THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE WAR AGAINST INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM: ANALYSIS OF THE INVASION OF IRAQ

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ABSTRACT

This study takes a critical examination of the United States posture against international terrorism and eventual military invasion of Iraq in 2003. On the strength of data generated from secondary sources, and through objective content analysis and ex-post facto research design, we have been able to validate our hypothesis; viz, that the invasion of Iraq by the United States and her Western allies has not reduced the incidence of global terrorism and that there is a positive link between America’s deepened oil interest in the Middle East and the prevalence of terrorist activities in the region. Using orthodox Marxian political economy paradigm as our analytical framework, this study argues that US preemptive military invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a well targeted propaganda war built around new pretexts of weapons of mass destruction and links to terrorist organizations as a means of strengthening, America’s global hegemony and consolidation of Washington’s political and economic stakes in the Middle East and Iraq in particular. As such, the war on global terrorism championed by the US had essentially served as a means of fostering and advancing her national interest. More still, it is equally our contention in this study, that despite America’s claim to be fighting global terrorism, there has been an upsurge and increased cases of terrorism resulting from US invasion and occupation of Iraq. To this end, America’s championed war on Iraq has not positively impacted on the incidence of global terrorism.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study
Human history and interactions had been replete with various forms of conflict and power tussles right from the primitive stage of development to the present globalised and unipolar world. Morgenthau (1967:40) once observed that nations that participate in international politics are either engaged in, preparing for or recovering from conflicts. Thus, conflict has not only become an important factor that contributes in shaping the nature and character of international relations but also a deriving force
of national interest.
Terrorism, not surprising, has become the latest form of conflict in the global political theatre. The world conflict had transverse into several phases with different forms and shapes, tactics and methods, aims and objectives since the first world war (1918 – 1939), thus, given birth to the era of contemporary terrorism. Terrorists are
known to have accessed weapons of mass destruction and igniting concerns over
nuclear, lethal and biological weapons. More still, terrorism, by every consideration,
weight, application and yardstick has universal condemnation because of the climate
of insecurity and fear it creates in the global lenses.
Modern Iraq, like most Arab States both in Middle East and North Africa was
principally carved out in order to secure the imperial interest of the Allied Forces
mainly Britain, and France immediately after World War I (Perera, 2004:10). Thus,
prior to the World War I, the area known as Iraq today was politically dominated by
the Ottoman Turks that constitutes an integral part of the Ottoman Empire (Perera,
2004). With the defeat of the Allied forces, Iraq was subsequently colonized by
Britain. It is pertinent to note that neither historical facts, local customs, tribes nor
Arab interest were taken into consideration as Iraq boarders were arbitrarily drawn by
the British colonial power. Besides, as an Arab country in the Middle East, Iraq has a
chequered history of repressive regimes and belligerency as could be noticed in its
invasion and subsequent annexation of fellow Arab state and immediate neighbor,
Kuwait. Iraq is equally rich in oil and gas resources.
Apart from clandestine oil interest and probably to shed her historical and
staunch ally in the Middle East, Israel, from the extreme Islamist, and violent
activities of the Arab states, the history of America’s war against global terrorism in
the region especially the 2003 invasion of Iraq has indeed witnessed an upgraded propaganda from mere distortion and exaggeration of known facts to deliberate
invention of lies and deceit. Since the cold war and post cold war era of international
politics, the U.S has either actively been involved in or recovering from organized
violence in the form of war (Morgenthau, 1973:40). But, unlike the popular
contestation of the same Morgenthau that a political policy seeks either to keep
power, to increase power or to demonstrate power (Morgenthau, 1973:40), the foreign
and defense policies of the United States of America especially in the last seven years
has blatantly and abundantly displayed a tendency towards achieving the three
objectives simultaneously.
Nevertheless, there is little doubt that 9/11 terrorist attack did transform the
way America thinks about her foreign and defense policies and the likelihood and
nature of war itself. To this effect, there have been remarkable changes in U.S defense
and nuclear weapons policy. These changes in U.S. weapon policy were announced in
two official documents that were released by the Bush’s administration in 2002
(Intriligator, 2003). The first of these documents is the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review
(NPR) issued by the U.S. Department of Defense which expressly states that, “a
combination of offensive and defensive and nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities is
essential to meet the defense requirements of the 21st century” (Intriligator, 2003:2).
The second of these documents is the National Security Strategy of the United States
of America (NSS), issued by the office of the National Security Adviser to the
president in September 2000. The document reveals that there are plans to ensure that
no nation could rival U.S. military strength. It proclaims the doctrine of U.S.
preemption, which states that the U.S. cannot allow their enemies strike first and
argues in favor of preemption.
Sequel to the pronouncement of these foregoing documents by the U.S.
president George W. Bush, on June 1 2002, at West Point, set forth a new doctrine for
U.S. Security Policy. According to him:
The successful strategies of the cold war era are illsuited
to national defense in the 21st century. Deterrence
means nothing against terrorist networks, containment
will both thwart unbalanced dictators possessing
weapons of mass destruction. We cannot afford to wait
until we are attacked. In today’s circumstances,
Americans must be ready to take preemptive action to
defend our lives and liberties (Galston, 2002: 10).
