Politics, Law and Social Justice





Politics, Law and Social Justice

US-Iraq War


With the Middle East becoming the focus for worldwide supremacy, the effect of America in Iraq was largely de-stabilizing and served to influence the region negatively. In a similar manner, the response from the Middle East towards the American policy carries with it significance penalties for the United States hegemony internationally. The Iraq conflict was the central incident around which these developments were based on. The invasion of Iraq can be explained using three separate and interconnected events: the American global strategy, the strategic role of the United States in the Middle East; and the interests of Bush administration. Understanding the Iraq war, in turn, provides the answers to whether the war assisted in stabilizing or undermining international security (Ricks 34).

Critics of the Iraqi incursion asserted that the raid would contribute to the many innocent Iraqi civilians dying. Considering the American policy on terrorism, most of soldiers in the Coalition would be killed in the war. Of greater fear was the fact that the war would definitely disrupt stability and peace in Iraq, across the Middle East and the world. Another commonly mentioned motive for opposition to the war is based in the Westphalian principle that foreign states lacked the authority to interfere in another sovereign state’s domestic affairs (Ricks 123). This intervention covers other activities such as terrorism. The idea of preemptive war as explained by Giorgio Agamben and other scholars goes against the actions of the US Army in Iraq and argues against the move to use preemptive decisions to start a war.

While other parties acknowledged a restricted right for military involvement in foreign countries, but nonetheless, argued against the intrusion because it was accomplished without United Nations’ consent and this constituted an infringement of international law. The United Nations is responsible for international security and was a major party that should have been consulted before the war against Iraq started. Arguing from this position, the United States is part of the United Nations and therefore subscribes to all the treaties concerning security and respect for national territories. An example is the UN Charter and several international treaties that legally bind the United States (Clarke 124). When the United States chose to exercise military power, they essentially violated several clauses in the UN Charter and undermined international law. The actions of the Bush administration could be defined as illegal vigilantism on a global scale. This disapproval was exhibited by several actors including United States’ armed forces officials such as Benjamin Ferencz who criticized the Iraq War as a hostile war and even suggested that all the perpetrators of the war including the president George Bush should be investigated for war crimes.

Even though the United States assumed the role of the global hegemony in their intrusion into Iraq, their reasons for invading Middle East were flawed and insubstantial. The apparent confusion that reigned when the United States responded to the Al-Qaeda terrorist threats with military action against Iraq while they ignored more serious threats from other countries such as North Korea (Clarke 56). North Korea was in possession of nuclear weapons and had declared that the country was prepared to consider war with the United States. This issue of global insecurity increased with the news that North Korea allegedly carried out a nuclear weapons test in 2006.

Opponents of the Iraq war also argued that in the face of lack of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, there was no reason for the United States to invade Iraq. Prominent United States’ armed forces officials such as Scott Ritter, a United Nations weapons inspector who worked in Iraq recommended that the invasion into Iraq was unnecessary. However, these recommendations were ignored by the Bush administration who gave permission to choose military action into the Middle East. Examinations after the incursion yielded insignificant evidence of dangerous weapons in Iraq apart from a small arsenal of chemical weapons shells that were remnants of the Iran–Iraq War (Ricks 56). The indifference with which President Bush handled the suffering created by the invasion served to only increase the pressure for the United States to categorized the attempt as a ‘failed invasion’. His comical comments of the death of 2,700 US troop made the whole invasion into Iraq unjustified and triggered more security threats in the Middle East and elsewhere. The main reason for the urgent intrusion into Middle East and Iraq was based on the need for the United States to quell the security issues that were being raised by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. The Al-Qaeda group took responsibility for the September 11 terror attacks in the New York and Pentagon that left many people dead and damaged a lot of city infrastructure. The citizen ns of Iraq showed little faith in the ability of the Coalition soldiers to fight terror in the country (Ricks 167).


In fact, a section of the citizens blamed the Coalition for abetting in the Al-Qaeda’s recruitment activities. Others believed that if the United States had not intervened in the Iraq situation, there was a high risk that the number of chemical and biological weapons would be acquired by wrongful parties such as Al-Qaeda (Clarke 34). Both parties within the United States and from other parties argued that the Bush government had a credible rationale for going to war with an intention of controlling the security status in the Middle East and quelling the terrorist cases in Iraq. These supporters of this decision believed that the war would stabilize the Middle East but in the end, it caused more conflict and chaos with insecurity increasing within the Middle East.

Main Roles of the United Nations

The United Nation is an international organization that was created by the joint effort of different member states with several objectives ranging from maintaining international security, solving disputes among nations and other interstate matters such as economic development. Tracing its origins from World War II, the United Nations had an initial role of maintaining international and regional security and peace. During the period around World War II, several countries engaged in war and the contribution of the United Nations towards quelling the conflict through diplomatic methods entrenched security as a central role in the organization. Using a collective security system supported by the contributions of all member states, the United Nations has successfully mitigated and ended conflicts in Somalia, Darfur, Sierra Leone and other countries. The organization has also contributed towards the development of armed forces in different states through offering training and financial support to these forces (United Nations 76).

Economic development is another major role of the United Nations. Globally, the United Nations provides a platform and forum where the leaders of various nations can convene and address emerging and past economic issues that plague their states. These economic conferences have provided various states with the proper foothold and enabled the reduction of poverty in most third world countries. Through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations has managed to create economic agendas that aim to address financial and economic issues in different countries. Examples are the economic goals captured in the Millennium Development Goals that have to be achieved by all member countries. The United Nations also addresses global social issues such as drug abuse, women and girl child empowerment, terrorism and crime reduction. Apart from these roles, there are other functions of the United Nations such as coordinating issues dealing with global trade, renewable energy and education (United Nations 376).

The United Nations plays an important role in the lives of many citizens in different countries. In their efforts to deliver these responsibilities, the organizations experience several drawbacks. Financial limitations are a major setback that restricts the implementation of several projects created by the United Nations. The finances for all projects in the organizations are collected from the regular contributions made by member states. However, several third world states grapple with paying this contribution due to their weak economic status (United Nations 126).

The inability to implement and enforce various policies, treaties and regulation imposed by the United Nations acts as a major limitation towards achieving its objectives. The United Nations has a well-developed Assembly that proposes excellent and feasible proposals. However, the United Nations lacks an international judiciary or police force to control the behavior of rogue states. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the best effort of an international court but even this court lacks the authority top control the dissident behavior of state leaders and states themselves (United Nations 376). Therefore, states still argue using the sovereignty clause contained in the United Nations Charter to defer any responsibilities awarded to them. Using state sovereignty as an excuse, many states have desisted from adhering to treaties that they ratified in UN meetings. Sadly, the United Nations cannot do much to coerce states to follow up on their pledges (United Nations 376).

Political manipulation is another major limitation plaguing the international organization. Several critics have claimed that the United Nations has been manipulated for the good of a few countries particularly the United States and other states that contributed greatly towards the United Nations. The same argument was raised when the ICC was put under the spotlight for skewed administration of justice. This was after reports revealed that the ICC was particularly trying dissidents from third world countries only.















Work Cited

Clarke, Richard A. Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror. New York: Free Press, 2004. Print.

Ricks, Thomas E. Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. New York: Penguin Press, 2006. Print.

United Nations. The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook: Disarmament Resolutions and Decisions of the Sixty-Third Session of the United Nations General Assembly. New York: United Nations, 2009.

United Nations. United Nations Peace Operations Year in Review 2008. New York: United Nations, 2009.

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