In a response to global anti-war protests which involved millions of people, the Bush administration today is saying that they won’t back down on their position to dethrone Saddam Hussein. Despite public opinion, alternative courses of action, potential negative repercussions, and pure logic, Bush seems intent on proceeding with an invasion of Iraq.
The motivation for the USA to invade Iraq at this juncture is widely viewed with skepticism, despite the White House Administration’s best propaganda efforts. During the first Gulf War, there was at least some support for military action because another country was invaded, and the USA was clearly acting as part of a global UN-led coalition that had fairly strong global public support.
However, the current course of action represents a preemptive strike, and as such, can never be viewed entirely as morally correct. Preemptive strikes historically tend to be attributed to the bad guys, and once you engage in a preemptive strike, no matter what, you become the aggressor. To reason that we have to invade Iraq because of 10 years of UN non-compliance and because their leader is a bully just seems ridiculous. Attack us and yes, please let’s counter the attack with force and remove Saddam Hussein from power. Without a clear act of war against the USA, the reason to invade Iraq just doesn’t float. The perception is that the White House is drumming up accusations and instilling public fear to gain support for this invasion, but there are ulterior motives. Is it a coincidence that Bush and Cheney come from major oil cartel backgrounds and that Iraq holds some of the largest oil reserves in the world? Whether or not this is the true underlying motivation, the whole thing just stinks because of it. Because of these facts, the world will perceive it as an action to grab Iraq’s oil fields no matter what we do or say.
I contend that we, the USA, should not be the global police force just because we have the most weapons and the most money, and the long-term negative implications of a preemtive strike far outweigh any perceived short-term benefits. We should act as a good international citizen and participate in peacekeeping as needed, and not become the global overlords that decide when and decide what is right and what is wrong all by ourselves. Iraq is far away from here, and I for one have little interest in going to war with them over the current accusations. I don’t see an imminent attack coming from Iraq, nor do I see with any concrete proof any ability for them to do so. Furthermore, since this is such an unpopular case for war with so many tainted implications linking war to control of oil, we should not be the country leading the effort to unseat this brutal dictator. Leave that to the UN and the countries in the Middle East that are directly affected by Iraq. Let’s focus on our own problems that affect us more directly, such as the failing economy, rising budget deficits, unemployment, fixing our broken education system, figuring out a way to keep North Korea from launching nukes at us, and finding the terrorists that are responsible for 9/11 and all the other recent acts of terror against the USA.