With this, the president not only introduced what has since been widely known as
“Bush Doctrine” but has also made it at least during his administration, an official
part of U.S. policy.
Notwithstanding the foregoing U.S. policy pasture towards international
terrorism and preemptive posture against any suspected country of the world,
America’s involvement in the Middle East matters had transversed from the
clandestine quest for containment of socialist influence in the Middle East during the
cold war era to her present stance against Islamist expansion and economic and
political cum hegemonic interest in the volatile but oil-rich region. Besides, U.S.
historic security support and relations with her staunch ally in Middle East, Israel, that
led to the creation of the Jewish state from the occupied Palestinian territories
contributes part of the reasons why the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. Mathew (1993:30)
expatiates further:
The Israel state formed in 1948 is a Euro-American
construction, which was given its vital impetus by the
Nazi, atrocities of the Second World War fashioned a
climate opinion, which made it impossible for the
various powers to resist Jewish claims for a home land
in Palestine.
Suffice this to state that since the war on Iraq orchestrated by the U.S. began,
debate is rife as to the propriety of the military invasion. Despite the avalanche of
criticisms and condemnation that trail the war, the administration of George Bush did
maintain unequivocally that the menace of terrorism as well as the potential dangers
posed by the accumulation and possible use of weapons of mass destruction by the
“rogue and aggressive states” like Iraq under Saddam Hussein not only justify the
dislodgement of his government, but also made the resort to military invasion
unquestionably desirable. However, the military invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the U.S.-
led forces has no way stemmed the raging tide of international terrorism and nuclear
proliferation , as could be observed from its upsurge in 2004.It has indeed, rather led
to the prevalence of terrorism especially in the Middle East and other Islamic states of
the World.
This study therefore, aims at assessing the military invasion and subsequent
occupation of Iraq by the United States. Specifically, it examines the impact of the
U.S. invasion of Iraq on the incidence of global terrorism.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
America’s clandestine interest and intervention in the Middle East issues had
transverse different historical epochs. It has indeed, among other observable facts
witnessed an upgraded propaganda from mere distortion and exaggeration of known
facts to deliberate invention of lies and deceit. From what had seemed to be a support
for the creation of the Jewish state and protection of Israel from aggressive and
belligerent Arab neighbors to the aftermath ideological cum economic battle with the
former Soviet Union, the U.S. had found impetus from the collapse of Soviet Union to
prosecute low profile conflict against the so-called “militant nationalist regimes”
common in the Middle East and other Arab states world over.
Suffice the foregoing to state that the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack and
the event following thereafter, the U.S. methods and tactics have drastically changed.
From low-profile proxy wars to high-intensity direct military confrontation and
invasion (Mandani, 2004:20). This shift which was made possible by a change of
climate in the post 9/11 America means that security issues have become paramount
in America’s defense policy. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack had indeed
provided the administration of George Bush the unmitigated opportunity to declare
open military attack on the militant and belligerent regimes.
The U.S. war on international terrorism, therefore, builds upon the
longstanding pre 9/11 U.S. policy, plan and strategy for the expansion and
consolidation of the American empire; a policy motivated less by the reality of an all
pervading terrorist attack than conscious search for new threats and pretext with
which to continue its empire building in the event of the collapse of the Soviet Union
and the halt to the dead threats of communism. And to provide humanitarian
coloration to U.S. hegemony and Unilateralism in the 21st century, new pretext of the
so called “rogue states” weapons of mass destruction and links with terrorist
organizations have seriously been implicated. Iraq as expected had become the first
causality.
More still, the U.S. unfettered stance against international terrorism had found
its moral and legal justifications on democratic propaganda and change of repressive
regimes. No doubt, in less than two years the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan was invaded
and dislodged by the U.S. for allegedly harboring the prime suspect (Osama Bin
Laden) of the 9/11 terrorist attack and his terrorist organizations and networks.
Saddam Hussein-ruled Iraq witnessed the same onslaught for alleged accumulation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and maintenance of links with terrorist
organizations.
Notwithstanding the current policy effort made by the U.S. president, Barrack
Obama, aimed at total withdrawal of America’s military presence from Iraq, the
invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003 and the subsequent occupation of the
area have indeed remained an issue of intellectual debate. Considerable efforts have
been expended by scholars to account for the rationale behind the invasion. Despite
the existing plenteous inquiries, the extant literature has suffered a serious set back.
This arises from the failure of the existing research and inquires to satisfactorily
explore the impact of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on the incidence of global terrorism
and whether the deepened U.S. oil interest in the Middle East accounts for the
prevalence of terrorist activities in the region.
Therefore, attempt is made in this study to critically account for the US.
invasion of Iraq vis-à-vis the incidence of international terrorism using the
understated research questions as our guide:
1. Did the invasion of Iraq by the United States of America and her Western allies
reduce the incidence of global terrorism?
