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Research Paper on the War in Iraq Part 1

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"The war is won," claimed George W. Bush, not long after the war had started and Saddam's regime overthrown by the far superior military force. 655,000 dead Iraqis and 3,000 official dead U.S. troops later we are lost in a chaotic situation, fighting a determined nationalist populous with no end in sight. ("Study: War blamed for 655,000 Iraqi deaths.") Withdrawal of soldiers, much less the military forces, is outside the question as the goal of the Bush Administration, to dominate Iraq’s oil resources and geopolitically important position, has not come to pass. The war itself is based on faulty pretenses built around an obsessive policy of overthrowing Saddam and controlling Iraq. Thus the Iraq War is an unjust war based on the greed and power of the few to end the lives of hundreds and thousands of pawns for their own personal gain.
The troop surge in Iraq is a blatant refusal on the act of the Bush Administration to recognize the escalation of violence in Iraq is a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation. Violence from an imperialist invasion is the inevitable result as a population will not sit quietly by and be conquested by an occupying force. People will resist and fight under the banners of nation, culture, and religion against socio-economic conquest directed towards the interests of the invaders. U.S. foreign policy stands tight to the imperialist belief that nationalist resistance is refusal of the "ignorant natives" to "realize we our bringing progress and freedom" and that they will only have order under our direction. Thus the war in Iraq will continue under the need to carry out the objectives of this war claimed to be the spread of "democracy and freedom". Empires from the beginning of time have claimed to fight under similar ideals with the greed and lust of the world's resources deep in their hearts; periodically relaying their true objectives in times of arrogance. This war is no different in theory or practice; the troop surge only shows that the drive of U.S. corporations to control of the Middle East oil resources will not be detered by the overwhelming violence in Iraq.
In 1982, Donald Rumsfeld shook hands with the brutal tyrant Saddam Hussein in recognition that this dictator would help protect the vast oil interests that U.S.-based multinational corporations had in Iraq. Iraq was removed from the list of terrorist states to make room for Cuba and to make it eligible for U.S. military aid. The Reagan administration would continue to arm Iraq's military with an arsenal including chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Throughout the massacres and domestic repression, Saddam's regime was supported by word and deed by the U.S. as it gassed the Kurds with U.S.-manufactured chemical weapons. As a puppet dictator, Saddam served not only to provide cheap oil but also to give the U.S. a strategic position in Middle East domination as shown by the invasion of Iran by Iraq. Iran was dominated by a theocratic Islamic regime that was against American imperialism in the Middle East and thus Saddam was given full approval to carry out a bloody war that resulted in over one million dead. (Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, pp. 90-93)

When Saddam was assured that Washington would remain neutral, he proceeded to invade Kuwait due to a nationalist Iraqi claim to the country and the fact it had been drilling oil from Iraq's territory. Including Saddam's attempts to raise oil prices, the invasion threatened to disrupt the oil supply flowing from Kuwait to multinational corporations, putting him in an unpopular position in Washington. Many other reasons range from: political popularity, the military budget, curing America's "Vietnam Syndrome", all the way to a long-term military presence in the Middle East that coincides with America's oil interests. In 1991, George Bush Senior declared war on Iraq and proceeded to bomb it into pre-industrialism by destroying most means of modern life support. Not only had 100,000 Iraqis been killed, including many civilians, but its electrical systems, agricultural system, medical services, and sanitation facilities lied in ruins. (Parenti, Against Empire, pp. 87-91) The U.N. sanctions that followed the war made it impossible to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, causing disease and malnutrition to flourish throughout Iraq. The sanctions did not end until the second Gulf War in 2003, but by then an estimated 1.5 million people had died from the sanctions, including 500,000 children. In 1996, the response to this from the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, was "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it." (Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, pp. 540)

Following September 11, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush Administration discussed possible actions to take in accordance with the best interests of U.S. foreign policy. Rumsfeld demanded that we immediately attack Iraq and establish a connection between Saddam's regime and Al-Queda although no proof that Al-Queda had committed the attack had been given either. Colin Powell dismissed this, claiming that popular support for a war in Iraq would be much more difficult to garner than with a "softer option" like Afghanistan. What followed from this conversation was a massive propaganda campaign against Afghanistan and the loss of lives of thousands of innocent Afghan civilians due to this elite foreign policy decision. This also shows that the Bush administration would need to start a similar propaganda campaign against Iraq, only stretching through a wider period of time so as rhetoric could be shown as "firmly established proof". (“A New Pearl Harbor.”)

