Machiavelli on the Iraq War

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Machiavelli on the Iraq War

By | November 2008
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The Iraq war, also known as the second Gulf War, is a five-year, ongoing military campaign which started on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by U.S. troops. One of the most controversial events in the history of the western world, the war has caused an unimaginable number of deaths, and spending of ridiculous amounts of money. The reason for invasion war Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction, which eventually was disproved by weapons inspectors. Many people question George W. Bush’s decision to engage a war in Iraq, but there might be greater reason why the decision was made. The ideas of George W. Bush might have been sculpted by one of the greatest works of all time, “The Prince.” “The Prince,” written by Niccolo Machiavelli in 1513, is a political treatise addressed to the Medici family of Florentine. “The Prince” was written to analyze and explain the acquisition, perpetuation, and use of political power in the west. Machiavelli’s theories in the work describe methods that an aspiring prince could possibly use to acquire power, or an existing prince could use to keep power. Though this work was written in 1513 and published in 1532, its context can be applied to foreign policy in today’s world. The principles suggested by Machiavelli provide insight into the issues that arose with the war on Iraq and issues involved with occupation and transition to a new government. One principle outlined by Machiavelli that can be applied to George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq is the importance to act quickly. Discussing political disorders, Machiavelli stated “when trouble is sensed well in advance it can easily be remedied; if you wait for it to show itself, any medicine will be too late because the disease will have become incurable” (pg.10). He then goes on to state “Political disorders can be quickly healed if they are seen well in advance (and only a prudent ruler has such foresight); when, for lack of diagnosis,...