2. Is there a link between America’s deepened oil interest in the Middle East and the
escalation of terrorist activities in the region?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The US military invasion of Iraq in 2003 had indeed opened a serious and
endless vista of intellectual debate among scholars on the rationale behind the
invasion and the subsequent effects on the global political theatre. The broad
objective of this study is to explore the rationale behind the invasion. However, the
specific objectives include:
1. To ascertain whether the invasion of Iraq by the United States of America and
her western allies has actually reduced the incidence of international terrorism.
2. To explore the link between America’s deepened oil interest in the middles
East and the prevalence of terrorist activities in the region.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study has both theoretical and practical justifications. The theoretical
relevance of this study derives from its focus on the war against global terrorism and
the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the reason for its prevalence especially in the Middle
East. In addition, the study will enrich the existing stock of literature through its
findings and therefore will serve as a source of reference material or data for scholars
whose interest would eventually be aroused by this study to undertake further studies
in the area.
Practically, this study will be of interest and immense importance to the
Nigerian government and relevant organs of the United Nations Organization
interested in the politics of the Middle East vis-à-vis. American hegemony and
unilateralism in the 21st century. The issues discussed will not only enhance
understanding of American defense and foreign policy in the 21st century but will also
provide valuable information/data that will assist global actors in articulation of
potent policies that will help to address the problems of the region.
1.5 literature Review
The review of extant literature shall be strictly guided by the research
questions. This is to say that the views of scholars that allude to military invasion of
Iraq by the United Sates of America and her Western allies and reduction of incidence
of International terrorism and whether the deepened oil interest of US in the Middle
East account for the prevalence of terrorist activities in the region shall be considered
Kristol and Kaplan (2003) perceive the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and her
Western allies as a calculated attempt to liberate Iraq and the entire world from the
dangers that Iraq portend. They contend that the war is clearly about more than the
Iraqi threat, the future of the Middle East, and the war on terror. In their view, it was
largely a war of competing ideas about the path America should take in the twentyfirst
century. A means of demonstrating to the World that America stands for the
compatibility of ideas and leadership. This, in turn persuaded the Bush Administration
to pursue a course that will lead to a regime change, the promotion of democracy, and
the wielding of American influence in the region, they maintain..
Mohamad (2010) equally argues in the same line with Kristol and Kaplan
when he posited that the repressive and violent posture of Saddam’s regime provides
justification for its invasion by U.S. led forces. According to him, the repression,
imprisonment, torture, deportation, assassination, and execution were strategies
followed by Saddam’s regime in dealing with Iraqi people and the neighboring
countries. He maintains that these strategies results from the fair that Saddam’s
regime was a dictatorship which lacked constitutional legitimacy and real popular
base inside the country. Mohamad argues further that since the successful execution
of July, 17 – 30, 1968 coup of both party, Saddam had issued hundreds of decrees
which sentenced to death those who opposed his regime either through written
documents, slogans, criticisms or delivered speeches.
The repressive and violent posture of Saddam’s regime is equally re-echoed
by Bergen and Munich (2004) when they wrote that the Iraqi war had degenerated to
a shunning seven fold increase in the yearly rate of total jihadist attacks, amounting to
literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost.
According to them, Iraqi conflict has greatly increased the spread of the Al-Qaeda
ideological virus, as shown by a rising number of terrorist attacks in the past three
years from London to Kabul, and from Madrid to the Red Sea. The rate of terrorist
attacks around the world by Jihadist groups and the rate of fatalities in those attacks
increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. In this light, they argue that Iraqi
conflict has motivated Jihadists around the world to see the particular struggle as part
of a wider global Jahad fight on behalf of the Islamic Ummah, the global community
of Muslim believers.
Zunes (2004) perceives the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by American-led forces
from the military side of globalization. To him, to embrace the simplistic notion that it
was done simply for the sake of the profits of American oil companies ignores the fact
that even the most optimistic early projections of the financial costs of the invasion
and occupation far exceed any additional profits that could have been reaped in the
foreseeable future. Furthermore, he argues that even Saddam Hussein was certainly
willing to sell his oil at a reasonable price to satisfy Western buyers and his standing
among fellow OPEC member was too low at that point to have wielded sufficient
influence to successfully push the cartel to adopt policies detriment to America’s
interest. To him, this does not mean that economic interest did not play a significant
role in prompting Iraq’s invasion by the U.S.. He maintains that as a sole remaining
super-power, the United States of America would always defy international laws of
respect for sovereign states to push international legal norms even further than ever.
He continues by arguing that most governments that had fallen victim to U.S.
intervention were simply nationalist and non-aligned, not communist, and superpower
rivalry was less the reason than it was the excuse. Rather, it was a reflection
that with the neo-liberal model dominating the global economy and enforced through
international institutions such as WTO and IMF, such crude forms of hegemonic
domination were no longer necessary.
In conclusion, he argues that not only has the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has
failed to raise Iraqi’s to their pre 1991 standard of living, most of them are poorer now
than they were during more than a decade of sanction following the devastating U-Sled
bombing campaign of the Gulf war.
