American Soldiers in Iraq

June 12, 2008

Operation Iraqi Freedom Position Piece

Filed under: Position Piece/Editorial — frinqclass @ 9:14 am

Operation Iraqi freedom has been described by many as the “Second Gulf War”, a rich man’s war. The conflict originated from concern of weapons of mass destruction possessed by Iraq. The United States, and many European and Middle Eastern nations saw Iraq as a threat, even though to this day only slight evidence of weapons of mass destruction have been found. The United States government claimed that Iraq was a good place to spread democracy and free the people from a ruthless leader in Saddam Hussein. The United States government also claimed that Iraq was a target in the war against terror and was a good place to infiltrate and bring Al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden to justice for the 9/11 attacks.

The combination of not finding the alleged weapons of mass destruction and the fact that so many powerful advisors are also executives in firms such as Halliburton, and the President of the United States has strong ties to firms which are making enormous profits from the war in Iraq has left many people to wonder what the United States government is really doing in Iraq. Many people believe that the United States is there solely for Iraq’s crude oil, and is using the “war against terror” as an excuse to stake claim in their natural resource.

A conflict this complicated is very hard to resolve. After the September 11th attacks the people of the United States were in shock. Patriotism was at a record level and there was a sense of unity for a while that could not have been imagined. Americans felt unsafe and confused as to why such an act would be carried out. At that time the consensus of the American people was definitely aggressive. Americans felt like something had to be done and someone needed to be brought to justice. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks the United States government announced that the terrorists group responsible for the attacks was Al-Qaida and that Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein was somehow tied to Al-Qaida. In 2008 a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that members of the United States government including George Bush had used deceiving and inconclusive information and distorted it to make a case for the war in Iraq. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee also stated that George Bush used the emotional aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to gain the approval of the people, and ultimately wage war.

In order to resolve this conflict certain things must be addressed. First of all, the conflicting parties rational and reasons fueling the conflict are needed to assess the conflict thoroughly. In this case it is very difficult to actually know what the reasons are. Unfortunately most of the evidence we have to assess the situation is not concluding that the intent of the United States government is what they initially stated. Overwhelmingly coincidental facts seem to lead to certain officials in the most powerful nation the world has ever known abusing their power corruptly to make a profit. In order to resolve a conflict that is being carried out by the people who are supposedly there to help is a nightmare.

There are things that can and hopefully will be done to resolve this conflict. If the U.S government wants to improve the situation in Iraq it will have to start with improving its own image in the area to a better image than what people there see and this will need a lot of work. The U.S should make it clear that they are in Iraq not for oil. They should make clear that there intention is not to stay in Iraq. I don’t think that it’s wise for the US to leave Iraq at the moment but it should show that the intention is to leave in the future. It should make clear that the future of Iraq is for the Iraqis to decide. Also, it should work out something with the surrounding countries, explaining that the US forces in Iraq is not going to affect them negatively and I think that the US should use a diplomatic voice instead of the aggressive voice with those countries especially Iran.

One idea for resolution or at least to raise awareness of the severity of the situation is mentioned by a United States soldier named Colby Buzzell. “Many people believe that the draft ended the Vietnam War. I’m convinced that reinstating the draft would definitely end this war. Rich, connected people will always find a way to evade mandatory service, but what about the rest of America? The middle class – people with good jobs and nice lives – would perhaps riot if the government even suggested that it expected from them what the Army expects from veterans.”

Although many people agree that the war seems corrupt and the United States probably should not have invaded Iraq, unless their intentions were clearly to combat terrorism and spread democracy, now that soldiers are there and the war has gone on as long as it has it would be irresponsible for the United States to leave Iraq. Estimates of 150,000-1,000,000 casualties are reported from the war in Iraq, and the United States has spent close to three-trillion dollars on the war in Iraq. Such a costly war must have a clear and concise rational.

The implementation of a committee consisting of members who have no ties to the government officials or firms involved in the war in Iraq designed to assess the situation from an external viewpoint could also help to resolve the conflict. A committee designed to make sure that the intentions of the government are not merely to make a profit. If the United States government has nothing to hide than there should be no problem with them being overseen by the committee. The ties to powerful political leaders and large firms making profits should also be investigated and any guilty politicians prosecuted for war crimes.

As a people Americans can also do their part in resolving the conflict. The people of the United States are really the most powerful in the world. If we as a nation could get a direction and gain a viewpoint outside of our corporate American lifestyles we could realize that with power comes responsibility. Whether one American agrees with another is not the issue. The issue is realizing there could very possibly be a situation in Iraq that is not justifiable and needs to be addressed.

It is very hard to give a positive point of view on the situation in Iraq. Saddam Hussein has been overthrown and Iraq has had it’s first election and the war in Iraq continues with questionable end in sight. The best thing for the United States to do now is aggressively plan out their objectives. If they are to set democracy and free the citizens from terror then that is what they need to do. The best way to do this is to let the people of Iraq decide for themselves what they want their country to be. By helping the Iraqi people go in the direction they want for their nation the United States will gain support from other nations and even the people of Iraq. As of right now it just doesn’t seem like the United States is in Iraq to help.

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