An arugemt against the US invasion of Iraq
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
On March 20th, 2003, President Bush broadcast a speech to the nation announcing that the American military had invaded Iraq. His reasons were many, obvious, and justifiable. Saddam Hussein is an “evil” dictator; Iraq is linked to terrorism; Iraq holds weapons of mass destruction; Iraq has a nuclear weapons program; Iraq is a threat to its neighbors; and Iraq is a threat to the very freedom of America itself. With reasons like these, it would be considered unpatriotic not to approve the invasion of Iraq. But President Bush’s reasons were flawed, based on false intelligence that had not been, and still cannot be proven. Yet, President Bush, for his own reasons, was still willing to tell these lies to the American people, when he knew better than any American that he had no evidence. And he was willing to bring us into the first pre-emptive strike in the history of the United States; and with it, the disdain and anger of nearly all the nations of the world. For this and many other reasons, the United States military should not have invaded Iraq.
The attack on Iraq is illegal in the eyes of the world and the United Nations. First and foremost, the United Nations charter states that it is the “the supreme law of the land.” Later, it specifically states certain rules that no country “shall commit a war of aggression” or make “threats of aggression on any nation” without explicit approval of the world body. By becoming members of the United Nations, each nation, in turn, agreed to the charter, and to abide by the will and laws of the United Nations. This being the case, only a resolution passed by the Security Council may authorize any acts of aggression. In the case that the Security Council had made such a resolution, the Security Council would have been responsible for military action, not the United States. Many would argue that the United Nations did authorize aggression against Iraq as a consequence that they did not comply with UN resolutions. As of date, Iraq has indeed complied with the resolutions. But even if it had not, resolutions in question such as Resolution 687 simply states that there will be severe consequences if Iraq did not comply. It did not say 1) what those consequences would be, military action or otherwise, and 2) did not authorize in any way, any country to take aggressive action against the nation of Iraq, if expectations were not met. In addition, Resolution 1141 states that if Iraq does not comply with the stated resolution or previous resolutions, the Security Council will “convene immediately in order to consider the situation and the consequences.”
Second, the invasion in Iraq was most simply unprovoked. Saddam Hussein was never an imminent threat to the United States or to the freedom thereof. Hussein could never imaginably be, in any case, a physical threat to the United States. The Iraqi Air Force is weak, and consists mostly of trainer jets. Authorities have failed to mention how it would be possible for a trainer jet to fly all the way to the United States without first, being detected, and second, running out of fuel. If Hussein planned an attack on American forces in any surrounding countries, the trainer jet, before it reached the (very) few hundred miles it was capable of flying, would be shot down. Iraqi air space is a no fly zone, and, since the first Gulf War, has been continually patrolled by US forces stationed in Saudi Arabia. This would also eliminate the possibility of any munitions being transported by air to Iraq’s neighbors.
Third, there has been absolutely no evidence found that links the government of Iraq with such terrorist groups as Al-Qaeda. President Bush sent a letter to Congress in which he stated two reasons for the justification of going to war. One stated that “further diplomacy would be a waste of time.” (I’m sure many Americans would be shocked to hear our nation’s leader’s real foreign policy.) And two, the United States was “continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” Since this letter, Bush has explicitly stated that he can “make no claim” to there being any connection between the two. In a meeting later called “President Bush’s war cabinet,” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz spoke four days after the launch of the attack. He shamefully claimed, “Attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain…Iraq was a brittle oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable.”
Above all, one of the worst consequences of the invasion of Iraq was its effect on the United Nations. It weakened the power and undermined the authority of the UN. The United States is one of the most powerful nations in the world, and is considered a role model for others. But because of its blatant disregard of the UN and the world body, the US is no longer the role model it once was. By disregarding the UN, it has disregarded the rules it agreed to follow when it joined. It has disregarded the pledge to solve issues diplomatically, not start wars of aggression, and to follow the resolutions passed by the United Nations. It has done this in the eyes of the world, and if the most powerful country in the world can do it, what country will decide to do so next? Perhaps North Korea will decide to put its nuclear weapons into use? Considering the United States position in the world, we were and are still in no place to be denying the UN’s authority. We may be the most powerful nation in the world, but we are not above the law. We cannot show such blatant disrespect not only towards the UN, but to all nations.
Still, even with obvious reasons such as these, many thought that we should go to war with Iraq. Their reasons were clear, but were mostly based on false intelligence, and misleading information.