To Noung (2010), the rational behind the military invasion of Iraq by the U.S.
and her Western allies could be best understood when traced back to Saddam’s
invasion of Kuwait and the oil politics. He contends that the “operation Desert Storm”
onslaught has much to do with the above mention and his subsequent threats against
Saudi Arabia were problems primarily because they would have given Saddam
control over a vast portion of the Middle East’s oil supply, in which America has a
strategic interest. According to him, this interest was explicitly formulated in the
Carter Doctrine, where democrat Jimmy Carter said that no single power would be
allowed to control the region. Saddam’s expansion was also a clear threat to Israel, a
staunch U.S. ally. He avers that the war was about well defined, long-standing U.S.
interests in the Middle East that had since conditioned America’s foreign policy
towards the region.
Madison (2004) sees the rational behind U.S. invasion of Iraq from the
politico-economic perspective instead of war against violent, repressive regimes and
international terrorism when he posited that Saddam’s long-gone weapon of Mass
Destruction (WMD) program had certainly less to do with fighting international
terrorism but rather to gain control over Iraq’s hydrocarbon reserves and in doing so
maintain the U.S. dollar as the monopoly currency for the critical international oil
market. To this effect, he further argues that the Iraqi invasion by U.S. was a neoconservative
strategy of installing a pro U.S. government in Baghdad along with
multiple U.S. military bases partly designed to thwart further momentum within
OPEC. However, subsequent events show this strategy to be fundamentally flawed,
with Iran moving forwards towards a petro-euro system for international oil trades,
while Russia discusses this option. He simply contends that the “Operation Iraqi
Freedom” was a war designed to install a pro-U.S. military bases before the onset of
peak oil, and to reconvert Iraq back to petrodollars while hoping to thwart further
OPEC momentum towards the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency.
Mandani (2004) rightly perceives the U.S-led forces against Iraq as one
outcome of cold war rather than a fight against international terrorism. He avers that
the collapse of the Soviet Union and cold war suggest that America’s low intensity
conflict against militant nationalist regimes continued thereafter, even up to 9/11.
Thus after 9/11 events, the methods changed drastically, from low intensity proxy war
to high intensity direct warfare, the sligh which was made possible by a changed
political climate in post 9/11. He argues that the trajectory of proxy war in the rough
decade from the end of the cold war to 9/11 is best illuminated on the ground of Iraq
where the Bush Administration saw a golden opportunity to shed the inhabitations of
the cold war and declare open season of militant nationalism. However, he maintains
that where as the Taliban had been pinpointed as hosts of Al-Qaeda there was little
legitimate effort to connect the invasion of Iraq to the terror of the 9/11. The war on
terror had moved on from addressing broadly shared security concerns to targeting
militant nationalism, and the war against militant nationalism would conclude the
unfinished business of the cold war, thus, Mandani contends:
… the two adversaries in the war on terror: the United
States and Al-Qaeda are both refrains of cold war. Both
see the through lenses of power…caught in a situation
where both adversaries in the war on terror claim to be
fighting terror with weapons of terror, nothing less than
a global movement for peace will save humanity. If we
are to go by the lesson of the last global struggle for
peace, that to end the war in Vietnam, this struggle, too
will have to be waged as a mass movement inside each
country, particularly the democratic countries, and
especially in the United Sates and Israel (Mandani,
2004: 257 – 258).
In the other hand, Ifesinachi (2006) sees international terrorism as a political
problem and America’s crusade against it as mere propaganda. According to him, the
trajectories of the phenomenon of terror derive from political motivation. To this
effect, he avers that political terror has served the ends of political struggle and as
such, sovereign recognition and intervention are products of political struggle which
reflect the contradictions of material condition at every phase of human history.
Berating America’s military crusade against terrorism, which resulted in the
preventive war against Iraq, he argues that terrorism as a political problem will subsist
since the political problem that induces it persists. Thus, in his words:
… terrorism as a political problem will persists as long as
the political problem persist. The solution to terrorism is
not just to punish terrorists but in seeking out common
political solutions to the political malaise prompting
terrorism. The rationalization of state terrorism in terms
of the war on terror is seen to be sterile and redundant. It
is in this context that the need for defining anti-terrorism
campaigns as a global problem becomes antigen on the
restructuring of the global order (Ifesinachi, 2006:7 )
To Gardiner (2008), Al-Qaeda,, instead of regressing during the fight on
terrorism, is increasing its membership greatly worldwide. More alarming, according
to him, is that it has decentralized even more after 9/11; it has more popular support
among young Arabs and non-Arab Muslims and Osama Bin Laden is to many Muslim
what “Che” was for many Latin Americans. Now, many Muslims and non Muslim
alike see more clearly the comparison between Israel’s occupation and treatment of
Palestinians and U.S. occupation and treatment of Iraq. This brings into question the
limits of the military solution as the ultimate option, and the Bush Administration’s
failure to appreciate the complexity of terrorism as a manifestation of deeper societal
problems combined with adamant opposition to western imperialism. More so, he
insists that because terrorism has existed for centuries in one form or another, one
would think that intelligent people working in Washington DC today would realize
that the best method of containing it is to understand its root causes and then to
provide a long-term political solution. This does not mean that armed forces should
not be utilized, but it is the only solution, it leads to more terrorism and an endless
cycle of political violence that costs the statuesquo state more than it cost the
terrorists.