The Bush Administration and the media claimed that the Taliban's harboring of international terrorists justified the invasion and regime change, but if we were to apply such standards universally for ourselves and other Western nations, the results would not be accepted by those who make such judgment. The U.S. has created, supported, and harbored numerous international terrorist organizations such as the contras in Nicaragua, who waged a war through attacking "soft targets" to weaken the will of the people's support for their revolutionary government. Cuba and multiple other Third World nations were the targets of U.S. international terrorism but to claim that these countries have a similar right to invade the U.S. and change the regime would not even be considered thinkable. Thus the principle established for the war on Afghanistan is faulty due to it only being applicable in situations where the power is unevenly balanced. (Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, pp. 63-74)

After the Taliban was overthrown, the next stage in the "war on terror" was the control of Iraq which demanded an even larger propaganda campaign to win popular support for. No proof had been brought forward that Saddam had connections with 9/11 but none was necessary as Americans generally do not examine the facts of government claims. In actuality, Saddam and Al-Queda were enemies as Al-Queda opposes all secular regimes in the region which Saddam fell into the category of. Another claim was that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction although it was known he had destroyed the U.S. provided chemical weapons after the first Gulf War. Evidence was being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military force, such as the claim that Saddam had purchased "yellow cake" uranium from Niger; proven to be absolutely false and hyped by Paul Wolfowitz to make a case for the war in Iraq. This claim was necessary because it was widely known that Saddam didn't even contain the capabilities to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and that his military forces were not rebuilt. (“Iraq: WMD Lies.”)

Much less not being a threat to the United States, Saddam was not even a threat to his neighbors as claimed by Condoleezza Rice before 9/11 occurred. It wasn't until the war began when the weapons of mass destruction were not found and the 9/11 connection was publicly denounced for lack of evidence, when the Bush Administration began using the reason for "spreading democracy". (“Iraq: WMD Lies.”) What this meant was not to impose an American style system of capitalist democracy upon Iraq but to create a colonial regime that serves in the interests of the occupation and of U.S.-based multinational corporations when the occupation exits. This is to turn Iraq's economy to neoliberalism which will expand control of oil resources by these corporations and the vital water resources as well. After the infrastructure of Iraq was destroyed, the U.S. forces moved quickly to provide security for the threatened oil wells rather than act in the safety and interests of the "liberated" Iraqi people. (“Protecting Iraq’s Oil Fields.”)
A scientific examination of insurgent and civilian casualties in late 2004 in Iraq claimed that 100,000 had died as a result of the war. ("Lancet surveys of mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.") By November 2006, a similar study has shown the casualty count may reach as far as 655,000 dead at this current point in the war. ("Study: War blamed for 655,000 Iraqi deaths.") Outside of the dead, millions of others are injured, homeless, or wander in refugee camps with no functioning hospitals, schools, electricity, or infrastructure. Often basic necessities and social services are cut off for a segment of a city if the "rebellious populous" refuses to leak information on insurgent whereabouts; a war crime known as collective punishment. ("U.S. Lays Waste to another Iraqi City.") Late night raids by occupation forces are typical as Iraqis "suspected" of terrorism are dragged off from their homes in the middle of the night and taken to prison camps never to be seen again. As shown in the example of Abu Ghraib, torture, humiliation, or death will be the possible fate they meet and this goes for most occupation prisons and not just a few. Fallujah is a Sunni city in Iraq, considered a hotbed of insurgency that came under a large occupation attack in April of 2004. There is an estimated 6,000 dead Iraqis from the attack that turned most of the population into refugees. A citywide curfew was declared and anybody seen out in the street was shot as an insurgent based on the little criteria made to distinguish between a civilian and armed rebel. The chemical weapon, white phosphorus, was used on the population, insurgent or civilian; considered a war crime by the U.N. ("Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre.")
A large percentage of the casualties are due to violence from the U.S. occupation and its trained death squads. According to Donald Rumsfeld, the Pentagon would initiate the "Salvadoran option" when it came to dealing with the Iraqi insurgents. In El Salvador, death squads and military personnel were trained according to the CIA handbook on how to violently deal with rebellious groups within the suppressed population. (“The Salvadoran Option”) A similar method has been used in Iraq as Special Police Commandos engage in massacres and violent raids, typically blamed on insurgents without any real proof. An embarrassment for the occupation was the capture of two British soldiers dressed as Iraqis attempting to plant bombs. This plus much other evidence suggests much of the "insurgency violence" against the population may be forces the occupation has created or the occupation itself. (“For Iraq, “The Salvadoran Option” Becomes Reality.”)

