By Logan Spurrier ‘22
Strewn about my room are piles of books relating to conflicts, of old and new. Yet, of all the wars covered in these books, none discuss a more debated topic in the modern day than those relating to the U.S invasion of Iraq. Despite the longevity of the conflict, the most contentious topic relates to the lead up to hostilities – Was the invasion justified?
The U.S invasion of Iraq was justified but not for the expected reason. It is acknowledged that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) at the time of the invasion, thereby invalidating the main reason the U.S wanted to go into the country. However, justification lies within the various secondary benefits which resulted due to the conflict.
Starting with an invasion of neighboring Iran in 1980, Saddam’s Iraq began to reach for further control over the Gulf. When the war with Iran turned into a protracted stalemate and ended with U.N help, Iraq was quelled temporarily. However, on August 2nd, 1990, the Iraqi Army invaded yet another country, Kuwait. According to Britannica.com, the casus belli was to acquire Kuwait’s oil supply, cancel a standing debt between the countries, and to expand the power of Iraq in the region. Therefore, Iraq established itself as a threat to peace and stability within the region.
Furthermore, under Saddam’s regime, countless human rights violations occurred on a wide scale basis. In the wake of a failed assassination attempt in Dujail, Saddam promised to distinguish between the attempt assassins and the innocent civilians – he didn’t. By the time it was all over, 148 boys/men had been killed with hundreds more tortured in various forms. During the trial over this event, a woman, only going by ‘Witness A”for protection, testified against Saddam stating, “’I was forced to take off my clothes, and he [Saddam’s Intelligence Officer] raised my legs up and tied up my hands,” She continued, “He continued administering electric shocks and beating me.” The woman would later insinuate that she had been raped. When Saddam was toppled by the U.S, it freed the Iraqi people of his tyranny.
Finally, looking forwards, Iraq has seen an economic boom in the wake of the war. Coalition forces were able to make economic reforms within Iraq after the invasion. The country also benefited from the removal of sanctions, which meant production of oil doubled in eight years. Cities that have seen their fair share of wars now are experiencing economic rebounds. A New York Times article mentions how Ramadi, once a war-torn city between U.S and Iraqi troops, now is one of Iraq’s most stable cities. Due to the invasion removing Saddam from power, the country was able to benefit from an ever-growing economy.
Iraq is now a peaceful, more free, and more economically stable country than it was ever under Saddam’s regime. The long-term prosperity of Iraq and its people stand as justification for the U.S invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.