The Invasion of Iraq

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Did America invade Iraq simply for economical reasons? Or was it an act of imperialism? Was it an attack to retaliate the attacks on 9/11? There are numerous of reasons why America invaded Iraq. One can’t simply identify one single reason for why the war occurred. However, one can examine and debate whether one explanation has more significant importance than another. One can break the debate down to whether the invasion was a result of materialistic interests or by ideological reasons. There is a fair amount of dispute amongst people regarding the explanations for the war in Iraq. Some argue that the previous relations between the Iraqi regime and the US was already bad, and that after the 9/11 attacks U.S officials had a legitimate reason for going to war. On the other side a lot of people are convinced the war was a result of U.S national interest in gaining control over Iraq’s oil fields.

On the 20th of September 2001 president Bush declared war on terror. In congress president bush stated, “From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime (Bush, 2001). The Bush administration further claimed that Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction and feared that the regime would use such weapons towards the U.S and or towards Israel. Was America’s invasion of Iraq a consequence of the attacks on 9/11? It was already clear at the time that the US had huge interest in the Middle East due to its oil reserves. The Petroleum Economist Magazine had estimated that Iraq had approximately 200 billion barrels of oil in undiscovered reserves. (Brookings, 2003). One might argue that after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center; the Bush administration had a legitimate reason for invading Iraq, as it became a significant part of U.S national interest. However, the question and debate lies whether the Bush administration motives were to retaliate the attacks and spread democracy throughout the Middle Eastern region or if it was the huge potential for economic gain.

15 month after the invasion it came clear to the global society that Saddam Hussein’s regime didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction. (Theguardian, 2004). Why didn’t the invasion stop at this point? One might argue that the materialistic gain from wars was the main motive. For the military industrial complex war is an extremely lucrative business for obvious reasons. As a result of a war, the corporations within the weapons industry might get more lucrative jobs, careers and profits. After the fall of communism one might say that the U.S military industrial complex needed and a new war in able to sustain its economic growth. In other words, after the fall of communism the US had to construct and identify new enemies. (Hinnebusch, 2007). In conjunction with a potential of growth in the military industry the prospects for economic gain due to oil is even greater. However, an attack on U.S soil by terrorists from the Middle Eastern region provides a legitimate explanation for war. Without taking the attacks on 9/11 into account, the U.S has in previous history gone to war for ideological reasons. The Vietnam War and both of the world wars are clear examples. The philosophy and fundamental idea of opposing any anti-democracy provides a sufficient explanation for the invasion. America saw an opportunity to remove a vicious totalitarian regime and then spread democracy throughout the Middle Eastern region. However, this is a paradox due to the fact that the U.S, in correlation with Great Britain, armed and provided financial aid for Saddam Hussein’s regime during the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980’s. (Foreign Affairs, 1994).

The U.S and the global community had tried to contain Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian regime with the use economic and strategic sanctions for several years. In the time after the gulf war the US in correlation with the UN had passed...
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