Controversy With War
Controversy of War in Iraq
September 2001 was perhaps the most hectic and depressing month in our nation’s history because this marked the month when al-Qaeda crashed high jacked planes into the twin towers and the Pentagon. As a result President Bush decided to declare the war which is known today as “Operation: Iraqi Freedom.” War is defined for some as an armed conflict between two nations over a disputed situation, and is needed when there is nothing else that can be done; a natural occurrence that repeats it’s self through out time. While others feel that war is an unnecessary dispute, that leads to nothing but destruction, and that there are always other solutions that can be made; that peace should come before all else. The question at hand is whether or not war is the answer. The way I see it, war is the only next best thing to do.
“Ninety percent of Americans supported bombing the Taliban and al-Qaeda, according to many polls taken throughout the autumn of 2001.” (Hanson, XVII) Yet the educated and upscale class of America felt that we should have done very little military, but more discussion with the United Nations (UN) and our allies to convince al-Qaeda to stop the terrorist attacks or threats towards our country. This would only give Taliban and al-Qaeda more time to either hide whatever weapons they have or plot the next attack toward our nation. The beginning of the war was preceded by a forty-eight hour period that President Bush had given Saddam Hussein for a chance to comply with the U.N. and avoid war (Ridder). President Bush’s final attempts at peace were not accepted. Therefore he was forced to declare a war that would be controversial, yet legitimate.
Those people who were highly paid or leisured, both Republican and Democrat, have forgotten how often daily life is dangerous and that people can be wicked, and must be stopped only through physical strength. “And [Saddam] was convinced by the past restraint of the United States that the world’s sole superpower either could not or would not retaliate against him…” (Hanson, XVI) Of course, he was very wrong. This nation will not stand for his scandalous acts and will not wait for the next one to come. We must stop him and those who follow him.
According to Knight Ridder, a writer for the Tribune News Service, there are several good reasons to fight. “Saddam Hussein is a murderous tyrant who has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and violated international obligations by barring weapons inspectors.” If he, Saddam Hussein, obtains a nuclear weapon, and hands it over to a terrorist who delivers it to a United States city, tens of thousands of people could die. It is obvious that he will stop if we do not stop him. The Iraqi people were in danger with this man as leader. They have no freedom and are murdered for no reason except for the mere pleasure of Hussein and his adherents. President Bush claims that one of the main objectives of winning this war is to completely rebuild Iraq and make it a safe place for people to live (Gates). To do this, the American troops must take Saddam Hussein out of power.
Bush’s Ex-Counterterrorism Chief, Richard Clarke also had plenty to say about the war and how it could have been prevented. He claimed that Bush didn’t believe that the war on terrorism was a top priority (Calabresi). Clarke alleged that Bush ignored the terrorist threat before 9/11. The Administration testified by stating it was an “important issue but not an urgent issue.” (Calabresi) Vice President Dick Cheney acknowledged that the administration could have been more attentive to the terrorist threat before September 11 (Kraft). But what exactly is Clarke trying to get at. Is he really against this war or is he just trying to sell his book. After his appearance on 60 Minutes a poll showed that 89 percent of people had heard about Clarke’s allegations and his book shot up to number 1 on Amazon’s best seller list (Calabresi). Therefore any information that he has given toward the Bush Administration can be false or hypocritical. As Massimo Calabresi stated in his article in Time magazine if we had tried to attack Afghanistan before September 11, it would have been “politically difficult”. At that time we weren’t sure if countries such as Pakistan, an ally to the Taliban, would have allowed the U.S. troops to set up their territory there.
Many claim that there is still no evidence that Saddam and al-Qaeda ever associated in attacking the U.S. together. In his address to the American people he explained how the evidence that they had so far the pointed the finger at al-Qaeda (www.whitehouse.com). Either way military action against Iraq was approved in advance by a congressional resolution after September 11 (The Economist). Therefore if the President feels that Iraq helped al-Qaeda, then Iraq can and will be attacked. “Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done,” was an excerpt from President Bush’s speeches made to the American people shortly after the attacks (www.whitehouse.com). “Justice will be done,” those four simple words have brought so much power to what we have come to today. The troops are fighting as hard as they can to punish those who brought devastation to many families the day of September 11. What would you have done if it was you family member in that building or in one of those towers? Would you have let the murders go free, or the supporter for that matter? We, the people of the United States and our homeland, are like children to the President who will not sit back and watch as our nation is faced with danger.
