This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: 1 John Kim Writing 39C HA Final The War in Iraq When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, thousands of innocent lives were lost. In response, the Unites States took military action against Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda members who were responsible for the attacks. However, instead of catching bin Laden, President Bush turned his focus on Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein. The reason that the United States invaded Iraq was that President Bush and some members in the Administration asserted that Iraq had connections to Al-Qaeda and possessed weapons of mass destruction. Even though there was no evidence that proved the reasons for invading Iraq, the war continued because there was an ulterior motive in the Iraq War. Before coming to office in 2001, President Bush and Vice President Cheney had a close ties with the U.S. energy industry and expressed oil interest in Iraq. The Administration wanted to control the region, because Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. (Juhasz). Since United States gets most of their oil from the Middle East, the Administration felt that if they controlled the region it would secure America's future energy supplies. When 9/11 occurred, it became a perfect opportunity for the Administration to go into Iraq for oil. In order to make the war legitimate, the doctrine of preemption was used as an excuse for invading Iraq. The current situation in Iraq reflects a failure among the top Administration to acknowledge that there was no clear-cut strategy that was planned out because the motivation of the war was all about oil. Even though the Bush Administration has never mentioned oil as a reason for attacking Iraq, the history shows that Bush and Cheney had ties to the energy industry. For example, Cheney faced criticism following the disclosure that Halliburton, a United States based technical services to the petroleum industry had earned about $24 million in 1998 repairing Iraqi oil pipelines damaged in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when Cheney was defense secretary. (Witt).The Bush Administration was always focused on Iraq's oil, because not only to control it, they also wanted to make the U.S. oil companies richer who had ties with Bush and Cheney in the past. Instead of focusing on the weapons of mass destruction for their reason going into Iraq, what they were really after was oil in Iraq. For example, Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey has claimed publicly that oil production in Iraq could increase by 3 million to 5 million barrels a day following the toppling of Hussein. (Witt). The Bush Administration believed that Iraqi oil would help the United States economy so that President Bush would have a better chance of being reelected in 2004. The plan worked for President Bush as he was reelected in 2004. One of the ulterior motives in invading Iraq was that Bush Administration was always interested in controlling the Middle East before 9/11 attack. According to Cheney-led energy force, "The [Persian] Gulf will be a primary focus of U.S. international energy policy." (Witt). This shows historically that the Administration was focused in Iraq before 9/11, because they were interested in controlling that region for oil. Economic reasons played a major role of why the U.S. had a history of oil interest in Iraq. For example, it costs U.S oil companies $15 to $20 a barrel to get oil out of ground, but it only takes about 60 cents in Iraq. (Juhasz). This makes a huge difference for the U.S. oil companies, because they can make more profit if they can have access to Iraqi oil. According to Youssef Ibrahim, a Mideast expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, "There is absolutely no question that the continued domination of the U.S. of oil in the Middle East is a very important part of the planning and the thinking of the administration" (Witt). The Bush Administration's real motivations for wanting this war was all about oil. Since Iraq has a large number of oil reserves, the Administration wanted to control it for their benefit. The chart above displays data published by the CIA World Fact Book, shows that the United States is the number one oil consumer in the world and they buy most of their oil from the Middle East. If they control Iraq's vast oil reserves, they don't have to depend on buying oil from the Middle East. In this way, the US oil companies would become richer from the Administration's control over Iraq's oil. Even before the Bush Administration came to office, they always thought about plans for Iraq war and a regime change so that they could get an access to Iraqi oil. For example, Cheney Energy Task Force put together a list entitled "Foreign Suitors to Iraqi Oil" in which they identified the companies that Saddam was signing oil contracts with. (Juhasz). Because Saddam allowed other countries to get an access to Iraq's oil, they would cancel sanctions against Iraq. The Bush Administration and the members on the Cheney Energy Task knew that if those sanctions were removed while Saddam was still in power, other countries would get an access to Iraq's oil while the United States was going to be shut out.