Term Paper on the Book The War Over Iraq Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission by Lawrence F. Kaplan and William Kristol

Term Paper on the Book The War Over Iraq Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission by Lawrence F. Kaplan and William Kristol

Throughout history time over time and again our country the United States of America had to make tough decisions. When coming to our safety and also protecting other nations who were facing similar threats as we were. I have read the book “the war over Iraq” by Lawrence F. Kaplan and William Kristol. In this book they discuss the causes and the responses America’s officials like Bush and Clinton took to protect their country and other’s who were drastically affected by terrorism.What is war? The marriam Webster dictionary describes it as a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflicts between states or nations. But, as we learned in class from past presidents not all wars were declared. The one’s that were undeclared failed because, of the lack of support from congress. Declared wars always won. An important phrase from our past President FDR was “ Total war Total victory Total peace”. You have to be in it to win it. You can’t be halfway in and halfway out. War is a serious thing because, it puts so many lives at risk. You must be serious because, life is important.

Furthermore, the book starts off talking about what America would be facing now after September 11, 2001 was similar to what we did during the cold war except we had to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the term foreign policy is a policy pursued by a nation in it’s dealings with other nations, designed to achieve national objectives. ( basically bringing peace)Throughout the semester the great society’s term realpolitik was mentioned and throughout my entire book. Realpolitik meaning is to do what is effective not what is right. It also defines America’s vital interest. In the past and present some of our elected officials use this method in dealing with various circumstances of terror that our country had to face. I feel that this method can cause us to get into more problems than getting us out of it. The big decision was now how “To deal with Iraq more than thinking about their future or the war on terror”. We want to live in a world where peace resounds not where dictators can have control and commit mass destruction and we support it. But, America’s policy for dealing with Iraq was counted as a failure. President Bush talks of his worldview which is “ the union of our values and national interest”. Saddam Hussein the evil dictator did not agree. Bush wanted to liberate Iraq and create freedom in a place for decades all they knew was dictatorship. He also wanted them to follow American principles. I thought to myself bush is really looking for problems. How could he tell Iraq’s leader how to run his country.

In the book they talk about 9/11 as a reminder that evil is in the world and it’s consequences. They stated that “Ronald Reagan assault on evil was the bring down of the soviet Communists”. Bush response to evil or 9/11 caused us a big price to pay from terrorist. Now Bush’s job was to find out who pose threats to the U.S and the rest of the world. “ the chief among Iraq is Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. To give a brief description of Saddam, he was born in a poor village and his dad left before he was born. He was a bully at school and carried a gun. He also claims to be a descent of Mohammed. “His uncle taught him the agenda of the bath party. He was schooled on socialism, Fascism, and pan-arab nationalism that distinguished baathist politics.” He allowed his uncle and attended bath cell meetings, street battles with university students, and he spent time in prison. Saddam’s political education ended at twenty- two for example, to show how wicked he was. He tried to assassinate the prime minister of Iraq Abdul Karim Kassim he failed and wounded himself. Saddam extracted the bullet himself and fled the scene for two years. He returned home and married his uncle’s daughter and he became the president of Iraq. He escaped jail and joined a party security force similar to Hitler’s Brown shorts. He was explained to be like a mafia man as a mass murderer. How could this man become president of Iraq. The first thought that came to me was those people must be scared of him and by that fear he had an upper hand and got elected. Hussein was just pure evil he did horrific things to women and children. He poison streams killing fish, turtles and made villager’s sick. There is a group of people called Kurdish (kurds). Kurds were non-arab, stateless, and persecuted for centuries “they were isolated between turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Most of them live north of Iraq. They have struggled for freedom and when Saddam came into office the Kurdish democratic party described it as “ the character of a racist war of extermination”. For example, the U.N reported Iraqi agents in Kurdish burned almost seventy women and children alive in a cave. Saddam had an obsession with the Kurds and the Jews. Saddam is a brutal dictator he committed crimes against his own people. It was stated “ many devotees of realpolitik believed that a government whether or not it’s legitimate by western standards should be able to do as it pleases within it’s border’s. Former House representative republican majority leader Dick Armey supported this position. He argued let Saddam Hussein rant and rave all he wants and let that be a matter between him and his country. As long as he does what he does within his
region. We should not be addressing any attack or have any resources against him. Now my thoughts on this matter is sometimes America does stick their noses in other countries problems. Because, they are one of the greatest super powers they believe people should be liberated. I feel if innocent lives are at steak it becomes are business. It is inhumane to not get involved especially when a country is dealing with a dictator like Saddam. I understand where republican Armey is coming from but, I do tend to disagree to a certain extent. I think his way of dealing with the conflict is selfish.

