Sovereignty Breach: US – Iraq War
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This is a paper is addressing the case of invasions on Iraq and the effects of the war that was with no regard for International Law that provides for the sovereignty and respect of an independent country by all. The illegitimate United States invasion on Iraq will be reviewed first while the declaration of the independence of Kurdistan as an independent state within Iraq and its effects on the sovereignty of the country are discussed second. The Bush administration ignored United Nations weapon inspectors’ report that categorically stated that the country had no weapons of mass destruction.
The United States Illegitimate Invasion of Iraq
Without facts or law to justify their action, the United States launched a military attack on Iraq on March 20 2003 following numerous threats from George Bush, the then President of the United States, that they would attack Iraq (Parker,2006). In spite of the legal fact that a country invading another implicates the most fundamental element of the United Nations Charter and International Law, the US went ahead and invaded Iraq without the required approval of the United Nations Security Council; hence, the UN Charter, which is, according to (Segell 2004) the foundation of modern International Law, was violated.
Following the attacks on Iraq, millions of civilians and civil rights lobbyists all around the world held demonstrations against the move. Despite the strict convergence of international legal provisions opposing the attack of Iraq on the valid grounds of International Law, or at least to invoke the global law as a standard of analysis to determine whether the invasion was justified or not, President Bush was not held accountable to the provisions of the rule of law in this illegitimate conduct of foreign policy (Segell 2004). In fact, the irony of the situation is that the officials of the Bush administration regarded the invasion of Iraq as the priority strategy in its “global preventive war”, a doctrine which is in no way supported by International Law.
Another important fact of consideration in this development, is the phenomenon that the president himself and his senior cabinet members said that the government was ready to invade Iraq regardless of whether or not the United Nations Security Council approved the attack. This happened amid the well-known UN Charter prohibitions against attack threats, cold war and the use of force by a country against another. The threats were made in public addresses and news conferences without consideration of the existing UN Charter provisions against threatening the security and peace of another country.
Effects of the war on the United States
By violating the United Nations Charter on international relations among countries, United States actually violated her own constitution as a result of the war. This is well elaborated by interpretation of the United States-ratified treaties and the Constitution, both of which hold that violation of any provision of the UN Charter by a country is a violation of her own supreme law of the land (Parker 2006). Thus, President Bush violated the US Constitution in addition to disobeying the UN Charter, by solely ordering the attack against Iraq without approval of the United States Congress and the UN Security Council.
Many soldiers have lost lives due to the war in Iraq. Loosing of lives has a big impact to the families and relatives of the soldiers and the country at large. Many children lost their fathers, husbands lost their wives and wives lost their husbands during this war and from a critical point of view, the US invasion campaign against Iraq comprised one of the most bombarding and shocking way to terrorize the Iraqis and intimidate the Iraq state military (Parker 2006). It was unbelievable and seemed like a big joke of video games for the United States public to watch the opening of the massive military attacks against Iraq, with the military press briefings citing the accuracy of precision bombs. Eventually, this was accepted as the reality with media reports showing intensification of the campaign by the US military forces quickly advancing northwards into the central Iraq and the highly anticipated resistance diminishing with every dawn (Segell 2004).
From outside, the war could be perceived as quick and contained and almost legally justified, despite the worldwide uproar and blanket disapproval of the US government’s move. However, massive breaches of International Laws occurred, with the precision bombs touted by the US military killing scores of innocent Iraq civilians, and massive destruction of state and civilians ‘property (Parker 2006). The US Air force dropped cluster bombs over urban areas, without sparing residential neighborhoods. Moreover, countless munitions containing depleted uranium were components of the bombs and artillery shells used against civilians. Tanks also fired into hotels, businesses, and residences, leading to a devastating destruction of Iraq’s urban centers.
There are various views on the results of the war. Some believe that the war was a victory against terrorism while others believe it strained relations with the Middle East regions, therefore, increasing chances of more Arabs joining terrorist groups. The war against Iraq had a tremendous trauma to the Iraq civilians. There was increased suffering by the people of Iraq as many of them lost lives and became refugees in their own country. There was massive destruction of property and torture of Iraq civilians. The Iraq cost United States of America $ 800 billion. When long-term benefits are paid to dead and injured soldiers the cost will raise to about $1 trillion dollars.
Sectarian cleansing has taken part in various cities of Iraq with Sunni and Shiite Muslims taking over neighborhoods and driving out residents of opposite sect. Kurdish and Arab tension also ran high. It is crucial to note that despite the war and breach of the sovereignty of Iraq, democracy is one of the results of the war in Iraq. This was evidenced in the 2010 parliamentary elections, which was regarded as being generally fair though voting broke down to sectarian lines.
Kurdistan is predominant in a territory ellipse overlapping Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, and the former Soviet Union. The Kurds have for a long time destabilized the peace and security of Iraq and is likely to continue using its military prowess to disrupt any state that denies them adequate space to breath, while strengthening those that do (Binder 1999). It is obvious that there is no Kurdish state in existence, although there was an attempt to make her an independent sovereignty towards the end of the World War II, with some Kurds currently enjoying a considerable measure of independence in several territories patrolled by United Nations militia in northern Iraq. This staffing of Iraqi territories to protect Kurds from Iraqis’ attacks has an element of humanitarianism and goodwill on one hand and yet an aspect of bullying implicated upon Iraq by forcing them to allow the grabbing of their state-owned territory by the Kurds who are not Iraqi nationals (Miller 2011).
The Activities of United States of America in Middle East have left more questions than answers. After the Second World War, its interests in the Middle East continued to grow amidst threats from Islamist groups in the region (Ahmend, 306).Therefore, United States in partnership with British government in an effort to consolidate their influence decided to do away with the increasing threats from Saddam Government. The weapons of mass destruction charges were just an excuse to invade the region in order to exploit and protect their interests as well as opening new frontiers (Ahmend,2003) After spending more than $800billion in Iraq, the war failed to find the weapons of mass destruction that Baghdad government were alleged to conceal.
The war was costly and it caused misery, anguish, and deaths to thousands of Iraq population as well as American army. It is my opinion that the war was motivated more by economic benefits rather than taking democracy to the Middle East or getting rid of chemical weapons that could not be found after the Saddam government was toppled. The discussions made above have exhaustively addressed the political and military moves of the various players and the effects of these moves in the ever-unstable political environment of the Middle East. As far as the case of the United States illegitimately invading Iraq, it is clear that this move was a deliberate violation of the International Law. It also violated the sovereignty of Iraq as an independent state in addition to violating her own constitution.