Sociology of Iraq War, Its Pros and Cons


War is both good and bad, but if used correctly it should benefit the world. War is good for taking out an enemy who is killing innocent lives and wants to be a dictator over the world or for fighting for freedom, like in the revolutionary war. It is bad because of the innocent lives that die or if used in the wrong way as Hitler did. War has been a part of human life since the beginning of time. Prehistoric man used to fight over territory, as did the Native American Indians.

On to the Europeans who fought each other for power and territory, then most recently countries joining to fight dictators who want to rule the world. War has really made major contributions in making the world what it is today. The recent war with Iraq would prove no different in changing the world for the better. After the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States and other countries around the world saw the need in stopping this terrorist permanently.

The world can not go on living in fear of being attacked, so coalition forces are working together to take out terrorists starting with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and then to the regime in Iraq. Most people support the idea of war to take out the terrorist, but others disagree with their ways. Some people believe in negotiating with these evil people till a resolution can be made because they do not believe in violence and risking our troops to die. The Democratic Party here in the United States is divided into pro and anti-war. The majority of them are against the war because they believe President Bush could have chosen a better strategy in stopping terrorism.

They are also looking out for their own interest because they know the presidential election is coming up, and need to find ways to attack President Bush. However, this war in Iraq is necessary for the safety of innocent lives around the world.

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This problem with terrorism really became a concern to the United States during former President George Bush’s term. That was when the Gulf War occurred and Saddam Hussein was attempting to take over America. The former Bush administration could have had Saddam killed during that war, but thought that since the rest of the world was against him as well that he would not be a problem any longer, (Boyne, 66).

No one person, especially former President Bush, could have predicted that a dozen years later after the Gulf War we would have the same problem with the same man. At the conclusion of the Gulf War, Saddam was handcuffed and forced to a ceasefire. Then we stripped him of his armored forces, and with the support of the United Nations, we put in-laws to have weapon inspections throughout Iraq.

However, since the end of the Gulf War, there have been several attacks upon the United States that disturbed the peace. The United Nations continually held weapon checks through Iraq until 1998 when Saddam declared that they were no longer welcome in his country (Polk, 120). This brought up the major controversy over Iraq and the United States with Great Britain wanting to attack Saddam. However, nothing really occurred and Saddam was left to himself.

The war in Iraq all started with the attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon, by the terrorist on September 11th, 2001. This was a tragic day in United States history and really enforced the need to take out the terrorist regimes around the world. The terrorist thought the attacks would weaken the United States resolve and start the triumph of America. Since the attacks Bush has said several times “that they did no such thing, they only strengthened a country”. (Michael, 92)

Then after September 11, 2001, the United States immediately started to search for the people behind these attacks. Saddam Hussein was an easy target for the United States to blame for the attacks, along with Osama Bin Laden the al-Qaeda leader. Saddam has a long history with terrorism and after the United States found out that one of the hijackers met with Iraq intelligence before 9/11, Saddam became more responsible for the attacks. Most of presidents Bush’s time in the year 2002 was spent trying to revenge the attacks and how to get Saddam (Boyne, 79). He urged the United Nations and U.S. allies to come together and go inspect Iraq to disarm him.

President Bush then found out new information that Saddam had massive destruction weapons. Bush was thinking of going to war then against Hussein, however, Secretary of State Colin Powell believed new weapon inspections and economic sanctions would be cheaper and be just as effective as war. Powell ended up getting his way, and also by doing this the United States and United Nations could work together as one and be much more powerful against Saddam.

Also after the attacks, President Bush had to find ways to keep the nation safer from terrorist attacks. The first thing implanted by Bush was the department of Homeland Security, which he previously opposed before September 11th, (Polk, 123). After the incident, the FBI and CIA were criticized for not being prepared for the attacks. They also were harassed by the public and president for not communicating well with each other and working together.

So Bush declared he would start a new department of homeland security and selected former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to be ahead of the department. President Bush immediately delegated several thousand people to this new department, and 85% of them were dedicated strictly to controlling the nation’s borders (Michael, 93). This brand new department is also setting up a nationwide communication system, so every department can share information and things can be done more efficiently. The other new line of security the Bush administration put in place was the increased airport security.

The airports used to have private-sector baggage screeners, but now the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is in place, which replaces the old private employees. The TSA trains people to be professional baggage screeners in all of the nation’s airports. The TSA was also ordered by the federal government to implement automated explosives-detection equipment in all the major U.S. airports. Before September 11th there were only 50 federal air marshals, but now there are more than 1,000 protecting our airlines (Boyne, 83). With those programs implanted the nation felt safer, and will hopefully prevent any future attacks.

