Few would have thought that the morning of 11th September, 2001 in New York’s busiest economic centre would introduce a drastic and capricious turn in their lives forever. The incident of plane crash into the twin towers of World Trade Centre where on one hand left the entire American nation completely awe-struck, on the other hand created the third division of time which is contemporarily referred to as the post and pre 9/11 era.
The range of intensity covering the reverberations of the collapse of the twin towers was only a wild speculation. United States of America who viewed the terrorist of 9/11 as an attack on the security, sovereignty, progress and liberty of the state developed an overnight strategy of forming a gigantic alliance by seeking help from all its traditional allies and usage of coercive diplomacy at other places to wage war against the conflict-riddled state of Afghanistan, the Taliban zealots that ruled the place and subsequently Iraq that became a prey of a War against terrorism that has plunged the whole world into the midst of economic, social and political turmoil and chaos.
The first example of moral and ethical collapse came when not long after the 9/11 episodes occurred, news and reports began to circulate that the entire incident was indeed a total hogwash as it was engineered by the think tank lobbies and intelligence agencies which have always had a profound influence as far as their presence in legislative processes is concerned.
However during the course of this discussion we would be shedding light on the reasons, events and aftermath that took place upon the American society and upon the whole world after the Iraq War of 2003 took place which on hand sparked serious questions regarding the limitations of a superpowers, concurrently imposed serious questions of confidence and credibility on a supranationalist organization.
Reasons for Iraq war
Political experts and scholars today define a number of reasons which led to the Iraq war in 2003 and almost all of them comprehensibly manifest that in front of hegemony and war driven of a state that has slowly and steadily transformed into an empire, adherence and implementation upon international norms, morals or a respect to the geographical contiguity of another sovereign and independent state are completely baseless.
One of the most prominent reason which was easily understood by people all over the world as soon as news regarding the invasion of Iraq by US forces reached mainstream media was for to make the extraction and control of Iraq’s oil resources feasible and economical for US. A major question that rises here is that US in the past had established its bases in the Gulf to simplify its extraction and transportation costs as far as oil resources present in these countries then why was there a need to wage a full-fledged, massive scale military operation against the country.
Reasons in order to understand the entire scenario does not require to be learned in the principles of rocket science. A common sense application and explanation of this which is provided by economists was that the oil resources present in Iraq do not require such investment as far as costs of purification and downstream processing are concerned, hence the entire venture from the US perspective came to be as extremely juicy and lucrative as far as its aims and objective related to the maximization of its corporate empire and monopoly is concerned. In addition to this another key reason which is worth mentioning here is with the invasion of Iraq and gaining consequent control of its oil resources US would have been able to gain clear access to confront the control of oil and natural gas resources that are being provided by Russia all over the world.
With the fate of Iraq in US hands it would have been very easy for the US not only alleviate its level of dependency on other Gulf States for the acquisition of oil and natural gas, but it would have also gained supreme authority through which it could easily control the prices of oil on a global scale, hence in short it was another attempt by the US to expand and proliferate its hegemony and assertion by gaining direct control of the ‘Black Gold’ thus completely fracturing the oil resources of its long contender Russia as well as its apparent allies which include Saudi Arab and UAE.
This reason was first brought into limelight by the imprisoned Russian oil mogul Mikail Khodorkovsky who said that if America would have succeeded in taking controlling of Iraqi oil fields, it would have triumphed in bringing the prices of oil to $12 a barrel. This would have been of severe disadvantage to Russian economy and energy sector as the revenues being generated would have slashed substantially as a result of the bottoming prices.
Another subtle reason which has been accentuated by scholars is that with the invasion of Iraq, US wanted to fulfill its objective of providing a safe sanctuary in order to facilitate the settlement of Jews from Israel into these areas. However, the entire claim still remains a conspiracy theory as there are no substantiated or concrete facts regarding such a process taking place. (Laughland, 2004)
Events Prior to War
Before the war started in 2003 a delegation of IAEA under the supervision of Hans Blix to conduct a proper an organized scrutiny about the possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) under the umbrella of which an extremely vicious, sinister and deceptive political game of hypocrisy was being played.
The delegation after their visit stated clearly in comprehensible words that no chemical or biological weapons that threaten global security or any of its features have been found to be possessed by Iraq. But Hans Blix was unaware of the fact that his report could not stop a superpower from fulfilling its superpowerish motives who despite of all resistance from the United Nations openly and out rightly decided to violate all rules, norms and principles of international law by invading the country that was already on the verge of national bankruptcy.