During the gap between September 11 and October 7, “a variety of Americans continued to argue that we should not respond at all”, especially as the strength of the Taliban and the terrorist was broadcast around the world, along with threats of more chaos, and thousands of American lives ending soon (Hanson 53). Theoretically, peace has not been restored, so America can still fight for it. We have in the past helped Iraqi people to liberate them from their present government. In return we get attacked by people from their country. Why you may ask; because they want what we have that they can’t seem to get. Now because of their jealousy we must retaliate and put a stop to their destruction of land and murder of innocent people, and if war is the way to do it than so be it.
It was our ancestors who passed on to us that belief of battle and so just as they once did, we too must confront and annihilate these killers and the governments that have protected them and encouraged them. “The Greeks would instead answer that war is terrible but innate to civilization—and not always unjust or amoral if it is waged for good causes to destroy evil and save the innocent,” (Hanson, XV). This is one of the main reasons to fight this war; to “destroy evil [Taliban and al-Qaeda] and save the innocent [Iraqi civilians].”
Clarke is one of many that believe President Bush is only fighting this war to finish what his father started in the Gulf War against Iraq (Calabresi). During this war Saddam surrendered and agreed to abide by several rules the U.N. enforced for him (FRios). He soon began breaking those rules, but no one did much about it (FRios). “The Iraq war diverted U.S. efforts away from the fight against al-Qaeda, undermined global cooperation against terrorism and fueled Islamic extremism,” Clarke states, charging the Administration with intending to invade Iraq from the time it took office. The Administration responded by saying that “it can both fight terrorism and remove what it believes is a grave threat in Iraq.” (Calabresi) The thousands that lie dead today because of the attacks are proof that Iraq has posed a “grave threat” toward us. Therefore, the Administration must take immediate action. Bush officials believe that you must all together attack terrorist groups directly, lessen the number and availability of the terrorists’ allies, and change the environment that originates terrorism. In order to do so we have to set foot in their soil and act on these three main theories.
Funding for this war has taken away the funding for education, environment, and health care benefits are being cut for this war. “Education budget this year is a little more than ten percent of what the military budget is.” (Tahilani) It is estimated the cost of war with Iraq is already $60-$100 billion with on going billions for occupation and rebuilding Iraq (Ridder). Although this war has cost this nation a great deal of money, it has been worth it. Soldiers continue to serve our country and keep us protected. They have been able to avoid any further attacks up until know and will make sure they don’t happen again. My faith is strong toward this country and the decision our leader makes to shield us. It is a enormous honor to live in a nation where people have fought and/or are fighting and died for our protection and sovereignty.
My position remains the same, I believe we should be at war protecting our country and taking the weapons that can harm our country as well as the people in Iraq out of their possession. Luckily we have captured some of their supportors, but the fight is not over yet. “Our mission in this war is not to right the wrongs that cannot be righted given the limits of our wisdom and power, but rather to leave millions in Afghanistan and elsewhere better off than when we arrived, offering hope to other states that their towers will not be toppled and their citizens vaporized should a fanatical enclave decide to target their culture.” (Hanson, 16) These terrorist acted against America have been done because of who we are, our freedom, equality between sexes, but not for what we’ve done in the past.
“Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People.” The White House
20 Sept 2001. 14 Apr 2004.
Calabresi, Massimo, John F. Dickerson, and Daren Fonda. “The Truth of the Matter.” Time 5 Apr. 2004: 26-31
“Clarke grabs center stage at 9/11 hearing.” AP News Video. El Paso Times on the Web. 28 Mar. 2004. Audio transcript. 28 Mar. 2004.
Gates, Robert M., “A Former CIA Chief on ‘Connecting the Dots’.” Time 19 Apr. 2003. 2 Apr. 2004.
Hanson, Victor Davis. An Autumn of War New York: Random House, 2003.
Hirsh, Michael, Mark Hosenball, and Sami Yousafzai. “Why Can’t We Get Him?” Newsweek 22 Sept. 2003: 24-28.
Kraft, Brooks. “I Don’t Hold [Clarke] in High Regard.” Time 5 Apr 2004: 37
“Putting his cards on the table; War with Iraq?” The Economist. 31 Apr. 2002 Student Resource Center Jefferson Library, El Paso, TX. 9 Apr. 2004
Ridder, Knight. “A war to wage?” Tribune News Service. 6 Aug. 2002 Student Resource Center Jefferson Library, El Paso, TX. 9 Apr. 2004.
Rios, Francisco. Personal Interview. 21 Mar. 2004.
Sarah, Leena. “Oil, Currency and the War on Iraq.” 2003. 2 Apr. 2004
Tahilani, Kavita. “U. Connecticut: U. Connecticut student government neutral in Iraq war debate.” InfoTrac Web Jefferson Library, El Paso, TX. 9 Apr. 2004