All week I have known that I have a 2 page paper due tomorrow for my philosophy class. The topic was not a difficult one for me. I definitely have strong opinions upon the justification of the current Iraq war which is what we were supposed to argue. Why then did I wait until 11:30 on the Friday night before the assignment is due to write the paper. Maybe I thrive under pressure. Maybe I have been too stressed out to focus on it this week. Maybe I am just lazy. In any case, I have attached the final result which only really took me about an hour to write (even with a discussion with Christina on the major premises of my argument). I think it turned out pretty good. I mean it is what it is a two page paper (not a thesis or anything) but I got all my points across in what I think sounds like a logical and concise manner (the class is Introduction to Logic after all). I
While I do not agree with the concept of war, I do understand there are certain circumstances in which there is justification for waging war, however, the current conflict in Iraq is not one of them. In addition to being costly and mishandled, the current war in Iraq is clearly unjustified in accordance with the fundamentals that our nation was founded upon. Our country was founded upon the principle of freeing our people from the oppression of government misrepresentation and tyranny. Our country’s history shows a variety of military encounters with and for other nations. Never in our history has there been more opposition worldwide to a military encounter. The reasons for this opposition vary, and all demonstrate solid premises for which the war is not a justified act on the part of the United States. Most importantly we are betraying our values and those that our forefathers defended in an attempt to ensure continuation of our freedom.
To explain why I believe this war is an unjustified travesty, I must first explain when war can be considered justified. There are very few occasions upon which one can claim that something as hateful and destructive as war is in order. The only way that a person should consider the war to be a valid option is if all peaceful alternatives had been exhausted. Since this is not the case, the war is not justified. The ideology of going to war to instill peace is oxymoronic. Peace cannot be promoted by hateful acts of violence. When you are attacked, you do have an obligation to defend yourself. We cam all agree that the United States was attacked, however, this was not an act perpetrated by the “evil forces” that we purport to be defending ourselves, and the world, from currently. In fact, we have consistently ignored the actual threat that exists against the western world, and have bred an even more valid contempt by imposing our values onto the societies that have a completely different outlook on life that we do. Our country was founded on the pluralistic values of freedom from tyranny. Ironically by fighting this war we are becoming the imperialistic dictators that we fought so hard to free ourselves of.
A dictatorship is a type of government that imposes its will by force in the face of all opposition. This is the type of regime that we are supposed to be protecting the Iraqi people from, however, how is this justifiable when we are doing this against the advice of the rest of the world and the will of the Iraqi people. We are imposing western culture in an area that has not asked us for this “favor”. In doing so we are killing thousands of people in the process. How is this different from the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein who had done nothing to our people? Additionally, how come it is justifiable to attack the man that we put into power for our own selfish purposes and nurtured into becoming the tyrant he was. At the same time the truly evil people who we should be directing our anger at are roaming freely through the deserts of Afghanistan.
I attempted to approach this topic from the opposite viewpoint in order to see how my argument could be invalidated; however, there is no factual evidence in existence that serves as justification for this war. Firstly, I have already demonstrated in the previous paragraphs that we are not there to instill freedom. Secondly, there are no weapons of mass destruction. There were never any weapons of mass destruction. If there were, and they were destroyed, there would have been tremendous repercussions for the world. We would have felt it around the world if these nuclear weapons were removed from this earth. Lastly, not one person of Iraqi descent was on the plane that attacked our world trade center. They have no link to Al Qaeda, and Saddam Hussein while he may be evil, did nothing but try to cooperate with the requests of the United Nations. Our government is either scrambling to find a premise for war that our society will accept, or they are becoming paranoid by the tremendous fear and propaganda that they have been feeding our nation. The attack on the World Trade Center was an attack on Western Culture, not an attack on America specifically. It is repulsive to me that a government can play upon the sorrow of a nation in order to advance its selfish desires. If this was an attempt to fell the United States how can you explain the fact that since September 11, 2001 not one terrorist attack has taken place on US soil? The explanation cannot be that we are defending ourselves so well because we are sending massive amounts of money and resources to the middle of the desert to supposedly “defend the liberty” of a people who don’t want us there in the first place. As a result we have little protection on US soil. We have laws being passed and departments of homeland security being set up but we can’t even manage to protect ourselves from natural disasters. How can we expect to have the resources to protect if someone actually wanted to attack us? As we continue to ingratiate ourselves, and our ideals, upon the world the probability of us being attacked again increases only because we are breeding a new class of terrorists who feel they need to defend their values against a dictator who is telling them how to live.
In conclusion, all premises of starting and continuing this travesty have been proven to be nothing more than a fallacy. Because these premises are not valid, the argument that the war is justified is false. Our government has told so many lies to get us into this conflict for the gain of a few very rich, and very powerful politicians that they cannot turn back. We will continue to be lied to unless we stand up and say no more. They do not actually believe what they are saying, however, they hold no intention of ever admitting to any wrongdoing. If we do not put a stop to this, we set ourselves up to lose the freedoms, and the lifestyle that so many of us take for granted.