Justifying the Iraq War

Justifying the Iraq War

Length: 1331 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The ensuing war between the United States and Iraq has been a topic of controversy for several years now. Citizens of America have been divided since the war began and continue to cluster in groups that either fully support or have no support for President Bush and this ongoing war. Many would like to know who is right and who is wrong. Is this war with Iraq justifiable, or has America jumped into something that could have possibly been avoided? To answer these questions a comparison should be made between the characteristics of this war and those that constitute a just war. Just war is a term which implies that a certain war is acceptable and justifiable based on certain conditions. The conditions for having a just war include those which must be visible before a war can be declared (Jus Ad Bellum) as well as those that must be followed during a war (Jus In Bello). Some of the conditions that are necessary before war is declared include having a just cause for war, having the right intentions for war, and having no other alternative but war (1). Once engaged in a war other criteria apply such as the acts of war must be aimed those doing wrong and not at innocent civilians, prisoners of war should be treated humanely and with respect, and finally that there be no torture of any kind to soldiers of the opposing army. If these characteristics are put up against the United States and their strikes on Iraq, there is absolutely no way that the just war theory could classify this war as being just.

The primary criterion for any war to be labeled as a just war is for that war to be declared for a just cause. The United States clearly did not have any such cause for launching a war against Iraq. The Bush administration’s newly proposed doctrine of pre-emption declares the right to initiate strikes against states that are deemed to be future threats against the US (2). Under the rules of just war, just cause is described as self defense against an attack in order to preserve innocent life, not pre-emptive strikes against possible dangers. The fact is, is that although the idea of attacking a nation that does not pose a threat today, but may pose one in the near future is as old as war itself, it completely goes against the precedents set forth by the just war theory(2).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Justifying the Iraq War." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Apr 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Justifying the War the in Iraq

- Justifying the War the in Iraq Early last year, the latest Gulf War broke out, and, within weeks, British and American leaders claimed that peace would prevail: that the fighting had ended. More than six months after the 'end of the war', soldiers, and Iraqis, are still dying. What went wrong. Was Bush lying all along, or did he just make a mistake. I think that the answer to this question is obvious: Bush and Blair, or 'Bliar', as anti-war campaigners call him, have lying to us all along....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1001 words (2.9 pages)

The Declaration Of The Iraq War Essay

- The America synonymous with liberty and freedom, the America envisaged by our forefathers, is an idealised society far from the current reality of our own. These fundamental ideals, which many blinded Americans would attest their government to be ardent followers of, were made irrelevant by a government desperate to consolidate its power and further its agenda. Nothing stopped the American people engaging in George W Bush’s crusade, without a modicum of doubt or time to question his intentions, we followed him into battle from our vantage point in front of our televisions....   [tags: Iraq War, United States]

Research Papers
1031 words (2.9 pages)

The War Of The Middle East And The World Essay

- In 1990, the Middle East and the whole World changed. On August 2nd, Iraq invaded Kuwait and began the brutal occupation. Iraq was not the only country affected. The invasion created a global conflict, which lasts to this day. Many people thought that wars are a thing of the past and there is no place for them in the modern society of the 20th society. Was the war necessary. Would the Middle East resolved their problems on their own, without the interference from the United States and United Nation....   [tags: Iraq, Gulf War, Iraq War, 2003 invasion of Iraq]

Research Papers
1613 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on The Legality of the US Invasion of Iraq

- In early 2003, the threat of Saddam Hussein and the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq captured the attention and concern of the world. One nation decided to illegally act on these unsubstantiated claims, invading the country, violating the UN Charter and breaking several international laws in the process. The penalizations that were subject to the invading country, the United States, were never carried out. The United State’s role and influence over the UN and the Security Council, along with the nature of the unenforceable, politics and power-based international laws, allowed them to escape sanctions after their invasion of Iraq....   [tags: world politics, war, Hussein]

Research Papers
2172 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Carol Travis and Elliot Aronson's Book Review: Justifying our Actions

- Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson have written a book that many people may find difficult to read. Why. Because it is like holding a mirror in front of one’s own face and looking into it. The book is about something most, if not all of us, have done: Justified our actions or words no matter how wrong they were. As Tavris and Aronson (2007) wrote in their book, “. . . most of us find it difficult, if not impossible to say, ‘I was wrong; I made a terrible mistake.’ The higher the stakes – emotional, financial, moral – the greater the difficulty.” Why is it so difficult for us to admit that we’re wrong....   [tags: self justification, hipocrisy, dissonance theory]

Research Papers
1152 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Newly Discovered Power Of Digital Technology

- “The Newly Discovered Power of Digital Technology” Disinformation Campaigns are defined as a false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. It is synonymous with and sometimes called "Black propaganda." It may include the distribution of forged documents, manuscripts, and photographs, or spreading malicious rumors and fabricated intelligence. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false. Who uses “Disinformation Campaigns” and what is the purpose of running such campaigns....   [tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, Gulf War, Iraq War, Iraq]

Research Papers
1017 words (2.9 pages)

War: Unjustifiable and Absurd Essay example

- War is a lot like love: it costs a lot of money, time, and energy; it distracts you from other areas of life; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but most importantly, in the end, it’s still worth fighting for. But unlike love, war cannot and should not be justified and disregarded, by gods or men. No matter what people try to do to resolve their disputes, sometimes they get so aggravated that they resort to killing each other, and the taking of a life is no light matter. It’s no coincidence that most people have post-traumatic stress coming back from the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran....   [tags: Homer, Iliad, Trojan war, poetry, Greeks]