Saddam continued to destroy peoples lives. He electrocuted Iranian soldiers, civilians and gassed them. The security council decided to ban trade with Iraq. The U.S and the soviet union would demand Iraqi forces to quit Kuwait. “Saddams conduct of the gulf war was brutal” in 1992 the U.S government reported estimates that Saddams forces executed or tortured to death over 1,000 kuwaities during his occupations. One hundred and fifty three children ages 1-13 were killed for various reasons and fifty-seven were killed because of their disability. Many civilians were unaccounted for they were missing and never found. Americans were also captured and tormented and Saddam refused to mediate his dispute with Kuwait. In February 1991 he caused 610 well blazes ordered his forces to damage Kuwaits oil production facilities. He caused nearly 8million barrels of oil in the Persian gulf. Kuwait was not the only attacked during the gulf war. Missiles were thrown at Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel. Saddam spoke of Jews as a “cancerous tumor that should be excised from Palestine”. He received help from the French to build a nuclear bomb. He wanted to destroy the Jewish state launch missiles against them hoping to bring Israel into the conflict and thereby break the U.S Arab coalition. The gulf war ended on February 27, 1991 but, his battle against Israel continues to this day. He promotes the families of Palestine suicide bombers. The families of gunmen that die get 10,000 and relatives of suicide bombers earn 25,000.

Israel is not the only place of interest to Iraq the U.S is too. Saddam and Alqueda had meetings prior to 9/11 there was a suspected Iraqi intelligence terror campaign against the Kurdish officials. Saddam wanted Bush assassinated in 1993 when he was visiting Kuwait. The situation going on in Iraq is similar to what president Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson had to face. Truman went to the U.N to get permission to go to war which is constitutional congress was mad. (he used the 1st atomic bomb which ended world war II. Lyndon B. Johnson cared about his image just as Clinton. He conducted military operations in the region without declaration of war march 2, 1965 bombing. He withdrew troops before war ended which showed them as ineffective. The Authors of this book compares the Iraqi War to the Vietnam war stating that this war could be the II Vietnam war. I really hope this would never happen after all these years past we went in to get a job done and we have to finish it.

However, The Clinton Administration were persuaded to retaliate with a missile attack against an Iraqi intelligence facility. In 1993 the first attempt to destroy the world trade center occurred. The camp school for terrorists trained people to attack these installations important to the United States(they used planes to school them also). President Clinton views on the situation in Iran was totally different than republican Armey. He believed if a dictator sponsored terrorism it was our business. There was a U.N inspection program established to record and destroy Iraq’s illegal arsenal at the end of the gulf war. In 1970’s Iraq began a campaign to develop and acquire chemical weapons from Germany and France. In 1997 Clinton confronted Saddam.

The U.S responses in the 90’s to Hussein’s threats was to me passive. The Bush and Clinton administration voted for incomplete “military operations and diplomatic accommodations” and Bush halted the war against Iraq. The reasons for America’s response and non-response in the 90’s were that they were just a bit to confident. Their troubles were over I guess there they thought because, of their victory of the past gulf war. They thought would lead to Saddam’s end in terrorism. The Bush and Clinton teams were now presented with tough decisions they under estimated how ineffective their foreign policy approach would turn out to be in Iraq. Bush’s team worldview was that we should act aggressively in defense of our vital interest in Kuwait. “This brings us to the reality of realpolitik which counsels the American foreign policy should be grounded in our self-interest.

“Clinton’s point of view persuaded America after the cold war we could achieve our foreign policy through trade, diplomacy, and negotiations embracing a new kind of liberalism”. Both of these presidents foreign policy agenda’s had different motives. Bush was more aggressive in decision making Clinton more liked peaceful negotiating. However, the U.N ignored the challenge Saddam brought to our country. George W Bush seem to move back and forth between his policies with the enemy he offered them the option for better behavior and then threats of punishment he was confused. The U.S had a pretty ok relationship with Iraq. They were even supplying them with over a half billion of dollars annually. U.S interest were in Iraq’s eximbank. Bush believed it could further political and economic interest of the U.S( they even encouraged other countries to finance Iraq’s war). They realized that these materials being sent could cause mass destruction. I thought this was shocking to hear why would we be supporting those who ideals were contradicting ours. “Iraq stated to diassociate itself from from terror. The administration resisted congressional pressure to return Iraq to the terror list despite evidence of Saddam gassing Kurds.

