9 December 2007
Mediating on the Iraq War
The initial argument was about what the US should do about the Iraq War. The most popular choices are immediately withdrawing US troops from Iraq and staying in Iraq until a democratic government could be established. There are many possible outcomes that can happen with the two popular choices. Each and every outcome is being weighed to see if the right choice is withdrawing immediately or staying in Iraq. Due to the complexity of the Iraq war, a compromise could not be reached because of the adverse consequences that would happen if US troops were to pull out immediately or stay in Iraq to see that Iraq establishes a government.
A fact that was compromised upon was that war costs lives and money. The national debt in the US is $9 trillion and is rising every second (Nation Debt Clock). The majority of Americans do not support the war now compared to when the US started to invade Iraq. Support for the Iraq war started declining when weapons of mass destruction were not found. This means that Americans do not want to further fund the Iraq War, but have to because US troops are still in Iraq. There death toll of US soldiers in Iraq is approximately 3,800 over the span of 1724 days (Iraq Coalition Casualties). Despite the death toll and cost of the Iraq war, the US government still keeps US troops in Iraq. Other Americans see it as that they do not want all the soldiers die or the money to be spent in vain. People are not supporting the war because they think nothing will be accomplished by staying in Iraq; however, people who want US forces to stay in Iraq think that the US has spent trillions of dollars and has to accomplish something.
Both sides of the debate agreed that the US is in Iraq to protect the oil supply. Iraq is the sixth leading supplier of oil to the US, but Iraq has the third largest oil reserves in the world (Crude Oil Imports). Sabotage, insurgent attacks, and looting have limited Iraq’s oil production. The US wants to protect the oil supply for Iraq’s interest as well as US interest. Protecting Iraq’s oil supply will cause Iraq to become a main supplier of oil to the US and American oil companies could profit from the oil obtained from Iraq by selling it to American consumers.
There are negative consequences that can occur if US troops are to pull out of Iraq immediately. The possibility of terrorists taking over Iraq if US troops withdraw immediately is a possible negative consequence for withdrawing. Terrorist would be able to take control of Iraq because there is an absent of a great military power to stop terrorism from breeding in Iraq. There is also a possibility that a Civil War breaks out between the Shiites and Sunnis. “Americans are the safe house for the whole situation in Iraq. Once they say they are going to withdraw, the whole country will become a hell"(Planning for Defeat).They are two different religious groups in Iraq and they have grudges from hundreds of years ago. The possible negative consequences make it hard to compromise on a single solution for the Iraq war.
There are positive consequences that can also occur if US troops are to pull out of Iraq immediately. An opposite effect of terrorists taking over Iraq because they aren’t scared is terrorists staying away from Iraq because of the disapproval by almost every Iraqi citizen (All Iraqi Ethnic). Another positive consequence that may happen is that the rest of the world would be satisfied for US withdrawal from Iraq. Positive relationships with other countries may occur because of the controversy of US occupation of Iraq. A definite positive consequence of US withdrawal from Iraq is that the debt of the war will stop increasing at an enormous rate and that the lives of US soldiers will not be hostile territory anymore. Another possibility, but very unlikely, is that Iraq is able to create and sustain a fair government. These factors complexes the Iraq War and makes it unable to come to an agreement.
The positive outcomes for US troops staying in Iraq and help the Iraqis establish a democratic government complexes the Iraq War debate. A possible positive outcome is that Iraq establishes a democratic government under US occupancy and maintains it after US leaves Iraq. An effective democratic government would establish a unity within the government. Another positive consequence for staying in Iraq and establishing democratic government is that Iraq would become a key ally in the Middle East for the US. After the establishment of a democratic government, there is a positive possibility of a minimal amount of terrorism in Iraq. Former Al-Qaeda could give up on the cause and start siding with the US and help reform the country "a lot of guys that may have been involved with the insurgency yesterday and may become involved tomorrow. But we have reconciled with enemies before. Right now they're part of the solution, not the problem" (Baghdad). These positive consequences would be beneficial to US and Iraq, but would cost more money and lives that a lot of Americans do not want to risk. The complexity of these positive consequences makes the US government want to keep US troops occupied in Iraq.
There are many negative outcomes that can occur if US troops are to stay in Iraq and help the Iraq establish a democratic government. A definite negative outcome is that the total war debt will continue to rise at a large rate and more soldiers and civilians will have to die. Something that could be worse is that the US stays in Iraq and a democratic government is established, but as soon as US troops withdraw, the democratic government will become unstable and a number of disastrous possibilities can occur. Another negative outcome would be that it could cause negative relationships with other countries and citizens of Iraq. This would be bad because the US gained a negative view for not listening to the UN and invaded Iraq. The negative consequences for staying in Iraq really play a role in not being able to come to a compromise in the Iraq War debate.
It is very difficult to decide on a solution and stick to it because of the various consequences that could happen if US troops were to withdraw or still occupy Iraq. The complex nature of the Iraq War is makes it really hard to come to a compromise in the assignment. In the US government, there still has not been a compromise between the Democrat’s view and Republican’s view on the Iraq war.
“Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries.” Energy Information Administration. 3 December 2007
Farrell, Stephen. “As Iraqis Vie for Kirkuk’s Oil, Kurds Are Pawns.” New York Times 9 December 2007
Makris, G.P. Islamic in the Middle East: a living tradition. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2007.
“National Debt Clocks and Savings Clocks.” zfacts.com
Oren, Michael B. “Jonah’s Dilemma.” Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition 21 September 2007: A14.
Packer, George. “Planning for Defeat.” New Yorker 17 September 2007: 56-65.