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The war between the U.S. and Iraq has been witnessed for decades. Now scholars provide different reasons for the continued involvement of America in the war. According to Coates (2009), the origin of the conflict between the United States and Iraq is U.S. aggressiveness for the purpose of countering countries that pose risks to its domination in trade. He notes that, just like any other industrial revolutionized western countries that had advanced resources, wealth and power, the U.S. entered into war against Iraq to ensure that it was not a threat to its interests in the international trade. Coates (2009) points out that the United States acted like a new colonial emperor in regard to Iraq, as far as it imposed new laws and rules that were seen to stigmatize the people of Iraq, while instead benefiting its people.
The interest of the United States was also fueled by the discovery of massive oil deposits in the Middle East and particularly in Iraq, which triggered the economic interest of the United States. Coates (2009) points out that the United States being an industrialized nation that increasingly consumes petroleum energy in its various sectors, has found it prolific to take advantage of such countries that can promote its economy. He notes that the United States uses petroleum energy from common automotive fuels in its industrial sector.
By the end of the Persian Gulf r War in 1991, both the U.S. and Britain entered into war against Iraq in an attempt to take control over Iraq’s oil reserves. Meyer (2008) noted that approaches used by the two nations, such as the imposition of various economic sanctions, led to Iraq’s economic decline. In addition, Coates (2009) points out that because of oppression that the Islamic people encountered from the U.S., this resulted into responsive attacks of the U.S. and corresponding Iraq terror groups.
The Rise of Saddam Hussein
According to Alex, Jamie & Lauren (2010), Saddam Hussein became interested in politics right from his college years in Baghdad, when he joined the Ba’ath party. This made him actively participate in the coup attempt to overthrow the monarchy in 1956. His actions forced him to fly to Syria and Egypt, where he attended law school. On his return to Iraq, he took over the leadership of the Ba’ath Party, which later, in1968, took over power after their coup attempt. The scholars point out that through his determination Hussein became a vice chairman of the revolutionary command that saw his rise in presidency after the resignation of the then president al-Bark in 1979.
According to Armin (2007), the rise of Hussein to power marked the beginning of the war between Iraq and the U.S. He points out that the United States invested in the war against Hussein to be able to counter disputes that it had with Iran. He notes that in the past, Iran had disagreed with the U.S. because of its disrespectful attitude towards the U.S. This disrespect was clearly illustrated by Iraq incorporating in its national Anthem a line predicting that at one point the U.S. would fall and be buried in the ground.
Alex, Jamie & Lauren (2010) point out that during his term of presidency Saddam Hussein initiated war against Iran with the aim of taking control over the Middle East from Iran. The two countries therefore started organizing numerous deadly attacks against each other which eventually led to the defeat of Iraq. According to Armin (2007), the U.S. took advantage of this enmity between Iran and Iraq and made friendship with Saddam Hussein to make more attacks on Iran. He points out that at the initial stages of the war, the United States provided Iraq with ammunitions ranging from gun weapons to bombs, which they could use to defeat Iran.
According to Armin (2007), Iraq with the help of United States continued to hit Iran, which resulted in most of the Iran people being succumbed to death. This massive attack on Iran made the country’s military overwhelmed. This enabled the U.S. to take advantage of the situation and influence its relationship with Iran. At this stage, the United States agreed to assist Iran in defeating Saddam Hussein under certain conditions. The U.S. demanded that Iran had to show more respect towards the United States. Armin (2007) points out that Iran adhered to the U.S. demands, which in turn made Iran defeat Iraq with the help of weapons and bombs supplied by the United States.
According to Armin (2007), Saddam Hussein did not relent on his efforts to make Iraq the head force in the Middle East and this led to his continued attacks on Asian countries. He points out that Saddam Hussein advanced various weapons, which he obtained from the United States, and planned to take over almost a half of Asia in attempt to create a powerful regime. Saddam Hussein later turned against the United States, which had been supplying him with weapons and bombs. This is what angered the then United States President Bush, who agreed to supply Iran with more weapons in order to destroy Iraq. This resulted in continued attacks by Iran on Iraq until the time, when U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iran.