Research Papers
990 words (2.8 pages)

The Iraq War Of Iraq Essay

- The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a US-led coalition. The US wanted to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime and bring democracy. To addition to that, US and its allies believed that Iraq had secret stocks of chemical and nuclear weapons, hence Iraq was a threat to the world (Axford 2010). In March 2003, US air bombed Baghdad and Saddam escaped Iraq. The invasion disarmed the government of Saddam Hussein. President Bush in March 2003 gave a premature speech, that tyrant of Iraq has fallen and US has freed its people....   [tags: Iraq War, Iraq, 2003 invasion of Iraq]

Research Papers
1565 words (4.5 pages)

Is Torture Justified? Or Not? Essay

- Is Torture Justified. The issue of torture is nothing new. It was done in the past and it’s done now in the 21st century. Without saying one side is right and the other side is wrong, let us discuss the part that we agree on and find common ground. We as Americans want to protect Americans from harms. So how do we prevent that from happening without torturing. It is impossible to get answer without some sort of questioning and intimidation techniques, since we know captured prisoners during war are not easily going to give up information....   [tags: United States, Iraq War, Human rights]

Research Papers
1042 words (3 pages)

Essay on War in Iraq

- 1. There was very little evidence and the United States acted prematurely. The evidence itself is confusing and somewhat misleading. As we look on the invasion many Americans were very enthusiastic about going to war with Iraq. However, we’re not trying to think about why we were not there or trying to justify other than speculate the following reasons. Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction or was the United States to find about their military power. Possibly, the United States was trying to eliminate Saddam and his regime to promote democracy and peace....   [tags: war, Iraq, USA, ]

Free Essays
467 words (1.3 pages)

Related Searches

When looking back, many people remember the terms “weapons of mass destruction” or “regime change” as reasons that the Bush administration gave to gain support of the war. These reasons are in complete disregard for a just cause of war and to make matters worse no such weapons were ever found by weapons inspectors. Furthermore, although regime change could be a possible outcome of war, waging war primarily for that reason could set a dangerous precedent and is completely inconsistent with just war principles (2). The United States led by President Bush did not have any justifiable reasons to begin a war with Iraq under the principles of just war.

Did the United States have any alternative other than war? By the rules of just war, force is only to be used when every other reasonable alternative has been have been exhausted. It has been shown over and over that the United States’ government had absolutely no reason to engage in such a war with Iraq. Once it was made certain that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in their possession, any action other than war would have most likely been appropriate to take. The United States’ pre-emptive strikes on Iraq were and are still uncalled for and unjustifiable. There is absolutely no concrete evidence indicating that Iraq was or is about to launch any sort of attack against the United States or another country (2). Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran put it best when he said that such a “war of aggression” is a crime against peace (3). Since it is obvious that the Bush administration completely disregarded the rules of just war before the use of force they might as well continue to disregard them while partaking in an unnecessary war.

Once engaged in a war the just war theory gives several more characteristics that define how a combatant is to act. First and foremost, soldiers are morally bound to direct their acts towards those inflicting the wrong, not to innocent people who have no involvement in the circumstances. This is a simple rule to abide by and one which doesn’t seem to be unclear at all; don’t harm people who are innocently caught up in this mess. Since the war began over __ years ago, the number of civilian casualties is continuously on the rise. Iraqi citizens, people who are innocent of any wrongdoing, people with hopes and dreams and leading regular lives, are being brutally killed every day that this war needlessly goes on. Find some sort of actual number for the casualties……..

Arguably one of the largest stories in the news during 2004 was the severe mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners of war by US soldiers. As if everything else the United States has already negatively done involving this war was not enough, now our soldiers think it’s a good idea to abuse POWs. This is yet another prime example of how unjustly the war in Iraq is being carried out. The second and third principles of Jus In Bello state that there shall be no torture of combatants and that prisoners of war are to be treated with respect. In March of 2004, seventeen American soldiers in Iraq were removed from duty after being charged with mistreating Iraqi prisoners; they now face court martial and more than likely prison time for their actions. Iraqi prisoners were abused in embarrassing as well as physically and emotionally painful ways. The majority of the photographs that have surfaced in the past year show American soldiers standing by watching in laughter as Iraqi POWs are positioned to simulate degrading homosexual activities with one another (5). This is completely unacceptable according to the rules of just war and morally unthinkable. The United States is looked upon as possibly being the most advanced and politically correct country in the world. When our soldiers act in this manner it is a disgrace to our country as a whole. The actions of United States soldiers throughout this war are unacceptable and completely unjustifiable as noted by the just war theory.

After comparing the actions of the United States’ government both prior to and during the war in Iraq, it is safe to conclude that the just war theory is incapable of justifying such a war. There was absolutely no just cause for launching any long term strikes against the country. A pre-emptive attack was carried out by the Bush administration to put an end to any threat that Iraq had on the United States. The fact is that there is no evidence that supports Iraq having any weapons of mass destruction, much less that they were planning to attack the US (2). According the rules of just war, war is only acceptable when all other solutions are deemed useless. In this case, however, the United States attacked without being provoked and without taking the time to put into use all other possible alternatives. Once involved in this unnecessary war, our government and its soldiers continually acted with no regard to the rules of just war. Thousands of civilian lives were taken through hastily planned attacks, and countless Iraqi prisoners were abused in unthinkable ways. Not only did the United States unjustly enter an unnecessary war, but once they were involved their actions continued to be in conflict with those expressed in the definition of just war. There is no way to conclude that America’s presence in the country of Iraq can be justified in any way.
Return to 123HelpMe.com