Supporters of U.S. policy in Iraq dispute charges that the U.S. military does not have the upper hand against insurgent forces. While backers acknowledge that military planners have made some strategic mistakes since March 2003, such as failing to foresee the emergence of a low-intensity guerrilla war, they assert that the U.S. is making progress toward its major goals in Iraq by repairing infrastructure, providing logistical aid to the new government and training new Iraqi security forces. (Rick, 35)

Many proponents of the military’s war planning assert that it would be unwise to state a deadline for removing U.S. troops from Iraq. Declaring a pull-out date, supporters say, would aid Iraqi insurgents by allowing them to develop a long-term strategy for disrupting the U.S. mission in that country. Instead, proponents contend that the Pentagon should make its decisions regarding troop numbers based on military and political developments within Iraq.

Backers assert that one of the keys to winning the war in Iraq is the development of a stable, democratic government in place of Hussein’s autocratic rule. With Iraqis governing themselves, electing their own officials, and writing their own constitution, they will be able to assume responsibility for Iraq’s internal affairs and work toward stabilizing their country, supporters argue. Once that government is on a sound footing, backers predict, the U.S. will be able to withdraw its troops from the country. Another important aspect of U.S. policy in Iraq that is promoted by the war’s supporters is the training of Iraqi soldiers and policemen. By recruiting, mentoring, and developing a new army of Iraqis, backers say, the U.S. will be able to ensure that Iraqis can combat enemy insurgents once most U.S. troops have left the country.

Proponents contend that U.S. troops have made major strides in training Iraqi forces during the past two years. Backers note that, throughout 2005, Iraqi soldiers have increasingly been shouldering the burden of organizing and conducting raids against insurgent hide-outs, a task that had been delegated to U.S. forces in 2003 and 2004. Furthermore, supporters assert, once trained, Iraqi troops will be more effective than their American counterparts since they are more familiar with the local geography and culture. (Boyne, 87)

Many backers warn that formulating a premature exit strategy and hastily withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, as some critics have called for, would have a devastating impact on Iraq. They point out that previous U.S. military missions that ended before they achieved their stated goals created power vacuums, which often led to civil unrest. For example, they note, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in 1973 was followed by intense internal fighting within that country. Also, after the U.S. military left Lebanon in 1984, following the bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks there, the country descended deeper into civil war, they point out.

Proponents argue that Iraq could follow a similar path if U.S. troops leave that country before ensuring the legitimacy of its government and its security forces. “If we let go of the insurgency then this country could fail and go back into civil war and chaos,” remarked an anonymous U.S. military officer in Baghdad in May 2005.

On the other hand, if the U.S. “stays the course” in Iraq, the experience could be influential in dictating the future of the war on terrorism, backers contend. By promoting democracy and defeating insurgents and foreign-born terrorists operating within Iraq, they assert, the U.S. will bolster its own national security and influence other countries to stamp out terrorism and adopt more representative forms of government. “If we can start to change the most powerful country in the Middle East, the others will follow,” Bush says. “Americans 20 years down the road won’t have to deal with a day like September 11, 2001.” (Polk, 131)

When the United States and most of the United Nations agreed it was time to go to war, we had specific goals in mind. Of course one of our goals was to revenge what happened Sept 11th, 2001 by taking out Saddam Hussein and Osama bin-laden permanently, but that was not our only objective. We also wanted to rebuild Iraq and give them a chance to have a free nation and live in a democracy. We started our attacks in Afghanistan trying to find bin-laden and disable the al-Qaeda.

Bin-laden contacted the United States in the December of 2001, but right after the attacks disappeared not to be heard from for ten months. Since Bin-laden is the leader of al-Qaeda, it’s common sense that he is the man we want. However, Bin-laden disappeared after the attacks and was presumed to be dead after the United States bombed eastern Afghanistan in retaliation. However, ten months later he sent a videotape reminding us of the attacks and showed that he was still alive. George Bush then put forth the “War on Terrorism” and said he wanted bin-laden “Dead or Alive” (Michael, 96). He is now nowhere to be found but we are looking for him.

The United States did apprehend three of the top al-Qaeda leader, but they would not give up his location. The American forces over there are not killing innocent civilians just going after the terrorist enemies. We are doing the same in Iraq and that is a great benefit to be the style of warfare because we are not killing innocent people just the bad people in the world.

When we began our war on Iraq with coalition forces and our biggest ally being England, we had a specific war plan in mind. We wanted to take out Saddam’s regime, gain trust with the Iraqi people, and eventually turn the country into a democracy. Our war strategy consisted of attacking the country from several directions. We had bases south and north of the capital Baghdad. Baghdad is where the regime is and is the city we need to take out to gain control of the country.

