Involvement of United States in the Iraq war was totally unjust. It is clear that the United States had other motives as it led the invasion of Iraq in 2003. For instance, U.S ignored the U.N guidelines for peace. It is also noteworthy to understand that the invasion of Iraq was not a retaliatory attack since there was no provocation. The reasons behind the Americas attack on Iraq were unfounded and fake thus further not justifying the attack. A war fought on the premise that this country had ties to Osama Bin Laden, was harbouring terrorist, and had nuclear ambitions. All these were just mere fabrications and led us to questioning the legality of the Iraq’s invasion of 2003. A lot of speculation such as the increased oil profits, retaliation to saddam Hussein for the Gulf War and treatment of President Bush Sr. are some of the explanations to the USA invasion of Iraq. The involvement of two axes in the Iraq war is also a critical area of concern. United States and allies led one axis while Russia and his allies led the other axes. In this paper, proper analysis of the motivation of these two warring axis will be discussed at length.
The two warring parties
The war in Iraq was spearheaded by two factions with different motivations and interests. The U.S. – led axis also included United Kingdom, France, Israel, UAE, and Turkey. On the hand, the Russians led China, Iran, and Syria. The ascendancy to power of President Saddam Hussein had an international reputation for repression, human right abuses, and terrorism. These occurrences led to a series of war between Iraq and most European, Western and Middle East powers. For instance, the territorial dispute over the control of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway between Iraq and Iran led to full-scale war between the two countries where there were uses of poisonous gas by the two countries. This war lasted for eight years and is estimated to cost over 1.5 million lives.
After a series of wars in Iraq and other Middle East countries, the UN sent peacekeepers to the warring factions with an objective of getting weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein thwarted United Nations efforts to cease manufacture of nuclear chemical, biological and ballistic weapons. Saddam also expelled American members of the US inspection team which prompted Britain and United States to conduct four days of intensive air strikes. This served as a gateway to the 2003 Iraq invasion by United States.
After the terrorist attack of September 11, United States saw it necessary for a regime change in Iraq. Americans described Iraq as an “axis of evil.” There were allegations that the country manufactured weapons of mass destruction and had an affiliation with the al-Qaida terror group. Saddam Hussein was also alleged to have human right abuse, and thus it necessitated Americans to strike. The United Kingdom also declared its support for the military action against Iraq. However, most of the Arab countries and some European countries were against this move that resulted in the emergence of the two factions if the Iraq war.
United States, UK, and their allies thought that military action was necessary to disarm Iraq weapons of mass destruction. Other permanent members of the UN Security Council led by Russia, France, and China felt that this was not the way to go. The anti-Iraq war team felt that the UN inspectors should be given more time to complete their task. However, Bush and Blair decided to carry on with the war even without the UN support.
What unites/divides the two factions
The unity or divisions among the two warring axes on the Iraq war is purely on the different national interests. All the major participants in the Iraq war had a special interest in Iraq or other Middle East countries. The different interests of different nations brought about the two factions in the Iraq war. However, it is important to understand that the two factions hid their interests to the general welfare of the world. The US-led axes asserted that failure to oust Saddam from presidency would result in a continuous production of weapons of mass destruction. This would be a threat to international security. Opponents of Iraq attack led by Russia were of the opinion that international law should be used to disarm any country nuclear weapons. They argued that the inspectors should be given more time to ascertain whether or not Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
The factors that united the different axis were before the September 11 terrorists attack. Oil profits, supremacy battles, and other unexplained interests served as unifying factors among members of the different axes. For United States, the 2003 invasion of Iraq was out of fear of further terrorist attacks. The Americans had to do everything to ensure that they prevented further attacks on their territory. Linking Iraq with the Al-Qaeda terrorist, Americans thought that by attacking Iraq, the terror group would get a clear message that the US government could not tolerate any terrorist threat. United States thought the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be used in future attacks and it, therefore, imperative to attack before enemies attack. However, it is doubtful to conclude terrorism threat as a core reason US invaded Iraq.
United States is very concerned with global oil profits and must ensure that there is a constant flow of Gulf oil. Oil is considered as a strategic commodity and has major significance in US strategic assessment. It is the obligation of the Americans to ensure secure oil supplies and stable prices. The strategic geographical position of Iraq in the Middle East, where oil production is high, gives the country an upper hand in the control of oil markets. The increased dominance of Iraq in the Gulf region was a great threat to monopolizing of the oil resources. This would be a threat to the United States interests in oil and thus US would do anything within its means to prevent domination of oil resources by one country.
Control of oil resources has a great impact on the global competition. The status of great powers is influenced to a great extent by the control of oil resources. United States wanted to control the Middle East oil for its needs and also use it to leverage in politics with other global powers. America wanted to ensure that no other country had this control and used it against America. Oil could be a major reason as to why United Kingdom and other members of the axis supported military action against Iraq. Other countries like Kuwait supported the move so as to revenge the 1990 attack by Iraq.
This was the axis that was against the Americans attack of Iraq. Russia and China threatened the emergence of third world war if America continued their attack on Iraq. They supposedly opposed the attack on premises that it is only UN Security Council with a mandate of disarming any country of nuclear weapons. However, it is imperative to understand that they had hidden interests in their stand against the Iraq attack.
Just like in the pro-war side led by United States, oil also played a major role in the opponents’ side of the attack. For a long time, Russia has had oil interests in Iraq. It is also allegedly said that Iraq owed Russia huge debts amounting to over $8 billion. It is for these reasons that China felt that it would suffer immense losses if the Americans attacked Iraq.
Iran supported Russia against the Iraq attack despite the great enmity between the two countries. The support was as a result of the huge oil interest by Iran. America’s dominance in the flow of Gulf oil was a threat to Iran since it would be easier to topple Iraq in oil market control than it would be against United States.
Another unifying factor of the opponents of the America attack on Iraq is for geographical reasons. Iraq, Iran, China, and Russia are geographical neighbours, and they consider the war in one of their neighbours’ country as a security threat to their countries. Iran and Syria have over the years held mutual defence pact meaning that at any time they will always defend each other. The same applies to China and Russia, who must defend Syria in case of an attack. It is important to understand that a Syria’s position in terms of war must also be followed by China and Russia which contributed greatly to their stand against the Iraq’s attack by the Americans. It is however importance to note that there has been supremacy wars between America and Russia in economics and military terms. The differences between the two countries played a significant role in the emergence of the two axes.
In conclusion, it is clear that the Iraq invasion by United States was not just. There is a lot of irony on how a United States government would rise against Saddam despite supporting him with logistics and arm during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq conflict. All the reasons that United States supposedly guaranteed the attack were unfounded. For instance, they supposedly attacked Iraq to disarm them of weapons of mass destruction, curb terrorism threat and restore humanity to the already oppressed population in Iraq. It is, however, important to understand that none of the above objectives was accomplished since these were allegations to enable America fulfils other hidden agendas. For instance, there was no evidence of any weapons of mass destruction. There was no evidence to link Saddam Hussein with the al-Qaeda terrorist group and the war led to more suffering by to the people of Iraq.
It is important to note that the eight years of war left Iraq in ruins. Though the war on terror is real and very important to the global security, it should not be used as propaganda to fulfil special interests.
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