An Analysis of the War in Iraq

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Note: The views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of’s staff or owners. They are solely the views of the writer.

George Washington, the only unanimously elected president in the history of the United States, advised his country to avoid entanglements with other nations. Throughout the early years of American history, the government adhered to Washington’s guidelines until diplomatic relations with other countries became inevitable. Actions have been taken and decisions have been made of which the first president would have disapproved, such as the prolonged War in Iraq. Beginning in 2003, the Iraqi War has been a disputed topic among the American people. Some believe that the expansion of democracy, among other reasons such as the supposed weapons of mass destruction, justifies the war, while others argue that the United States government is not the ideal model for all cultures and deny the existence of the much-searched for weapons.

Although supporters of the Iraqi War believe that the spread of democracy is vital and necessary, the attempts to establish a democratic government in Iraq have been futile. Current president George W. Bush acknowledges that his goal is massive and strenuous, yet he emphasizes that the “failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region.” Along with establishing a successful democracy, the current president and his advocates hope to halt the oppression of the Iraqi people and bring an end to the decades of suffering.

Desiring to aid Iraqi citizens living in turmoil is not the sole reason for U.S. intervention; at the time of the invasion, President Bush was adamant that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. According to Colin Powell, “Iraq had and still has the capability to manufacture not only chemical but biological weapons.” The Pro-Iraqi War faction in the United States felt that it was imperative to locate and destroy these weapons, as they posed a major threat to national security.

While the Iraqi-War supporters present a strong argument, those opposing the conflict proffer a convincing response. American citizens that are against the war in Iraq argue that no weapons of mass destruction were ever discovered; the U.S. Army searched the country, yet found nothing. Even if Iraq possessed the technology to produce such weapons in the past, the devastated country must now focus on its economic, social and political problems. There is no reason to delay U.S. withdrawal.

Anti-War supporters criticize the claim that one of the conflict’s purposes is to stop oppression of Iraqi citizens. Although “there were times in the past when the killing was so intense that humanitarian intervention would have been justified,” no assistance was supplied to the maltreated. Particularly vehement disapprovers go as far as to incorporate the situation in Darfur: innocent civilians are being murdered, abused, and raped every day, yet little to no aid is being provided to alleviate the suffering. Anti-War supporters also highlight the fact that some American soldiers are mistreating Iraqi citizen, in reference to Abh Ghraib. While those who support the war argue that a democratic government would resolve these problems in Iraq, the opposition bravely declares that the United States “is not the political, economic, and social model for every culture and every political system,” and even if it were, it took years for the newly-created democracy in the United States to meet the needs of the American people. Issues involving education, employment and poverty must be addressed before a successful government can be established.

The Iraqi War has separated the American people based on their beliefs; some argue that the war in Iraq is justified by the expansion of democracy, along with the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and the improvement of life for Iraqi citizens. However, those opposing the war proclaim that the war serves no real purpose and causes more damage than relief. With the fate of the war still unresolved, the United States stands a country divided, similar to Iraq.

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