Why Did The United States Go To War With Iraq?
One of the biggest reasons of why the United States went to war with Iraq was because of the belief that Iraq was harboring terrorists in their country and were helping terrorist to hide from the United States. After September the 11th, the United States decided to go to war with terrorism. First they started by attacking Afghanistan and by doing so intended of riding the world of terrorists in all other countries. When terrorist found out that the United States was coming for them, they fled to Iraq because they knew that Saddam Hussein would harbor them and give them immunity and protection from the United States. As President Bush said in his speech to the United States Congress "Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them, or provide them to a terror network." (Bush) By saying this public address to the world he was saying that it 's time for the United States to start taking action and to protect the people of the United States from terrorist and what they might do. Bush wanted to take immediate action towards Iraq because of the reason of the fact that Iraq could produce and help provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists to inflict harm in the United States. "We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world."(Bush) The United States was scared because of their beliefs that Saddam Hussein was trying to help terrorists so they took upon themselves to correct the problem and went to war with Iraq.
When going to war with Iraq the United States also considered the previous Gulf War with Iraq. "It is clear that, even before 9/11, President Bush wanted Saddam Hussein out of power. President Clinton wanted Saddam Hussein out of power. But President Bush wanted it more, and in a more aggressive form. He said several times during the presidential campaign that he wanted Saddam Hussein out of power. He allied himself with people who thought that his father had made a mistake in not sending American troops during the first Gulf war onto Baghdad to take out Saddam Hussein" (Lehmann) Now even though Iraq had been harboring terrorists the Bush Administration still wanted to get Saddam Hussein out of power and to help the Iraqi people to become a democratic state. Now Saddam had not been the highest priority until September 11th because the United States felt as if they were dealing with the situation in their own way and did not need to go to war with Iraq, but after September the 11th that all changed when Iraq was looked upon in harboring terrorist and also being looked at as a possible terrorist country themselves.
A Major reason of why the United States entered into war with Iraq was because of the belief that Saddam was producing weapons of mass destruction to use upon the United States and other countries. Now when going into war with Iraq the Bush Administration knew that by making these claims that they must come with evidence from all their actions taking place. After, the United States had successfully out rooted Saddam Hussein. The United States was able to get inspectors into place to determine if Saddam had really been developing weapons of mass destruction. Once inspectors were able to get full access to Iraq they came to the conclusion that Iraq had some materials for making weapons of mass destruction, but had no place that they were developing them. "The New York Times reported at the time that the U.N. weapons inspectors (not American intelligence) believed that Iraq possessed "the elements of a deadly germ warfare arsenal and perhaps poison gases, as well as the rudiments of a missile system" that could launch the warheads. But because of Saddam 's action at the end of 1997, the Times reported, the U.N. inspection team could "no longer verify that Iraq is not making weapons of mass destruction" and specifically could not monitor "equipment that could grow seed stocks of biological agents in a matter of hours." (Kagan) After the U.N. had came to the conclusion that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction the people of the United States started wondering of why we really did go to war with Iraq because if there were no weapons of mass destruction what else was there except Iraq harboring terrorists and being a terrorist country. Even though the United States was looking for weapons of mass destruction some things were destroyed before the UN could get to them. "United States, Britain and Australia, it did not require a comprehensive survey to find the central assertions of the Bush administration 's prewar nuclear case to be insubstantial or untrue. Although Hussein did not relinquish his nuclear ambitions or technical records, investigators said, it is now clear he had no active program to build a weapon, produce its key materials or obtain the technology he needed for either."(Gellman) The final statement by the investigators saying that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction was the biggest blow to the reason of why the United States went to war with Iraq.
When looking at the biggest reason of why politically speaking the United States went to war with Iraq was because of oil. The Gulf War was due to oil production. Oil had always been a problem between Iraq and the international community. "America gets its oil from the global market, not from individual countries. But in the 1990s, oil-producing countries took a holiday from expanding production capacity, while demand grew steadily. With the supply/demand balance extremely tight, oil-producing states did not have the financial or engineering capacity to build the additional capacity, meaning the national oil companies in many OPEC states were faced with the need to open their fields to foreign investment. They resisted and prices rose"(Doherty) Iraq is one of the biggest oil producers and when that happened it created some bad blood between the United States and Iraq and since the Gulf War the United States has been wanting to get back at Iraq for what they had done to the U.S.