In 1987 there was an Iraqi missile attack which claimed the lives of 37 American sailors. The administration accepted Saddam’s lame excuse that this was a mistake. The president wrote Saddam claiming that he wanted better relations with Iraq. “Saddam’s answer came within five days when he invaded Kuwait. Throughout the semester we have seen this mistake time and again. Presidents always trying to make negotiations or have long long talks. In
these cases why does it take them so long to realize that these evil dictator’s mean business it’s either their way or the high way. The joint chief of staff
Colin Powell confronted president Bush on his decision to go to war he thought it was not a good idea. “American people do not want their young dying for 1.50 gallon oil”. He believed they could not make a case for losing lives for Kuwait. There was a decision to end war once Iraqi forces were
driven from Kuwait. Bill Clinton attacked the Bush team for failing to learn from Saddam in the past and for learning the Kurds and Shites stranded. Clinton’s team would never have relations with dangerous dictatorship. In 1997 Saddam refused further weapons inspection Clinton believe force was important. The U.S would eliminate Iraq’s capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction. Clinton’s team response to terrorism was quoted useless.

Furthermore, “ on the question of what to do with Saddam Hussein both of the worldviews generated excuses for inaction”. Bush now embraced this new alternative view after 9/11. He calls it distinctly American Internationalism. This ideal was used by past presidents. Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. This promised to fight, for a just peace that favors liberty.

On page 63 paragraph 2 it stated “what does disnctly American internationalism mean- it follows the term American exceptionism- a belief in the uniqueness and the virtue of the American political system when transformed to foreign policy terms, offers U.S as a model for the world”. Page 64 paragraph 2 states “ current liberal and realist deny that American is an exceptional nation”. They believe peace and political liberty can be achieved within international organizations and throughout international cooperation”. “ Liberals feel that America should play the role of of global policemen”. America’s mission goes beyond such a limited view. Page 65 Paragraph 2 states “ American Internationalism- or liberal anti- communism as it was called at the time it began with Truman’s declaration that the U.S had become one of the most powerful forces for the good earth” and lead the world to peace and prosperity.

I think Truman proved a very important point. If America became one the greatest superpower in the world they need to work very hard to keep it that way. As a leader you have to know what you are doing and stick to the plan. You cant be changing your views left and right. Be specific and go all the way achieving victory not defeat. You cant be double minded look at the situation for what it is not for what you perceive it is. Don’t be blinded by what you think dig deeper and learn from the other’s who were before you who had to make similar decisions. On page 68 Reagan referred to the soviet union as an evil empire. He saw it for what it was unlike Bush and Clinton in the beginning. Reagan believed that only by changing the political system our enemies rather than balancing or engaging them, we could ensure a safer America and a more secure world.” He spoke openly and frequently about america’s mission in the world”. “ Reagan’s inheritance had faded away for more than a decade but, after 9/11 Bush revived it once again”.

Bush realized that our enemies were serious and that we as a country needed to amp things up. 9/11 dramatized a threat that was there all along. Now had we took action long before probably we could of avoided this horrible ordeal. Eventually Saddam Hussein was hanged and killed 12/30/06. He got what was due to him I wish it did not take so long for him to get the judgement he deserved. So many lives were affected in a bad way. Many lives were lost on account of one evil dictator. I think that if they felt he was such a threat they should of got rid of him a long time ago not try to have relations with him. This makes me wonder was Saddam all the things that the U.S said he was just by the fact that they were sending him money. (this contradicts everything) I love living in a country where every man is free. I feel sorry for all the other countries who live under evil dictatorship who control their lives. Sometimes people take their freedom for granted. So many lives were lost just for this cause for all mankind to be free.

Honestly, I wish there was an easy way to come to various agreement with nations all over the world. But, I learn that sometimes we have to take drastic measures to get democracy. Because, having long talks, negotiating, and looking over things can just make things worst. Bush had interest in Iraq and Clinton wanted to be able to peacefully trade with them etc. Whatever their motives were the main objective should have been we have to protect those who were being innocently killed and those who needed to be free from Saddam’s evil intentions.

However, they finally got it that this man Saddam meant business and so they had to step up their game. 9/11 will always be remembered as a tragedy. So many lives lost on account of people who just hated us Americans. The August of 2001 I was getting a job at the world trade center. I refused at the time because my mom told me I should just focus on school, I was a bit upset the pay was good. After I saw the incident on tv on 9/11. I kept flipping the channels it was aired on every channel I was in disbelief. To think I could have been there that day became a sad and gloomy day for us the American people. I really hope the war will soon end but, I want us to win so that our adversaries will be defeated. I want our troops to come home. What are we really fighting for now? I do wish there was another way for countries to resolve their conflicts. But, I guess not in this life time.