The United States took proper measures in warning the civilians of Iraq what is going to happen, and told them to leave the city of Baghdad and no longer listen to the regime. A lot of the citizens listened and when the United States marched toward Baghdad they were greeted with cheers by some people for saving them, others had to wait and see till it’s over to cheer. The United States used smart bombs to attack certain military and regime buildings to destroy. They did not want to destruct the entire city just where was needed. Coalition forces eventually overpowered the regime forces and now are in control of the city.

It’s not known whether Saddam Hussein is dead or alive but as President Bush states “I don’t know whether he survived. The only thing I know is he is losing power” (Polk, 138). Now the United States in the United Nations are concentrated on rebuilding Iraq and creating a better country. That is a great benefit of this war, taking out an evil dictator and putting in place a free country. As President Bush puts it “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror” (Michael, 99). Were working with the Iraqi people now to create a democracy and teach them how to be free people that can choose for them.

We are also helping rebuild what we destroyed there and we are doing the same in Afghanistan. About Iraq Bush had this to say “we are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools for the transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it worth every effort” (Polk, 139). We are strongly committed to improving Iraq and making sure the Iraqi people are much better off. Bush also says “In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals and educate all of their children” (associated press, 2003). As you can tell when the United States goes to war we help benefit the world not just ourselves and that is a major benefit to war.

War also has some negative aspects that come along with the positive output. The main negative thing about war is all the innocent people that die in combat. Thousands and thousands of people fight for their respect for the simple reason of pride. Those men may have done nothing wrong but because their country is at war they go to fight to leave their family and friends behind. Some of those men will die being completely innocent, but that is one of the negative aspects that come along with war. War is also against other people’s religion so do not believe in combat. They think that peace is the only answer and that’s how problems should be resolved. These people just don’t believe in killing human life and that is a very respectable point of view, but they do not see the full picture of how war is a good thing in some cases.

This war has also divided the Democratic Party to some extent. A lot of them support the president and American troops, but others think the president took the wrong direction. The people who are against the war and the president’s decisions thought he could have handled the situation differently and tried to avoid war. They thought the United Nations could have inspected Iraq more thoroughly to really prove what they have and how it could harm peaceful countries.

They also believe we shouldn’t have gone to war until we had the full support of all the United Nations, not just the majority. Some of the bigger nations that did not support us were France, Germany, Turkey, and there were some others. Some Democrats believed we should have had their support before going to war so the whole United Nations would be on the same page. Other Democrats are looking forward to the upcoming election for the reason to oppose the war and attack President Bush. In the words of Robert Borsage of the liberal Campaign for America’s future “this is the largest antiwar demonstration of opinion and mobilization globally in history.

All of the presidential candidates are feeling its effects, and the political pros are worried about it – whether it is too far out of line with public opinion” (Michael, 101). Basically, their attacking President Bush saying this is the wrong direction to take and is trying to get the American people on their side. It’s a difficult thing to do because most of the American people see the need for war and support the President. Those Democrats are just trying to make a campaign issue out of the war and are looking to take the presidency away from Bush, so are opposing him and telling the American people what else he could have done besides war.

The war in Iraq is over but the war against terrorism is not. We still have not located Saddam Hussein or Osama bin-laden. We destroyed most of their training areas, intelligence building, and massive destructive weapons. We killed or captured some of the main men behind the attacks and leaders of terrorism around the world. President Bush had this to say about al-Qaeda “Our mission continues. Al-quada is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the network still operate in many nations, and we know from daily intelligence that they contend against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger.

The terrorist of freedom are not idle, and neither are we” (Polk, 139). By that quote, you can really tell how focused we are on destroying terrorism permanently not just damaging it for a while. Another statement that Bush made to show was not going to stop fighting the war on terrorism is “The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless” (Rick, 46). This tells people were not going to stop until everybody is safe, but there will be an end to it we just haven’t reached it yet.


In this paper, I have shown the positives and negatives of the war with Iraq. I believe there are too many positives to not go to war and end terrorism. Some people will die but in the long run, it will be worth it to have a peaceful world. Iraqi intervention was shown to be the necessary step. Iraq had bared itself as a great risk; and despite many efforts, the UN had failed to follow through on demands to resolve the situation. Such occurrences can, and many times will affect all countries including the United States. A great cliché to sum it all up would be “If you want something done right, you got to do it yourself”.

Works Cited

Boyne, Walter. Operation Iraqi Freedom: What Went Right, What Went Wrong, and Why. New York City: Forge Books, 2003.

Polk, William. Understanding Iraq. New York City: HarperCollins, 2005.

Michael A. Ledeen. The War Against the Terror Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How We’ll Win. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002.

Rick Fawn and Raymond Hinnebusch, eds, The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006.

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