Over the past week there have been demonstrations in countries all over the world against the war with Iraq. In 1990, many believed that we should not go to war with Iraq, but we did. The reasons then, were slightly different from the reasons now. During late July 1990, Saddam built up his forces on the border of Kuwait. At 1.00 a.m. on 02 August, three divisions of Saddam's elite Republican Guard rolled over the border and invaded Kuwait. The reason Iraq invaded Kuwait is one of oil, and to show their muscle, it was a power play on Saddam's behalf.
By August 6th, there were almost eleven combat divisions in and around Kuwait. This is when Saudi Arabia became very uncomfortable about the situation. Saddam Hussein's army could now roll over into Saudi Arabia, and take over just as easily as he did with Kuwait. This would mean that Iraq would possess 40% of the world's oil. The Saudi's recognized the threat, and this is when they asked for help from America, who in turn set about "Dessert Shield".
So the reasons behind the war in 1990 were to help the Saudi Arabians and the Kuwaitis keep their oil. Also, it was learned that Saddam Hussein was committing war crimes by torturing Kuwaiti people, along with other atrocities. The CIA and other intelligence agencies had become aware that Saddam Hussein had also been developing weapons of mass destruction. This could not continue, and so the Gulf War began.
Even though it was a swift war, Saddam Hussein survived and retreated back into Iraqi territory. We find ourselves in a similar situation today. Saddam Hussein, although he hasn't attacked anyone, is in a position where he has developed weapons of mass destruction and is a threat to everyone and anyone. For years Saddam Hussein has played games, and given countries like America the run around about his weapons program. Again, it has come down to the crunch, and after September 11th, President Bush is in no mood to let threatening countries off the hook. There are many against war with Iraq this time for one reason or another, but President Bush and his closet allies believe it is time to rid the world of this evil dictator.
Unfortunately not everyone agrees, and over recent weeks it has become a hot topic globally. One of the reasons that these people are speaking out is the fact that they think that the U.N. should be given more time to do inspections, and try to find weapons of mass destruction. The U.N. has put forward sanctions to Iraq, and expects them to adhere to these proposals. Iraq is a big country, and it will take time for the U.N. inspectors to get around and check out sites that they think may be used for weapons of mass destruction.
Countries such as Germany and France are speaking very loudly about the time frame and the pressure that is being applied by the U.S., and are calling for more time. The public also believes that this is the case, and is demonstrating about how effective the inspections have been thus far. I personally believe no one wants to see war, and so more people are against the U.S. attacking until further inspections have been completed. Why?
I for one cannot see why we should be giving this mad man anymore time. He has been given numerous chances to disclose to the inspectors where his weapons are. Saddam Hussein is renowned for playing games, and once again he is doing so with vigor. Saddam Hussein has not complied fully with one single resolution. The U.S. Department of State recognizes that Iraq has not fully declared and destroyed its weapons of mass destruction. It has not ceased concealment of these either, and has not answered questions fully put forward by UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission) and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).
Iraq has not yet returned numerous POW's from certain countries, and has still not stopped repression of its civilian population. It is stated that Iraq is to disarm itself of these weapons. That actually means that Iraq should provide full, final and complete disclosure of all aspects of its nuclear, chemical, biological, and long-range missiles. It should allow unconditional inspection access, and cease any attempts to conceal, move, or destroy any material or equipment related to these programs (Saddam Hussein's Iraq 9).
He has not done this! Saddam has refused to credibly account for 500 tons of SCUD propellant, over 40 SCUD biological and conventional warheads, 7 Iraqi-produced SCUDS, and truckloads of SCUD components. In July 1998, Iraq seized an Air Force document indicating that Iraq had misrepresented the expenditure of over 6,000 bombs, which may have contained over 700 tons of chemical agents. Iraq continues to refuse to provide this document to the UN. There are many ways in which Iraq goes about slowing the process of the inspectors work, above are just a few, and for this I truly believe that this man has had far to many chances to provide all the information necessary.
What will it take for Saddam Hussein to actually get the message that America and its allies are not playing his games anymore? I can understand that people would like a peaceful outcome to this difficult situation, but actions speak louder than words. People need to realize that this problem will not go away, and given an inch, Saddam will take a mile. He has proved this over and over again. As with war comes cost. Many people and politicians believe that going to war with Iraq will cost an absolute fortune.
The cost for war is astronomical today. With the cost of weapons, troops, medical supplies, food, travel, and many other things that are attributed with war, people are asking why we need to do this? I believe people would much rather see President Bush spending money on its country for things such as schools and medicine, rather than upping the defense budget just to attack Iraq. There are many people who still believe in the phrase "charity begins at home", with this in mind it is no wonder that there are so many people up in arms over the whole Iraq situation.