Okolie (2005) rightly investigates the changing patterns of terrorism and its
implications for global security. He avers that terrorism is escalating and posing
threats to peace and security. According to him, the September 11, 2001 incident
compelled the then president of United States of America, George Bush to refocus
U.S. foreign and security policies on two distinct if not cross-cutting missions;
defeating terrorism with a global reach and keeping the worst weapons out of the
hands of the worst people. He maintains that rather than America’s hegemonic and
unilateral postures against international terrorism, a new global security codes that
would be ratified and agreed upon and enforcement done under the auspices of the
United Nations Organization should rather be fashioned.
Ahmed (2003) rather argues that the demand to unseat Saddam Hussein was a
product of years of planning for a comprehensive military assault on Iraq. According
to him, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the climate of fears that resulted
from the incident merely provided the opportunity for the Bush Administration and
the cohorts to implement wise-range military plans on Iraq on the pretext of fighting
the new war on terror, whereas targeting Iraq and above all removing Saddam
Hussein from power was the ultimate objectives. On the basis of fore-going, he
maintains that it is not surprising that immediately after the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration swiftly exploited the resulting climate of
fear and hostility to pave the way for the long-planned war on Iraq.
Wirtz and Russell (2003) have noted that the Bush administration developed
new guidelines to govern the use of force in combating emerging terrorist adversaries
or terrorist states. They maintain that by advocating preventive war and preemption,
especially as a possible response to Iraq’s failure to fulfill its obligation under UN
security council resolutions to eliminate its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
and associated infrastructure following the Gulf war, the Bush Administration is
generally depicted if not being on the wrong side of international law, then pushing
limits of what is generally considered to be constructive international behavior to
them, the apparent efforts to legitimize preventive war and preemption is often
depicted as creating an intolerance precedence when it comes to other enduring
conflicts. They, therefore, conclude by wondering whether the Bush administration
decision to undertake preventive war would shape the overall tenor of international
relations. That is whether it would signal a new respect for international law, or just a
growing reliance on the use of force in world politics.
Accordingly, Lamperti (2008) contends that sixty years after Pearl Harbor, the
administration of George Bush has made preemption an official part of U.S policy. He
avers that with this policy, the United states claim the right to use military force
whenever it determines that its security or economic interest may be threatened by
another nation; the same claims of preemption made by Japan over its attack of
United States naval and air forces in the Hawaiian Islands in 1941 which the United
State and its allies refused, after the war, to accept. In this regard, he opines that this
US policy of preemption as enunciated by Bush administration represents a reversal
of long standing principles of international law, principles that the United state has
championed in the past. In conclusion, he maintains that any policy that plans for
preventive war to promote national interests must be considered criminal for the same
reasons as was the Japanese attack on Pearl Habor.
Thus, Marszka (2003) wonders whether the Bush doctrine has increased
asymmetric warfare in form of terrorism or whether it has been an effective policy
against it. He therefore, insists that if the United States can justify preemption and
unilateralism in defense of its national security with Security Council authorization
that would equally be attempted to attack and justify their actions as preemption. He
therefore, bemoans the Bush administration for favouring this seemingly counter
productive foreign policy strategy.
As a corollary, Galston (2003) contends that an invasion of Iraq would be one
of the most fateful deployments of American power since World War II. According to
him, a global strategy based on the new Bush Doctrine of preemption means of the
system of international institutions, laws, and norms that Americans have worked to
build for more than a fundamental shift in America’s place in the world. Rather than
continuing to serve as first among equals in the post-war international system, the
U.S. would act as a law unto itself creating new rules of international engagement
without the consent of other nations.
Similarly, Scheer (2003) contends that maiming or killing of a single Iraqi
civilian in an attack by the United States would constitute a war crime, as well as a
profound violation of the Christian notion of just war. This is because the recent
report of the U.N inspectors, according to him has made indelibly clear that
disarmament is working and that Iraq at this time poses no direct threat to the well
being of the American people. Brutal, preemptive and unilateral war under such
circumstances is by the standards of any great civilization or religion morally
indefensible and also seriously damages the reputation of free societies, the principles
of which America is trying to market to the rest of the world. In his view, the spirited
efforts of George Bush to distract the people from essential truth by shamefully
frightening them, first with his baseless attempt to link Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and
then with unproven claims that Iraq’s government and weapons pose an immediate
danger to Americans is sterile and redundant.
To Bock (2002), what the Bush administration is discussing in terms of Iraq is
not an eminent threat of attack on the United States, which might justify a preemptive
strike or even on any of Iraq’s neighbors. Rather, what the administration wants to do
is to attack Iraq to prevent or neutralize a potential future threat. As for him, that is
not different from an imminent threat but something the United States has never done
before. If the criteria for such a war were simply that a country is dictatorial and
despotic and have weapons of mass destruction, he continues, the world does not lack
for candidates including Pakistan (whole leader installed by a coup, which recently
unilaterally changed the constitution to give him something approaching dictator for
life) China, North Korea and may be Russia.