When considering going to war with Iraq the United States also had evidence that Saddam was being a malicious dictator of his people and onto others. "On Saddam Hussein 's orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation, and political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being tortured."(Bush) When the United States found out that Saddam Was being a malicious dictator they immediately wanted to get Saddam in war crimes and international law violations, but to the American people that just wasn 't a good enough reason for the United States to go to war with Iraq at the time. When making the final decision the United States knew that if they were to find nothing that they could at least try Saddam in international court for his war crimes and the crimes against humanity.
When looking at all the possibilities of why the United States went to war with Iraq you can blame either terrorists, oil, crimes against humanity, or the suspicion of weapons of mass destruction. There are only two reasons of why the United States went to war with Iraq that the Bush Administration as openly admitted. Those two would be that Iraq and Saddam were purposely harboring terrorists and giving them a safe place to hide from the United States and that the United States believed that Iraq was producing weapons of mass destruction. It is known that Iraq was indeed harboring terrorists, but finding no weapons of mass destructions was a bad thing for the United States because are reliability of our intelligence and whether or not going to war with the Iraq was good thing to do or not. Only time will tell all true reasons of why the United States went to war with Iraq, for now we can only go on what the Bush Administration has been telling us and that of our own suspicion.
Bush, George. "President Bush On Iraq." 7 Oct. 2002. PBS. 5 Mar. 2005 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/bushspeech_10-7.html
Doherty, Patrick. "Why Bush Went to War." 5 Aug. 2004. Alternet. 28 Feb. 2005 http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/19472
Carter, Jimmy. "Just War--Or Just a War?" 9 Mar. 2003. New York Times. 7 Mar. 2005.
Chapman, John. "The Real Reasons Why We Went To War With Iraq." 28 Jul. 2004. Guardian Unlimited. 1 Mar. 2005. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0%2C3604%2C1270414%2C00.html
Gellman, Barton. "Search In Iraq Fails To Find Nuclear Weapons." 26 Oct. 2003. Washingotn Post. 25 Feb. 2005. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17707-2003Oct25?language=printer
Hollings, Ernest. "Why Were In Iraq." 7 May 2004. The State. 27 Feb. 2005. http://www.thestate.com/mld/state/news/opinion/8609339.htm
Kagan, Robert & Kristol, William. "Why We Went to War." 20 Oct. 2003. The Weekly Standard. 1 Mar. 2005. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/236jmcbd.asp
Lehmann, Nicholas. "Iraq War Decision." 2004. Frontline. 4 Mar. 2005. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/choice2004/bush/war.html
Lehmann, Nicholas. "How It Came To War." 24 Mar. 2004. The New Yorker. 27 Feb. 2005. http://newyorker.com/printable/?fact/030331fa_fact
Woodard, Bob. Plan of Attack. New York: Simon & Schuster, April 2004
Cited: Bush, George. "President Bush On Iraq." 7 Oct. 2002. PBS. 5 Mar. 2005 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/bushspeech_10-7.html Doherty, Patrick Carter, Jimmy. "Just War--Or Just a War?" 9 Mar. 2003. New York Times. 7 Mar. 2005. Gellman, Barton. "Search In Iraq Fails To Find Nuclear Weapons." 26 Oct. 2003. Washingotn Post. 25 Feb. 2005. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17707-2003Oct25?language=printer Hollings, Ernest Kagan, Robert & Kristol, William. "Why We Went to War." 20 Oct. 2003. The Weekly Standard. 1 Mar. 2005. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/236jmcbd.asp Lehmann, Nicholas Lehmann, Nicholas. "How It Came To War." 24 Mar. 2004. The New Yorker. 27 Feb. 2005. http://newyorker.com/printable/?fact/030331fa_fact Woodard, Bob