According to Armin (2007), it was the previous United State support of Saddam Hussein, which made him rise as a dictator. With weapons and bombs supplied by the United States, Hussein kept on striking his enemies. His implementation of dictatorial rules was even worse among the Iraqis, which further widened the gap between him and the U.S.
Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988
According to Coates (2010), there were various underlying factors that contributed to the war of 1980 to 1988 between Iran and Iraq. The war that first started as a religious difference between the Sunni and Shiites Islamic groups, later graduated to involve Iraq and Iran with the United States playing an important role. However, another triggering factor was a disagreement concerning waterway resources between the two enmity countries.
According to Pike (2011), the long standoff conflict between Iran and Iraq for almost a decade had negative impacts, especially on Iraq. He noted that after the conflict, the political and social life of the Iraqis changed, as they continued to encounter a severe economic decline. He added that the invasion of Iran in Iraq surpassed the border dispute between the two warring countries, and that it was rather Saddam Hussein self-interest to gain more power and take control over the Middle East that fueled the war. Pike (2011) pointed out that Saddam Hussein through his dictatorial ruling was contended by the rise of Iran’s revolutionary leadership.
Pike (2011) pointed out that the war was purely instigated by the Saddam Hussein’s greed for power. Saddam had planned to overthrow Ayatollah Khomeini, the then Iran leader, with the aim of excluding Iran from the Persian Gulf States. Saddam was still receiving support in terms of weaponry from the United States.
Pike (2011) observed that to execute his plans, Saddam Hussein claimed through his authority that a part of the Iraq’s territory, which was rich in oil, was inhabited by the Iran people. He noted that Iraq did not only claim of Arab’s inhabitants on its oil-rich territory, but it also claimed the right over the Shatt el-Arab waterway, which formed the Southern border between the two warring countries. However, as Iraq claimed full ownership of the waterway, on the other side, Iran stated that the border between Iran and Iraq was at the middle of the waterway. Their hard standpoints caused and maintained a rift between them.
According to Pike (2011), Saddam Hussein took advantage of the 1979 newly formed Iranian revolution government that had not gained stability and attacked Iran. He points out that in October 1980, Saddam Hussein announced to break the 1975 Algiers treaty that was agreed upon by the two countries regarding the Shatt al-Arab waterway. He notes that Saddam announced not to relent on the Iran-Iraq war until the Shatt al-Arab waterway became a part of Iraq. Karsh (2009) points out that Iraq was confident of defeating Iran because of its advanced weapons and bombs that it had obtained from the United States.
Pike (2011) points out that contrary to the expected defeat of Iran, Iran could defeat Iraq’s invasion in 1980, since Iran’s western-made weapons were more advanced and better as compared to Iraq’s ones. With the backup, which they received from the U.S. after giving up their hatred for the super power, Iran’s Tehran organized a massive attack on the Iraq’s military by Tehran in 1982 resulting in the Iran’s victory over Iraq. This resulted in the withdrawal of the Iraqis forces from the Iranian territory. Even though Iraq seemed to have surrendered, the Iran’s forces continued to advance their attacks on Iraq. These attacks and counterattacks game between Iraq and Iran continued. At this point the war was triggered both by the interest of the two nations to control oil reserves and the partial role played by the United States. Iraq had disagreed with the Iran’s proposal to extend the moratorium on Gulf oil shipping.
Pike (2011) points out those attacks of both sides from 1980 to 1988 posed economic and political challenges on both warring countries. This further attracted the interest of the United States, especially in Iraq experiencing a 30% decline in its export capability in 1983 and Iran encountering fall in its revenue share as its oil production and output terminals were severely destroyed during the war.