In the same manner, Byrd (2003) argues that the war in Iraq was the wrong
war at the wrong time in the wrong place for the wrong reasons because contrary to
the president’s rosy, predictions and the predictions of others in the Bush
administration, the United states has not been universally greeted as a liberator or
Iraq. He laments that huge price being paid by Americans just because of president
Bush’s bullheaded rush to invoke the unwise and unprecedented doctrine of
preemption to invade Iraq, an invasion without provocation, an invasion without the
support of the United Nations or the international community. More so, despite the
best efforts of the White House to convert the invasion of Iraq into an extension of the
war on tenor, there was never a connection between Saddam Hussein and September
11. The presidential rhetoric notwithstanding, Iraq did not pose a grave and gathering
menace to the security of the United States. To this end, he contends hat the war in
Iraq was nothing less than a manufactured war.
Thomas (2004) criticizes America for preferring to conduct massive bombing
campaigns against other states without much fear of casualties to American forces. He
therefore, contends that the United States has done this time and time again, despite
the necessity of it, the justness of the cause or the civilian casualties incurred. He
states that Washington wants other states to trust its noble intentions, but the record of
U.S military intervention in Vietnam, Iraq, Panama, Afghanistan, and other places
would give rise to doubts. In Addition to the suspicions, many in the global theatre
have developed concerning America’s benevolent intentions; he also believes that
there is also a growing awareness to its insensitivity to other cultures and values.
In line with the foregoing contention, Galston (2002) upholds that the invasion
of Iraq based on the new Bush Doctrine of preemption meant not only the most fateful
deployments of American power since World War II, but also an end to the system of
international institutions, laws and norms that Americans have worked to build for
more than half a century. To this effect, he believes that this revolution in
international doctrine is justified and wise. To him, rather than continuing to serve as
first amongst equals in the postwar international system, the United States has acted
as a law into itself creating new rules and international engagement without the
consent of other nations. In his judgment therefore, this new stance would ill-serve the
long-term interests of the United States. In the first place, the United states is a
signatory to (indeed, the principal drafter) the United Nations charter which explicitly
reserves to sovereign nations the inherent right of individual or collective selfdefense,
but only in the event of armed attack. Unless the administration establishes
Iraqi complicity in the terrorism of 9/11, it cannot invoke self-defense, as defined by
the charter, as the justification for attacking Iraq. Furthermore, he insists that the
broader structure of international law creates additional obstacle to an invasion of
Iraq. Though such law contains a doctrine of anticipation self defense, there must be
shown a necessity of self defense, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means
and no moment for deliberation. In this regard, the concept of anticipatory self
defense was too narrow to support an attack on Iraq. The threat to the United States
from Iraq is not sufficiently specific, clearly enough established or shown to be
imminent, he argues. In sun, he avers that with preemptive war in Iraq, the Bush
administration has shifted its focus from stateless foes to state-based adversaries and
from terrorism in the precise sense to the possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Each constitutes a threat. But they are not the same threat and do not warrant the same
response. It serves no useful purpose to pretend that they are seamlessly connected, let
alone one and the same, he believes.
In a related development, Pinter (2005) believes that invasion of Iraq was a
bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the
concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by
a series of lies upon lies and manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an
act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle
East.
Bender (2004) maintains that president Bush and his senior aides began
plotting the invasion of Iraq first days after he took office in January, 2001 and not as
the administration has indicated, after terrorists struck against the United States eight
months later. According to him, beginning in the Clinton administration, official U.S.
policy for ‘regime change’ in Iraq, for flouting United Nations resolution put in place
after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. But in the aftermaths of September 11, 2001, the
Bush administration cast its campaign against Hussein as part of the ongoing tenor.
Since the end of the Iraqi War, U.S. military investigators have failed to prove the
existence of weapons of mass destruction of direct links between Iraq and Al Qaeda,
which has claimed credit for the September 11 attacks. Thus, accordingly to him, the
notion of preemption which implies that the U.S has the unilateral right to do
whatever she decides to do is a really huge leap.
As for Falode (2002), prior to the attack on America in 2001, the political
interplay in the Middle East and South East Asia had been a very volatile one,
speckled with distrust and suspicion as well as America’s passivity. Continuing, he
states that while factors of economy, territory, irredentism and religion essentially
accounted for these volatile relationships, the coordinated terrorist attack on America
on September 11, 2001 impacted profoundly on this fragile and political balance. The
implication of this, according to him is the fact that America was forced to jettison the
multination list and isolationalist approach for the more flexible, uncompromising
unilateralist approach. And this meant that America would no longer seek views of
her allies before embarking on any political adventure or misadventure in the
international environment.
