The middle east war began when the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003 on the pretext that Saddam Hussein was on the verge of deploying weapons of mass destruction and posed an immediate threat to the world. This invasion never had international backing. The invaders also linked Hussein to Osama Bin Laden and his terror group Al-Qaeda who were responsible for the attacks on the US in 2001. However, these were not the key reasons for the invasion in Iraqi. It was a plot to remove the strong autocrat Arab leader from power in order to have indirect control over the nation rich in oil.
Therefore, the Iraqi invasion was unjustifiable since its intents were of personal gain most culprits were innocent citizens who did not know what was happening in the powerful circles of their country.
After overthrowing Saddam, the US expected to restore peace and democracy d in the country, but their expectations were not fulfilled. Instead, religious and ethnic groups started fighting each other and the US/UK militants. This drastically raised the level of civilian casualties to over 100,000 people. Almost all the victims were women and children.The economy of the county was also largely affected. The revenue available for the government decreased since people could not work as a result of the prevalent insecurity. Destruction of infrastructure, such as roads, railways and hospitals, also made the country lag behind economically. Due to economic collapse the country could not provide adequate civil services to its citizens and raise their living standards.
Other factors that prove the Iraqi war unjustifiable include extensive human rights abuse; destruction of vital health infrastructure such as food, water, power and sanitation; reduced health care due to destruction of equipment and shortage of drugs.
The film “The Fog of War” has 11 good lessons and shows the life of one of the US defense secretaries Robert McNamara. The lessons are as follows ‘Empathizing with your enemy’; ‘Rationality does not save’; ‘There is something beyond one's self; ‘Maximizing efficiency’; ‘Proportionality should be a guideline in war’; ‘One should get the data’; ‘Belief and seeing are often wrong’; ‘Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning’; ‘For one to do right they may have to engage evil’; ‘Never say never’ and ‘One can never change human nature’.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did not comply with the lessons from the film. Most of the attacks carried out by the US did base on any lesson. The US did not express any will to think about the thoughts, emotions and experiences of Afghanistan and Iraqi people before they made the attacks. This is lack of empathy.
Proportionality should be a guideline in any war. The American forces acted contrary to this lesson since they applied excessive force to succeed in their mission. They deployed large troops of soldiers and also carried out heavy bombing, which resulted into mass killing of innocent citizens. All this was unnecessary since the US could capture the leaders without affecting the lives of citizens so severely.
The US was not ready to examine whether it was appropriate to invade Afghanistan and Iraq as a response to the allegations rose against these countries. The invaders never thought of the depressing effects the invasions would have on the countries’ economy and violation of human rights.
The US based their reasons for attacking two countries without having concrete evidence. For instance, in Iraqi’s the target was Saddam Hussein because the US presumed he possessed weapons of mass destruction and had links to the Al-Qaeda. The Americans could not prove these allegations. Even after the war, they did not find any weapons. Belief without proof is totally wrong as suggested by Robert McNamara. The Americans believed that they could end until they won. They authorized retaliatory attacks on the countries on the assumptions that the attacks made in America by the Al-Qaeda had its roots in these two countries. Such a rigid mindset led to war which destabilized Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Middle East wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were, therefore, unjustified, and not in compliance with the lessons learnt from the film “The Fog of War”.