The nature of the insurgency ranges from nationalist liberation organizations to radical Islamic fundamentalists, all based on freeing Iraq from the clutches of U.S. imperialism. These are all categorized under "terrorist groups" merely for opposing the occupation regardless of the nature or actions of the group. The insurgency is largely justified in the basic principle of self defense against invasion and occupation which Americans would undoubtedly apply to their selves in any case of attack on the U.S. However, this universal principle is again conveniently rejected when applied to circumstances that nicely fit within the interests of the power structure. To support the anti-imperialist movement in Iraq would be "treason", "anti-American", etc. and many of the same people who use such adjectives would apply the same to those who merely opposed the war in general. Undoubtedly there are foreign elements of the rebels that attack civilians with the U.S. troops as well that are largely split off from the majority of the movement. However to criticize foreigners who attack civilians along with armed militias would be the pot calling the kettle black and is only rightfully done through an anti-occupation stance.

The liberal elite of the Democratic Party focus their opposition on tactical and strategic disagreements rather than the legality of the war itself or death and destruction brought about by the U.S. occupation. The militaristic and imperialist values of the war are unthinkable topics of conversation on Capitol Hill, restricting itself to debates on whether we should increase troops in Iraq or slowly withdrawal them. The elite share common values of agreement in the ends and means to carry out foreign policy but give the appearance of debate with petty bickering over methods to carry out the ends. Opposition of this war reached its "peak" in the Democratic Party with Hawkish calls for more armor for our troops and an increase in military strength so that we can "win" this war. This is not resistance but a want for more efficiancy in this illegal, imperialist war in order to covet the oil resources in the Middle East. The corporate media parrots this false debate in the views it relays to the general population with the impression that they are the only possible sides to take. Any views that stray from the mainstream to make real challenges to the war are not given serious consideration or coverage and thus are virtually unknown to the public. The media supports the same "liberal" idea that we are not winning this war and we should either switch up our tactics for more efficiency or pull out. It provided a similar line in the Vietnam War, was blamed for swaying public opinion unjustly against the war and ultimately losing it. However, while it gave the appearance of opposition it reaffirmed the values of the system of beneficial imperialism and well intentions of the ruling class to "help" Vietnam as it does in Iraq. The criticizes the errors and tactics of the policy as a good Machavellian model does, in reflection of the Democratic Party war hawks.
The only possible moral option for a person to take on this war is a complete military withdrawal of the troops or a victory for Iraq’s people. The call to withdrawal the troops is a liberal stand that would fail to stop the military's destruction of Iraq or the war in general. The withdrawal of troops alone would give the military greater freedom to bomb at will and would only increase the amount of civilian deaths that is reaching genocidal proportions. We must support a policy that will give justice to the Iraq people and return to them the sovereignty of their country.
“A New Pearl Harbor.”

Chomsky, Noam. Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. New York, NY: Open Media, 2004.

“Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre.”

“For Iraq, “The Salvadoran Option” Becomes Reality.”

“Iraq: WMD Lies.”

“Lancet surveys of mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”

Parenti, Michael. Against Empire. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 1995.

“Protecting Iraq’s Oil Fields.”

 “Study: War blamed for 655,000 Iraqi deaths.”

“The Salvadoran Option.”

“U.S. Lays Waste to another Iraqi City.”

Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. New York, NY: Harper
Perennial, 2005.