The most obvious reason for going to war with Iraq would be a regime change. It is true that Saddam Hussein has shown shocking cruelty towards his people. It is true he has gassed and murdered thousands of them. But this is also true of the dictators who have led and are still currently leading Syria, North Korea, Nigeria, Uganda, Central Africa, Albania, Haiti, and Serbia. Moreover, many Iraqis do not want American troops occupying their country. They do not want help from any country. They do not want to be dependent on the US or any country from the West. Guerilla warfare is being raged on Americans as well as Iraqis cooperating with the occupational forces. America’s interference has caused complete chaos. Since the end of combat last May, violence has increased drastically. It has risen from an average of 20 shooting deaths a month to 872 shooting deaths in August of 2003. More and more armed resistance is established every day. Bombing, shootings, and attacks are more active than they have ever been, and America has little power to police an entire nation.
In addition, we do not have the forces, the supplies, or the troops to ever possibly oust all the dictatorships of the world, or the systems of government that we do simply not agree with. Still, President Bush has spent billions of dollars on the war in Iraq when the national deficit is the largest in US history. He announced that there would be 87 billion dollars spent on aid in Iraq alone. This is not including the price for the actual war, 79 billion, or the reconstruction cost, 55 billion. This brings the total cost of the war to 166 billion dollars out of the pockets of the American people.
But we are not only losing our money, we’re losing our people too. Hundreds of thousands of troops have been sent to Iraq, and more and more Americans are dying everyday. Over 400 American troops have lost their lives since May 1st of 2003, the official end of combat, up until January of 2004. The current total is now nearly 500. More will die before this issue is resolved. As many as 18 American troops have been killed in one day. Many have died from injuries received when their vehicles hit mines, others from more direct assaults. Sgt. Michael Dooley of Pulaski, Virginia was 23 when he was shamelessly gunned down by men who had falsely requested medical help at a traffic control point. Pvt. Benjamin Freeman of Valdosta, Georgia was only 19 when he drowned near Al Asad, Iraq. Soldiers from his unit had been searching for him when they discovered him floating on the surface of the water near Haditha dam. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
Another reason for going war with Iraq is its fabled weapons of mass destruction. Even with the efforts of many experienced weapons inspectors spending months upon months in Iraq, no weapons have been found. David Kay led the UN weapons inspection. He is an experienced weapons inspector who has worked in the area for 20 years as an international weapons inspector. His Iraq survey group spent 7 months in Iraq visiting residents, interviewing various persons, and investigating facilities. At the end of the seven month period, Kay announced that they had uncovered no traces of weapons, and did not expect to. He said that they could not find any “logistical network of trucks or drivers which are required of a sophisticated weapons program. If this stuff doesn’t exist, it means the stuff you’re looking for doesn’t exist.” Kay blamed the results of the investigation on flawed CIA analysis. In an address to the Senate he said, “Let me begin by saying we were all wrong. It is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons there.”
Furthermore, there has been no evidence found of any nuclear programs in Iraq. Both buildings and facilities that have been modified and reconstructed have been thoroughly inspected with absolutely no results. As of this date, inspections have shown that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Yet, in the end you don’t need fifty reasons not to invade Iraq. You don’t need 20 or even 10. You only need one. War is hell. In war people die, lives are destroyed, entire towns are wiped out. War is the most despicable act of mankind. The destruction and chaos of war often cause more casualties and misery than the war itself. Terrorism rises along with the risk of future wars, and the accidental inclusion of other countries. Soldiers are so psychologically destroyed that they can’t even return to a normal life, even those on the winning side. One such soldier, as reported by a newspaper on the condition of anominity, "wanders the hospital campus, wearing the bloodied combat boots of a fellow soldier he watched die, so ridden with guilt he refuses to remove them." Another returns to America to tattoo the words "I'VE COME TO BRING YOU HELL" down the center of his back, perfectly explaining his feelings towards the American occupation.
War contaminates everything and everyone until it is not just America’s war; it is the World’s war. Nothing escapes from the grim reality of its destruction. Since the beginning of the invasion, 511 American soldiers have died, nearly 3000 Americans wounded, over 6000 Iraqi military have been killed, and 10,000 innocent civilians murdered. Those who supported a peaceful position need not justify themselves. It is those who would encourage a war, which would knowingly cause such horrific results as these, who must explain themselves.