Furthermore the invasion of Iraq also provided the whole world clear evidence that a supranationalist organization like the United Nations which was formed to maintain peace and harmony between the different states of the world is nothing but a puppet whose strings are held in the hands of an elite group that governs and influences each and every step of policy making done in the organization, thus eroding the very foundation upon which this organization came into being.
Was the Iraq war most effective way to combat terrorism?
United States war against Iraq was not at all an effort to combat terrorism. Bush administration had waged the war against Iraq to get economical control of Iraq and gets benefited from its resources. Although President of America, George, W. Bush has tried desperately to justify this war and make his position clear, but the media have proved all his justifications false.
George W. Bush repeatedly said that they want war against Iraq in order to maintain peace in the world. In his address in Washington D.C, before the joint houses of Congress, he said, “ We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats are no peace at all. If a war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means- sparing in every way, the innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the US military – and we will prevail” (Campbell and Chaulia, 2003).
But people in United States and all around the world believed that this is not a war for peace but Bush tried to uplift the poor state of economy. It has been estimated that Iraq has almost 326 trillion cubic feet of hydrogen gas, which can easily be used for commercial purposes. The Citizens of United States protested against Bush’s policy against Iraq and said that they “don’t want war for oil”.
People all around the world also protested Bush’s attempt to wage war against Iraq, the media and people of United Kingdom, who is a very close ally of United States, had condemned Bush attempts as well as Blair’s efforts to pave the way for America to wage a war.
“George Bush seems set on his course of action despite strong world opinion against an attack, but at least Tony Blair is willing to listen to his voters and rethink his support for the US” (Routledge, August 2,2002)
In an article “ Will Blair Destroy his party or just himself” the author said” There was dancing in the streets when the Taliban regime, once an ally of the USA, let it not be forgotten, was toppled. Yet the picture of Northern Alliance “Soldiers” glorying in the bloody roadside murder of their opponents demonstrated the barbaric nature of our allies.
They have no monopoly on cruelty, as Americans showed in their inhumane treatment of prisoners of war at camp X-ray, Hooded, Chained, confined to wire cages in the Cuban heat, their plight in an affront to the civilized values that were supposed to be defending” (Routledge, September 11, 2002)
Bush administration was first claimed that Iraq might have some links with Al Qaeda, but the investigators of FBI, said that, FBI did not find any such links (Risen and Johnston, Feb 2003).
Bush administration had also accused Saddam Hussein Government that they are going to prepare nuclear weapon and US weapon inspector presented documents as proof for Iraq nuclear plan but these documents proved to be forged afterwards by the director of International Atomic Energy Program (Kole, March 2003).
Casualties in the Iraq War
Then Bush administration took the role of policeman of the world and said that they wanted to wage war against Iraq for peace and the only purpose of the war is to free the people of Iraq from the clutches of Saddam Hussein.
This so-called war against terrorism caused:
· High rate of casualties of Iraqi people: it has been estimated that total casualties in Iraq due to bombing, ranges from 15,038 to 17,240 (2003 Invasion of Iraq)
· Casualties of US soldiers: more than 1300 United Soldiers died and approximately 10,000 to 25,000 were injured in this war
· Financial Burden: Although Bush administration will gain financial benefit, from this war, in future, but at present United States had to present a deficit budget due to billions of dollars spent on this war
· Provoke Hatred: United States bombing on civilians provoked hatred, from the Muslim World, for United States in general and for Bush administration in particular etc.
Thus all the discussion shows that this war was not actually a war to combat terrorism. Bush Administration had actually no solid reason to start war against Iraq, but Bush desperately wanted to use the oil resources of Iraq to lessen their budget deficit, and this was the only reason for war.
Aftermath of Iraq war
Analyzing the situation since the occurrence of the 9/11 incident if the global situation of the world is assessed, it might not be very difficult to realize that the war that was waged in the aftermath of WTC destruction with the core and only objective of combating and eradicating terrorism that in turn explored completely novel factors through which terrorism proliferated and its scale of obliteration and devastation augmented substantially.
Moreover some of the closest allies of US which include Pakistan, UK and even Saudi Arab all of them have been victims of the terrorism menace which has in turn posed a severe threat to their political, national, social and economic interests.
Last but not the least, was the war able to fulfill the objectives for which it was waged in the first place. I personally think that even a lay man can easily answer this question in negative. After the military operation concluded, the entire state of Iraq was plagued by severe riots that broke between Sunni and Shia sects of the country. It is normally said that the casualties that have taken place as a result of these riots are far greater than those that have died as a result of US bombing.
Hence it would be appropriate to say that the war became a harbinger through which the ideological resentment between the radicals that exist on either side catalyzed and reached unprecedented levels of threat to the entire humanity.