’ those were the last few words of Bush’s address to the US public about ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ on the 19th of March 2003. It might sound simple, but whatever was said before this made a difference to the lives of the Iraqis, Americans and the world. What were Bush’s intentions? Was it that simple, or was there a deeper meaning why he attacked Iraq?
Firstly, President George Bush said.’ My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people ….’ It might be an honourable thought saving the world from the ‘powerful’ Iraq and helping the Iraqis. His purpose was for Iraq’s Self- Interest. He wanted to make sure there were no weapons powerful enough to endanger the world, he wanted to improve the well-being of the country and let the people get free from dictatorship. He wanted to defend the world. It was a noble thing to do for the world, but was it only for Iraq’s Self-interest? Could he have hidden agenda?
As the United States and Iraq were involved in the 1991 Gulf War, their relationships were sour. By sending troops over to ‘free’ its people might actually mean to literally invade Iraq for revenge from the view point of some Iraqis. President Bush believed that the Iraqis to be free as they were restricted by their leader here. So if President Bush had achieved the support of the people, Iraq would not look like a country at all without support. In the other light, some of the Iraqis were indeed happy under Saddam Hussein, if President Bush sent troops there to tear the country up and turn it upside down, it would not help in any way at all except causing chaos.
President Bush also said, ‘And you know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done.’ President Bush should have withdrawn his troops after invading Iraq and found Saddam Hussein. The rest of the job should be left to the new government of Iraq. He could have supported the new government by providing arms, money food and not US troops after the change of leader. By doing this, he would be indirectly allowing the new Iraqi government to be independent and this would help them to mature and thus helping Iraq.
I believed that Iraq’s self-interest did not serve as argument for the invasion of Iraq. It appeared to me that instead of freeing the people, it turned out to be creating more trouble for the country and people.
Secondly, ‘Defend the world from grave danger,’ Bush stated. President Bush started the invasion as an act of self-defense. In the past few years, we had seen multiples terrorist attacks and the most major one being the destruction of the Twin Towers. After conformation, it was proven that the Al Qaeda (a terrorist group believed to be responsible for the bombing) was supported by Iraq, and also there were rumours that the Iraqis had Weapons of Mass Destruction in their control. President Bush wanted to find and eliminate the weapons of mass destruction and terrorists. Yes, I agreed that President Bush did not have many choices to choose from. In order to reduce the chances of another attack by the terrorists, and maybe the usage of the legendary Weapons of Mass Destruction, he had to send troops to attack Iraq for self-defense.
Yes, I believed that we had to eliminate the two subjects, but was it possible? After losing the Gulf War in 1991, the Iraqis were hit severely and thus might not have the necessary equipments and facilities to build weapons of mass destruction. Also, conformations of the weapons should be clear before launching a search of it. The conformation should not be dependable on just what people thought or said. It should at least be seen. Who knows that maybe the weapon of mass destruction might be the Boeing planes that were used to destroy the twin towers, so President Bush should eliminate all the planes instead.
Terrorists did not originate from Iraq, they could be found in many parts of the world, so why did President Bush want to eliminate the terrorists in Iraq only? It did not mean that by eliminating all the terrorists in Iraq would bring more peace to the world. Other terror groups might react violently and there might be more destruction. Instead, the US could have increase security and that would act as a psychological and physical barrier against terrorists from attacking the heavily secured areas. This would this deter the terrorists away and less harm would be done to both sides. ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ the US should be prepared at all times in terms of security and not give any chance to the terrorists.
President Bush’s argument about self-defense was valid to a certain extend, but I believed that his methods used could be changed and a war might not be necessary. Internal security should be at a high level before considering attacking Iraq.
Thirdly, ‘And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment,’ commended President Bush. President Bush wanted to end the Saddam Hussein government and help Iraq become a democratic, self-rule nation. President Bush was using the argument of moral justice. He sent the US troops there to eliminate the leader and wanted to stop extreme tyranny, oppression and sufferings by war, as nothing else might work. President Bush wanted to save the innocent and was using the interest of altruism.
War might be needed here but according to the actions of the US troops, the argument did not seem to stand. As altruism emphasizes the value of defending the innocent, the US troops were not doing so. It was part of war ethics not to harm or kill prisoners of war. From sources on the internet, US troops who were stationed at Abu Ghraib ( a prison where POWs are held), treated the prisoners of war in a very unrespectable manner. And tortured to a certain extend. So, did this mean ‘protecting the innocent prisoners of war?’ I know it was quite impossible for President Bush to look at this in a micro manner, but he could have at least educated the soldiers that torturing prisoners of war is a crime.
Also, he wanted to help Iraq to become a democratic, self-rule nation, I believed he did not have the right to interfere and thus starting the invasion. The kind of ideology a country believes in should not be depended by other countries. A country should have the right to rule itself and ultimately benefit its people. Going back to the 20th century, we could clearly see how did the US tried to promote democracy and eliminate communism. US even went on to participate in wars that did not affect it as the US wanted democracy to be the worldwide ideology. The US might be fighting the war for a main reason, to promote democracy, and not free the people. President Bush did not free the people but instead tried to lock one ideology in the Iraqi minds. Does that mean ‘freeing the people?’
In addition, the war might be fought to prevent a new ideology from surfacing. Some people believed that a new ideology related to Islam might surface and thus threatening the survival of democracy which originated from United States. Islam is the most widely spread religion in the world. So it would not be difficult to influence the people into believing that there would be a new and better ideology. President Bush might be afraid of the growth of Islam and thus tried to use the argument of moral justice as a puppet.
President Bush’s argument looked valid at first, but after reviewing what the US troops did, we could see the soldiers did not seem to bother about the war crimes even though President Bush wanted to free the people. Also, he should let the world have their choice of ideology, democracy or something else?
Finally, ‘Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones ….,’said President Bush. From this particular sentence, we could see that the Americans are concerned over the safety of the loved ones (US troops). President Bush wanted to ‘defend the world from grave danger’, and that meant that he loved the world or else he would not have such a thought. According to the argument of individuation and expression of love, the only way to show love is to be willing to die for what you love. If President Bush loved the world, he should been in Iraq, fighting the war as he would be willing to die for the world.
In addition, if you love someone, you would not want the person to be hurt. By sending so many US troops into Iraq might cause them their lives. So does President Bush love these troops? Also in his speech he said, ‘…, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors…’ From this, we could see that he actually wanted to prevent the civil defense to act but instead the military to do the job. This might mean that he actually loved the civil defense more as he did not want to ‘trouble’ them and thus sending the not-so-loved military over to the danger zones.
President Bush’s argument might not be valid here. As we could see that not everyone was treated equally and this might bring harm or even death to a small group that sacrificed their lives.
In conclusion, the arguments that President Bush gave in regards to the Operation Iraqi Freedom were invalid most of the time. Some of the arguments looked as if they were to cover up something else. In addition, the speech he made and the actions carried out were not the same most of the time and ‘actions speak louder than words’. Until now, we still did not know why did he attack Iraqi, but we knew he could have made other better choices instead of going for war.
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040510fa_fact (article on prison)