On the 20th March 2003, an invasion into Iraq was launched by the “coalition of the willing”, a body comprised of the USA, the UK, Spain and Portugal. The coalition stated that the invasion was due to the existence of weapons of mass destruction, and the harbouring of terrorists in Iraq, which posed an imminent threat to each coalition country and its people. The invasion had a dramatic effect on Western relations with the Arab world. Despite a conviction that the coalition was ridding Iraq of an evil dictator, empirical evidence has shown that “Western Intervention” has in fact dramatically increased resentment to the West in Iraq, and indeed in many other parts of the Arab World. Naturally due to its influence, much of this resentment falls at the feet of the USA, and this essay will focus on the US when talking about “the West”. It is important to remember when studying the effect of the invasion on the that while most “Arab states had dramatically reduced their anti-Washington sentiment”, resentment due to both ideological differences and the behaviour of Britain and USA during the colonial period and cold war, that resentment towards the West was harboured just below the surface within the Arab world. In looking at how the 2003 invasion has re-shaped the Wests relations with the Arab world, its crucial to explore three main areas; the effect of the invasion on Iraq and its people and the result of this on Iraqi attitudes to the West, the effect on Iraqi honour of the invasion and the effect of invasion on the sentiment of other Arab nations towards the West.
The effects of the invasion of the lives of ordinary Iraqi’s were devastating, and this had a deeply negative effect on their feelings towards the West., thus representing a breakdown in the Iraqi-Western relationship. By 2007, 70,000 Iraqi citizens and 3100 police and military...