In this regard, Pantina (2003) upholds that in reaction to the September 11
attacks, the Bush administration reoriented the nation’s foreign policy and national
security decisions to reflect the newly acknowledged threats to United States national
security posed by militant Islamic fundamentalists. To him, while all four parts of the
Bush doctrine were articulated as part of a new strategy guiding foreign policy, only
one of the tenets of the doctrine, preemption is considered a deviation from past
foreign policy. Iraq closely mirrored the tenets, and policies articulated in the Bush
doctrine and demonstrate its implementation in an actual security decision. The
justification for the war, outside of the need to prevent the spread of weapons of mass
destruction, also included a third aspect the Bush doctrine, the role of the United
States of America as the global champion of democracy. He maintains that the
fledging democracy in Iraq has been met with its fair share of problems including
increasing security concerns, sectarian, violence and boycotts by influential factions
of Iraqi politics. As for evidence of the stock piles and manufacturing capacity for
new weapons or mass destruction, he insists that the united state has been unable to
demonstrate any substantial evidence to confirm the existence of Iraq’s weapons of
mass destruction programme at the time of the invasion. Meanwhile, he believes that
the United States has many obstacles to over come in the future and that policy need
to reflect the ongoing commitment to dealing with radical Islamic fundamentalists in
future. He however, regrets current strategies such as the Bush Doctrine, attempt to
address these issues but have unfortunately proven ineffective. The future of U.S.
policy rests not in the dedication to an idea, but rather to the creation of an effective
policy, he concludes.
Eliot (2003) insists that while concern about peaceful strategies for the 21st
century is essential, it is more crucial to attempt stopping this very risky war and
lowering the Bush administrations bellicose rhetoric (and exorbitant military budget)
that is escalating tension and dangers across the globe. According to him, the Bush
administration’s paranoia and militaristic belligerence has erased much of the
sympathy people around the glove felt towards America after September 11, and has
escalated tensions and dangers throughout the planet. Furthermore, he avers that the
terrible risks inherent in preemptive war, the potential deaths of thousands of
innocent Iraqis, the danger to U.S. troops, likely use in terrorist recruitment, the longterm
environmental degradation of the region through oil fires and depleted Uranium,
and the temptation to move on to the next war and the next generation of dangerous
weaponry simply cannot be justified by any of the reason offered by the Bush
administration. Instead of brain storming, justifications and military strategies for a
preemptive war, he believes that it would be nice if the Bush administration would
devote its creativities to thinking about non war alternatives.
In the course of reviewing the array of related literature, we have been able to
establish that a lacuna exists in the literature with respect to the linkage between the
America’s crusade against international terrorism and its global incidence and
whether the America’s deepened oil interest in the Middles East accounts for the
prevalence of global terrorism especially in the gulf region. This is not to say that
scholars have not argued on the above mentioned aspects of our research questions,
but they have not satisfactorily addressed them, using logically and coherently
articulated facts and figures. This study therefore, is meant to fill this noticed gap
existing in the extant literature and arguments of scholars
1.6 Theoretical Framework
Our analysis of the rationale behind the America’s invasion of Iraq and war
against international terrorism shall be predicted on the version of political
economy derived from the orthodox Marxian political economy as popularized by
Karl Marx and propagated by such scholar like V. I. Lenin, Samir Amin, Claude,
Ake, Okwudiba Nnoli and others.
Karl Marx ((1968) critically, reviewed the Hegelian philosophy of right which
appeared in 1844 and found that material (economic) life conditions the social,
political and intellectual life process in general. Thus, Marx maintains that it is not
the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary their
social being determines their consciousness. Hence, dialectical materialism, as its
defining method is characterized by; dynamic character of social reality; interrelatedness
of different levels of structure; and privacy of material condition.
Marxist political economy deals with the general laws governing the
development of both nature and society. It is fundamentally concerned with the
analysis of the economic roles of the states, its impact upon the economic system
and its socio-economic consequences (Nikitin, 1983:13). It involves taking
comprehensive view of the relations that evolve and exist within or between states
in the course of production, distribution, exchange and consumption of the
material benefits. This approach also focuses essentially on identifying the laws of
capitalist development. It focuses on the production of material wealth which is
basis of the life of human society. It sees the production process, the
contradictions in the global movement of capital as well as the global relations of
production and exchange as determining, conditioning and sustaining behaviour of
states. It assumes the primacy of material conditions as determining the behaviour
of social group (Nnoli, 1981). Studying development as a dynamic process of
holistic change, Marxist political economy approach contends that issues of
production and distribution of wealth should be located within the broader
historical context, embracing social, economic and political variables. It also
highlights how the industrialized capitalist countries reinforce and consolidate
their grips on international economy by hijacking and appropriating the global
resources (Nnoli, 1981).
Therefore, the Marxian orthodox political economy analytical framework
could gainfully be adopted to explain the rationale behind America’s preemptive
war in Iraq; an attack which became inevitable since Iraq ceased to be a major ally
of the United States in the Middles East. This is because when Iraq is put in its
proper context as an oil producing state, a state in which militant nationalist as
Saddam Hussein was equally at the helm of affairs, it becomes evident why Iraq
should be the target of America hegemonic aggression and not other states such as
North Korea, Iraq and Israel with proven evidence of arms building and
possession of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, this theory helps us to
understand why Saudi Arabia, major ally of America in the Middle East may not
be attacked preemptively despite the fact that its government not only establishes
and maintains clear links with terrorist groups; the same trumped up charge that
ignite America’s military invasion of Iraq, but also the fact that the nationals of
Saudi Arabia were among the hijackers that unleashed mayhem on America on
September 11, 2001.
