Terrorism In Iraq
When people hear the word terrorism, they automatically associate it with the Middle East, and more specifically, Iraq. A lot of people also believe that the Iraqi government does not know what they are doing and that they aren’t doing anything to help the terrorist problem. It is true that Iraq is home to many terrorist attacks and terrorist groups, but the government is trying their best. The government knows that they need the support of other countries in order to protect themselves and innocent citizens from terrorists. In the Iraq Foreign Policy it is stated, “We are making progress… with the welcome assistance of a number of countries” (“Foreign Policy” 1). The Iraq government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are open to and almost want the assistance of troops in their country because they need to learn how to keep their country stable by themselves, they want to erase Saddam Hussein’s former infliction from everyone’s mind, and there are too many terrorist attacks to control.
The Iraqi government needs to learn how to keep their country stable by themselves. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in the Iraq Foreign Policy, “Our priority is to stabilize our country and secure its borders as we confront international terrorism” (“Foreign Policy” 1). This suggests that they would do anything, even welcome other countries onto their land, in order to stabilize and secure their country. Like a student with no teacher, Iraq cannot learn how to control their terrorist-filled country without a little help. Iraq is progressing by building their military, security, and police capabilities from training programs provided by a number of countries (“Foreign Policy“ 1). Once they are trained enough to be able to take charge on their own, Iraq will be more respected by others and looked upon more favorably than before.
The Iraq government wants to erase the perception people have of Iraq because of Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was an authoritative dictator of Iraq from 1979 to 2003 (“Saddam Hussein” 1). He “agitated violence, intimidated Iraq’s neighbors, fermented regional instability, and continued to pose a dangerous threat to the rest of the world” (“Foreign Policy” 1). He supported terrorist groups and even assisted them on many occasions. His dictatorship provided headquarters, operating bases, training camps, and other support to terrorist groups. During the Gulf War in 1991, he authorized several failed terrorist attacks on United States (US) facilities. Because of him, the US State Department listed Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism before the 2003 invasion (“Terrorism Havens: Iraq” 1). His infliction upon the Iraqi people along with the rest of the world came from “catastrophic wars, a blatant disregard for international law, support for international terrorism, and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction“ (“Foreign Policy” 1). With the assistance of forces, terrorism will be lessened and could possibly be eliminated from Iraq. The frightening picture of Iraq that people formed in their minds when Saddam Hussein was in power will be gone.
There is an extreme number of terrorist attacks in Iraq. At least once a week there is an article in the newspaper reporting on a bombing or some other attack in Iraq. There are also many terrorist groups involved including the Mehdi Army. The Mehdi Army is a Shia Muslim terrorist group led by Moqtada al-Sadr. From the Pentagon’s point of view, the Mehdi Army poses as the greatest threat to Iraq’s security, replacing al-Qaeda as the country’s “most dangerous accelerant of potentially self-sustaining sectarian violence” (Jackson 1). This concludes that Iraq should be concerned the most with this group. The Mehdi Army has been involved in sectarian attacks on Sunni Muslims, and the movement has continued to take in more members (Jackson 1). Al-Sadr had called a ceasefire with US-led forces in August 2007, which had contributed to lower levels of violence at that time. The violence is coming back, and the government is afraid that the ceasefire will end. Recently, Iraqi forces have been fighting with militias like this one, and one of the latest fighting was in Sadr City (Unknown 1).
The violence in Iraq is not nearing an end. Just today, April 15, 2008, deadly suicide bombs exploded within hours of each other, killing at least 53 people. The first attack was in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province; then Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province; Mosul; and Baghdad, the country’s capital. Admiral Gregg Smith, the chief spokesman for the US military in Iraq, referring to Al Qaeda, commented, “They no longer possess the capability to terrorize and intimidate major population centers or large swaths of Iraq’s countryside, but they certainly maintain both the will and the capacity to indiscriminately kill and maim innocent Iraqi citizens with vehicle and suicide bombs” (Rubin 1). This explains that even though Al Qaeda no longer controls the land that it once did, they still have the ability to kill civilians through easier means. The Mehdi Army and Al Qaeda are not the only terrorist groups affecting Iraq. There are many others, and the only way to help get rid of them is by the assistance of other countries.
The government of Iraq wants troops from other countries to stay in Iraq to protect the people of their country from terrorists. They want to learn how to keep their country secure by themselves, get rid of people’s poor perception of the country caused by Saddam Hussein, and rid the country of terrorists. These goals cannot be completed without the help of other supporting countries. Once these are accomplished, Iraq will be looked at differently and will be more respected by others. The country would rightfully earn its position off of the US list of terrorist supporting nations. No one would look at Iraq as a terrorist headquarters or terrorist supporter, and it would never be called a “bad, bad evil-doer” again. Iraq has suffered from terrorism possibly more than any other country, but with help, it can become a whole new safe haven.
“Foreign Policy.” Republic of Iraq. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://mofa.gov.iq/ english/foreignpolicy/default.aspx?pageid=16. 14 April 2008. Page 1.
Jackson, Patrick. “Who are Iraq’s Mehdi Army?.” BBC News 30 May 2007.
Rubin, Alyssa J. “Dozens Killed in Bombings in Four Iraqi Cities.” New York Times 15 April 2008.
“Saddam Hussein.” CBC News. http://www.cba.ca/news/background/iraq/saddam_ hussein.html#. 29 December 2006. Page 1.
“Terrorism Havens: Iraq.” Council on Foreign Relations. http://cfr.org/publication/9513/. September 2005. Page 1.
Unknown. “Sadr says US will always be enemy.” BBC News 12 April 2008.