Many people are asking the question "why do we have to be the ones who go to war, why not let another country take charge for a change?" The cost of war is very expensive in weapons and military forces, but is also necessary. So why spend excessive amounts of money on war when we should be concentrating on our own country? Well it's simple, the cost of war is expensive, but wouldn't we be moaning if President Bush were not spending the money on our defense? Ever since the tragic events of 9/11, one of the main priorities has been military spending and defense. I have to agree that spending this money on war is disappointing, but I also see it as a must. We will have to eventually spend money on this war, as it is inevitable that this war is going to happen because Saddam Hussein has proved he will never adhere to the rules.
Saddam is a problem that will never go away, and the longer we leave him in power, the worse the problem will become. The Congressional Budget Office said that war with Iraq is going to cost an estimated $9 to $13 billion. This cost is established with the use of a 'heavy ground force option'. If we were to send 370,000 troops to the Gulf equipped with 1,500 aircraft, 800 attack and transport helicopters, 800 tanks and 60 ships, the cost would be approximately $13 billion. It would cost an extra $6 to $9 billion a month to run the war ("IRAQ WAR COULD COST U.S. UP TO $13 BILLION" 1). So yes this is going to be very expensive, but in 1990 when we fought this war, America was reimbursed for a substantial amount of this cost by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
That doesn't necessarily mean this would happen again, because Kuwait has not been invaded, but this cost would be shared with other countries. The reward for winning this war would, I feel, eventually pay for itself, but in the meantime we would have to suffer a little. The way the economy is today does indeed cause concern, as does the loss of life that comes with war. Many people argue that too much loss occurs with war, and no one wants to see Americans getting killed. This is another argument that would be put forward to the people in charge. As we all know it is extremely difficult not to have casualties in war, and so why go to war when it can be resolved peacefully I hear you say?
Well, this is why there are so many people that are against war with Iraq. They don't understand the reasoning behind force. It stems back to letting the U.N. inspectors do their job, and not putting people's lives on the line for the sake of a war. In 1990, fortunately there were not too many casualties from the Gulf War, but this time people are saying it would be different because the soldiers would have to fight in the cities, and therefore would become more vulnerable to casualties.
This is a good argument, and one that would need to be looked at very closely, but as with war it is always looked at very closely. For us to dislodge Saddam Hussein from power we must set in motion an all out attack on Iraq. There are fears that doing this would lead to huge casualties, but with war there are always casualties. As time has passed, the technology of our weapons has greatly increased, and we have laser guided missiles that are extremely accurate. If war were to occur, then the first step would be the same as before when we attacked them in 1990. A huge bombing campaign would lead the way to securing an open road for the forces on the ground.
We have seen that this works, and leads to a reduction in human loss. Even though this war would be fought slightly different, it would be a necessity to enter the major cities of Iraq. Our troops are the best equipped and most well trained on the planet. They know that by doing this, they are helping the future of the Iraqi people, but most importantly they are helping their own. In the first Gulf war there were 760 war-orientated casualties, 467 wounded in action, 148 killed in action and 145 killed in accidents other than the battle. Now that seems like a lot of soldiers, but put that into comparison to how many soldiers served.
There were 696,778 that served in the Gulf war (Gulf War Casualties 1). For a war, that loss is incredibly small, and shows just how well the U.S. can fight and defend itself. I do agree, however, that it is a shame that anyone has to loose life in war, but at times it takes the loss of loved ones for the improvement of a nation, both ours and theirs. The loss of the civilians of Iraq is another possible argument for not going to war.
The civilians have it hard enough over there already, and don't need the added problem of dodging the bombs of American forces. I have already mentioned about the cost of lives to the U.S., but what about the cost to the civilians of Iraq? How would they survive the inevitable bombardment from the U.S.? The simple answer is, they wouldn't.
As with war, there are many casualties, and many of them are innocent victims of circumstances. American people, even though against Saddam Hussein, are not against his people, and feel that if a peaceful conclusion can be implemented then it should be. Like I have already mentioned, the Iraqis' have suffered for a long time and need not suffer anymore. However, the Iraqi people do not get much of an opportunity to express their opinion, and never will, while under the rule of an evil dictator.
In 1990, there were civilian casualties, how many, I don't know? I am sure that the casualties were kept to a minimum though. Again it goes back to the precise targeting of our weapons. Unfortunately the U.S. and its allies can do nothing to stop Saddam Hussein using his own people as shields, which he has done in the past and will do again in the future. If we were to look at the mass killings in which Saddam Hussein has been involved in since coming to rule in 1979, the numbers would be staggering. In the late 1980's as many as 5,000 innocent civilians were killed by Saddam Hussein and his regime by way of chemical weapons.