(Juhasz). This was a major issue for the Bush Administration as they entered office. Then came the 9/11 attack, the Bush Administration seized the opportunity to fulfill their goal of getting an access to Iraqi oil before other countries could. They wanted to invade Iraq before 9/11, but could not find a cause until 9/11 attack. Thus, 9/11 attack was a perfect opportunity for the Administration to go into Iraq, depose Saddam Hussein and most importantly gaining access to Iraqi oil. In order to make the war more legitimate, the Administration used the doctrine of preemption as an excuse to go into Iraq for oil. Vice President Cheney who was focused on Iraq before the terrorist attack. (Hamilton). Cheney wanted a regime change before 9/11 and when 9/11 occurred he said, "The United States need to deal with Saddam now, and not later, because the United States cannot let him get stronger before we can do anything about it." (Dockrill). The real reason that Cheney wanted a regime change in Iraq was because of oil. For example, his former company Cheney Energy Task Force actually stated as one of its goals, "gaining greater access for U.S. companies in the region." (Juhasz). He was always interested in Iraqi oil before he came to the office. He wanted make the U.S. oil companies become richer by gaining access to oil reserves in Iraq. In order to accomplish his goal, the war was the only choice that he thought of. The doctrine of preemption played a major role in his pursuit of oil interest in Iraq, because the doctrine of preemption was used as an excuse in justifying the war in Iraq. Cheney was looking for a cause for invading Iraq for oil, and the doctrine of preemption was a perfect excuse. Also, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz also played a major role in leading the war in Iraq. Two days after 9/11, he said, "I think one has to say it's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism. And that's why it has to be a broad and sustained campaign." (Kirk). It was Wolfowitz who convinced President Bush to go to war in Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. Even though Wolfowitz did not have an oil interest in Iraq, he was the mastermind of the doctrine of preemption which was used as an excuse to go into Iraq. The historical reason of doctrine of preemption is contributing to the problems in Iraq today. The Wolfowitz Doctrine makes clear that in post-Hussein Iraq, U.S. national interests come first, Iraqi democracy a distant second. (Kuttner). The current situation in Iraq is deteriorating, because there was no exit strategy after invading Iraq. There was no idea of getting in and getting out, because it was all about controlling the Middle East. The reason they wanted to control that part of the world was because of oil. President Bush's reasons for going into Iraq were because of regime change, weapons of mass destruction, and bringing democracy into Iraq. Even though there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq nor the evidence that indicate Iraq had connections to Al-Qaeda, the United States is still remains in Iraq. According to Bush, he said, "Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqi, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done." (Hutchinson). No one knows how long it will take for the United States to stabilize Iraq, because President Bush does not have a clear- cut strategy in stabilizing in Iraq and wining the war on terror. President Bush's strategy of stabilizing Iraq and winning the war on terror is deteriorating, because of his wrong reasons of going to the war which led to not having an exit strategy. "According to Sami al-Askari, an advisor to the Shite-led government of Prime minister Nouri al-Makiki, `Originally, the British forces, the American forces were coming to solve the situation and leave.' But we've seen the opposite: wherever they stay for a long time... the situation keeps getting worse and worse." (Jordan). According to the most recent stats, the total Iraqi deaths due to U.S. invasions reached 1,173,743. The total deaths of American troops reached 3,960 since the war began. <http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/>. The war against terror is a failure because the Bush Administration was focused on invading Iraq and regime change instead of focusing on the terrorists who were responsible on 9/11 attack. For example, according to an ex-White House official Richard Clarke, he said, "We're not engaged in a war on terrorism, a war against a tactic. We're not concerned here with all terrorist groups. There are many terrorist organizations around the world that the U.S. government is not actively fighting." (Burress). The current situation in Iraq is not working, because Bush had no clear-cut strategy of stabilizing Iraq and having an exit strategy. For example, instead of fighting the terrorists who were responsible for the 9/11 attack, the U.S. forces are caught in the middle of a growing civil war between the Sunnis and Shites who want to control Iraq. The current situation in Iraq reflects a failure among the top Administration to acknowledge that there was no clear-cut strategy that was planned out because the motivation of the war was about the oil. Currently, the war in Iraq is problematic because there was no exit strategy that was thought out. The Administration only cared about the regime change and controlling that part of the world for oil. The Administration used the doctrine of preemption as an excuse to go to war in Iraq for oil. As a result, there are problems in Iraq which are hard to solve. The war in Iraq is contributing to thousands of lives and waste of millions of dollars. According to New York Times, the U.S. spent 1.2 trillion dollars in Iraq war during the past 5 years.(Leonhardt). Because of President Bush's mistake of going into Iraq without an exit strategy, it's costing the United States an enormous amount of money and nothing is getting done to solve the problem in Iraq. The situation remains the same, and there needs to be a change. ...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 05/06/2008 for the course WRITING 39C taught by Professor Dubey during the Spring '08 term at UC Irvine.
- Spring '08