Furthermore, this theory equally helps us understand that economic interest of
America in the Middle East was at the roof of her preemptive invasion of the
suspected threat, Iraq, in 2003 and not necessarily the allegations of belligerency
and authoritative posture of Saddam Hussein’s regime. This becomes quite glaring
when it is known that states such as North Korea and Iran on the one hand, and
China and Russia on the other ,which pose grave threats to both security and
economic interests of the United States have not been militarily invaded.
Therefore, the US military invasion of Iraq in 2003, far from being informed
by Iraqi’s links with terrorist groups or accumulation of weapon of mass
destruction, was actually prompted by the rabid desire of the American elite
epitomized in George Bush (Jr) to hijack and appropriate global resources by
first and foremost ensuring the continued flow of oil from Middle East and by so
doing, effectively consolidate America’s grip on the international economy. The
scramble to rebuild Iraq after the invasion and the systematic exclusion of
countries that were not part of the military raid equally confirms this.
1.7 Hypotheses
The understated hypotheses that emanate from our research questions
are formulated to guide this study:
i. The invasion of Iraq by the United States of America and her Western
allies has not reduced the incidence of global terrorism.
ii. There is a positive link between America’s deepened oil interest in the
Middle East and the prevalence of terrorist activities in the region
1.8 Method of Data Collection
We relied heavily on observation technique as a method of generating our
data. Observation is defined as a purposefully planned and systematically executed act
of watching or looking at the occurrence of events, activities and behaviors which
constitute the subject of focus of research or study (Obasi, 1999:169). Selltiz et al
(1977:201) maintains that the relevance of observation technique in scientific study
such as our present study lies on yielding data that perform directly to typical
behavioral situations; assuming, of course, that they are applied to such situations.
Observation aids in the watching of political events, phenomenon, accurate
description and better explanation of such situations. It equally helps in determining
the variables under study.
The nature of our study informs the resolve to utilize secondary source of data
in interrogating our hypotheses. Secondary source of data refer to a set of data
gathered or authored by another person, usually data from the available array of data,
archives either in the form of document or survey results and code books collected for
a purpose other than the present one (White, 1983:233). The advantages of secondary
sources of data lie in the obvious fact that information of this sort is collected
periodically. This makes the establishment of trends and consistent patterns over time
possible. In addition, the gathering of information from such sources does not require
the cooperation or assistance of the individual about whom information is being
sought.
As expected, this study depends on institutional and official documents such
as the reports of the UNDP, Amnesty International, Human Right Watch and other
governmental and non-governmental organizations. These are supported by other
sources such as textbooks, journals and magazines, including articles and internet
materials bordering on U.S. posture on international terrorism and invasion of Iraq in
2003.
1.9 Method of Data Analysis
Our method of data analysis is anchored on “Content analysis”. Content
analysis is a research technique for the objective, systematic and quantitative
description of manifest content communication (Berelson, 1952:74). Dane (1990:170)
defines “Content analysis” as a research method to make objective and systematic
inferences about theoretically relevant message”. Our adoption of this technique is
informed by the fact that the study relies on principally on secondary data. Aware of
some limitations inherent in secondary data, we are going to be circumspect in
selecting those that will be representative enough for our research
1.10 Research Design
Research design is like blueprint that leads the researcher to plausible answers
to research problems by enabling him to determine how much of the observed
variance of the dependent variable can be attributed to the independent variable and
how much can be attributed to other substantive variables (i.e. Extrinsic effects) and
the research design itself (i.e. intrinsic effects) Leege and Francis, 1974: 60 – 73).
According to Nwana (1981:54), “a research design is a term used to describe a
number of decisions which need to be taken regarding the collection of data before
ever the data are collected”. To this effect, Obasi (1999:49) identified two main types
of research design namely; survey research design and experimental research design
while the former is divided into descriptive research and ex-post facto research. In this
study however we adopted ex-post facto (or historical research) design, in which there
are series of pre-measurement and post-measurement or before and after observation
required for establishing casual relationships or cause effect relationship:
O1 O2 O3 O4 X O5 O6 O7 O8
There are series of pre-measurement and post measurement, but the change
between O4 and O5 is the principal focus for measure the effect of the Quasiexperimental
treatment, that is, the effect of America’s military invasion of Iraq on
incidence of global terrorism. In other words, the difference in score (i.e. the
incidence of global terrorism) from O4 and O5 is attributed to the causal event (i.e.
America’s military invasion of Iraq in Iraq 2003). The design, despite its lack of
control group, overcome for a wide variety of threat to internal validity, however, the
principal threat to the design is history. The series of before observations from O1 to
O3 and after observations from O6 to O8 will be used to control for the interactive
effects of history.
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