This was all in his country, and was probably the largest single mass killing in recent history. He has destroyed over 3,000 villages in Northern Iraq and caused approximately 900,000 internally displaced citizens throughout the country (Saddam Hussein's Iraq 13). This man has caused so much misery in his own country, and I think that the Iraqi people would be grateful for the demise of such an animal. There will be loss of civilians in the war campaign, but I believe it would be a small price to pay for the ultimate freedom that these people would be able to benefit from. If we were to attack Iraq, who's to say that we wouldn't receive repercussions from his people in self-defense. The Iraqi's are people who believe very strongly in their faith, and would go to any lengths to prove a point.
There are possible links to terrorist organizations, and I think that a lot of Americans feel very uncomfortable about the possibility of revenge attacks by extremists. Since 9/11, Americans have had to be on their guard, and fear of reprisals for attacking Iraq would lead most people to say no to war. No one enjoys living in fear, and the chances that suicide bombers would attack the mainland are very high. Many people would rather see the soft option, that being, to negotiate to eradicate this problem. This may be true, but in the same breath is this not another reason why we should try to establish a new power within this country? By doing this, the U.S. and its allies may be able to focus on weeding out the bad elements that have become so accustomed to creating havoc all over the world.
The way in which Saddam Hussein does business would not surprise me if there were links to other terrorist groups. Iraq has provided bases to several terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Kha lq (MEK), the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), and the Abu Nida l organization (ANO). The Iraqi Vice President has met with former PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) Secretary General Hab bash in Baghdad in January 2001 and expressed continued support for the Intifada h. Also, in mid September a senior delegate for the PFLP met with the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister.
Baghdad also continues to play host to other Palestinian rejection ist groups, including the Arab Liberation Front ("INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION PROGRAMS" 4). This causes great concern to many political circles around the world, and reinforces why we should attack Iraq sooner rather than later. Lastly, many people in the U.S. believe that President Bush may be doing this for the wrong reasons. Many believe that Bush wants to attack Iraq for its oil.
Iraq is the second largest producer of oil and to most countries that could be an extremely lucrative opportunity. If war were to occur, it would lead to sky-high oil prices, and bring havoc to an already unstable global economy. Iraq has had an oil-for-food program enforced for the past two and half years. Many Iraqi's believe that the U.S. has put sanctions on their country, and blame us for a lot of their suffering.
When in fact, Iraq has been able to sell $14.9 billion in oil. The oil-for-food program has delivered $3.7 billion worth of food, $691 million worth of medicine, and more than $500 million worth of supplies for electrical, water / sanitation, agricultural, education, oil industry, settlement rehabilitation and demining projects ("Saddam Hussein's Iraq" 3). If we did attack Iraq, and helped them create a democratic society they would be able to use their oil to their advantage. In the same breath it would allow for many prices to steadily drop on the open market. Have you noticed how the gas prices are increasing? This is because of the situation in the Gulf.
Iraq does have a great chance to become an extremely profitable country with the right sort of direction. Are we the ones who should give them that direction? I think we and many other countries would gladly give them help in any way, shape, or form if we thought it would benefit them. First changes need to be made, with the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The most important thing throughout this whole argument is that we do not lose sight of the fact Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and will not disarm. It is of grave concern to many nations and needs to be addressed, not with words, but with actions. I have noticed throughout writing this that there are many arguments for and against war with Iraq. I still stand firm by my belief that it is imperative that the U.S. and its allies attack from all fronts and crush Saddam Hussein. As I have tried to show in my arguments, Iraq has the potential of creating pure havoc within the Middle East and America, but has the opportunity of becoming a great country once rid of this dictator.
We are the only ones that can do this. There are many people that I have discussed this argument with and many of them are against war; they are entitled to their opinion. We are all so quick to judge the actions of others. We as a country should be backing the decisions made 150%, and not show divide. I feel this is what Saddam Hussein and other irrational leaders want.
A show of force and commitment is what is needed. No more negotiation, for this has proved futile. As with war, comes death and upheaval, but the benefits for the people of Iraq would be huge. The freedom for women to get education, food for the entire country and the good use of their oil are just a few reasons that would allow the country to grow and prosper. The benefits for us would indeed also be great. We would be able to help build a stable Middle East, with which neighboring countries could finally build healthy relationships, and share the wealth of importing and exporting.
We could close down any terrorist activities within Iraq, and shut down the weapons of mass destruction program they keep denying they have. It will enable us to concentrate on other countries that also follow in Saddam Hussein's footsteps, and prove to them that the U.S. and its allies will not tolerate terrorism or war crimes. Most importantly, the U.S. could shut down Saddam Hussein, a man that has proved over the years that he has no remorse for killing his own people or others. In conclusion, I would like to add that in any situation where war is talked about there has always been fierce debate. We would not be where we are today if we did not disagree with one another, but something that stands out a mile in this situation is a phrase that I think fits when it comes to war and opinions, that being " You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time.".