Iraq War Justification Essay

According to Scott Ritter, the former head of the United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq from 1991 until 1998, UNSCOM accounted for and dismantled 94 percent of Iraq's WMDs.Before the UN pulled its inspectors from Iraq, which preceded Operation Desert Fox in December 1998, a group of conservative officials and intellectuals associated with the New American Century wrote a letter to President Clinton suggesting that the policy of containing Iraq was failing and proposed a new strategy based on confrontation.When that didn’t happen, Bush senior decided that the best course of action was to contain Saddam, and allow him to be strong enough to maintain order domestically, and weak enough not to threaten his neighbours.

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The war on Iraq was planned over several years, promoted by an influential group of neo-conservatives, made possible by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and marketed by the right-wing pundits and media.

From containment to change The idea of removing Saddam Hussein dates back to the second Gulf War in 1991.

In addition to the influential Vice President Dick Cheney, this group constituted the nucleus of the neo-conservatives, known inside the Beltway as the neocons.

Beside their advocacy of regime change in Iraq, what these unelected officials have in common is their strong association with energy and defence industries and their fervent support of Israel.

Such a scenario was based on two erroneous assumptions: One is that Iraq had massive quantities of chemical and biological weapons, and the other that Saddam would be willing to supply such weapons to al-Qaida in the fight against a common enemy.

After the events of 11 September 2001 the change of focus onto Iraq was a natural progression for the neocons.

One of its prime advocates was Paul Wolfowitz who argued for regime change by supporting the Iraqi opposition.

Nonetheless, the dominant view within the first Bush Administration was that Saddam would be toppled within six months after suffering a humiliating defeat.

Advocates of war in the US administration claimed that Iraq had continued to develop WMDs, and with Saddam Hussein capable of making them available to organisations such as al-Qaida, it put the US at imminent risk.

However, a closer analysis of US behaviour, as well as the thinking of the pro-war camp inside the Bush administration, reveals that the justifications were convenient excuses for mobilising US public opinion.

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