‘Iraq resolution’ and ‘Iraq war resolution’ are famous synonyms for the authorization of the application of military force against Iraq. Resolution of 2002, was a law enacted by the United States congress in the same year. The resolution put forward many reasons to legitimize the use of force against the country which was considered to be delinquent.The resolution cited many factors to justify the use of military force against Iraq: Iraq was supposed to be violating the terms and conditions of the 1991 ceasefire and she was also meddling with weapons inspections.Iraq was alleged to manufacture weapons of mass destruction and the intiatives to develop such breed of weapons. Such developments were endangering the national security of United States, international peace and the security of the region. It was also opined in the resolution that she had unleashed reign of terror against its own population and those who did not fall in line with the dictator were made a horrible example. It was further stated that Iraq was capable and willling to exploit weapons of mass destruction against other nations and against its own people. “Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated” (Joint Resolution, Page 116).
Her animosity against the United States as illustrated by the alleged 1993 murder attempt of the ex-President George H. W. Bush and the shooting of aircrafts trying to enforce the no fly zones was also considered to be most important reason for authorization of force against Iraq. It was also widely believed that some of the most influential members of Al Qaeda were hiding in the country which could be smoked out after the attack. Iraq was also backing the other terrorists organizatiosn some of which were based in America and they were trying to disrupt the American security. American citizens were less safe while these organizations got their funds and other types of support from Saddam Hussain. 9/11 attacks could have some links with Iraq or they may have been encouraged by this Arabian State of the Middle East. Constitution and Congress of the United States gave latitude to fight against terrorism and these who were backing this monster and Iraq fell in that catgory.
The Iraqi Liberation Act compeled the U.S. government to work against the interests of Iraqi dictator and do its utmost to remove him. On the other hand, it called upon the Americans to prop up democracy in this important country of the Middle East. The resolution backed and encouraged the diplomatic endeavors of President Bush to rigidly enforce through U.N.Security Council resolutions against Iraq and get swift and authoritative action by the Security Council resolutions pertaining to Iraq. The resolution gave room to the President to exploit the amred forces of United States with the purpose of defending and protecting the security of the state and take all such measures for the realization of this goal. It was to defeat the Iraqi tactics of delay, evasion and non obedience to the inspection measures. The authorization was demanded by American President of the day.and dubbed as H.J.Res 114. It was passed by a vote of 296-133. After going through both the houses , it was endorsed into law by the U.S. President. Majority of the democratic representatives were not in favor of resolution and they sided against it. “In the weeks leading up to the attack on Iraq George W. Bush was to be seen almost nightly on television solemnly declaring in his brain-dead zombie-like emotionless cartoon-Western-sheriff manner that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction” which it was sure either to use directly against the US (a ridiculous suggestion) or to give to “terrorists” to produce more September 11ths on US soil” (Bellavia, David & Bruning, John. House to House: An Epic Memoir of War).
There were some amendments offered to the content of the resolution. One such was Spratt amendment. It suggested that use of force must be aurthorized by the U.N. Security Council otherwise it would be unfair and illegal to go to war and would create anarchical conditions in the country. The amendemnt also envisged if the prestigious world body is not going to authorize for attacking of the country, the President should again attend to Congress and seek its authorization for such an eventuality. In other words, it called for United Nations’ cosent and in case of its refusal asked for a very cautious approach to be adopted by American President. However this amendment could not work as it did not appeal to the hearts and minds of majority of the legislators and they turned it down. There was Lee amendment too which urged the President to work through the good offices of the United Nations to settle the dispute and it should be done peacefully withouit invovling the use of force and violence which itself is dangerous for the world peace. There were amendments which were proposed to the Senate resolution. The Bryiad amendment confirmed that President was not vested with any extra constitutional authority to deal with the Iraqi issue and his actions must commensurate with the constitution to exercise any powers. The Levin amendemnt asked the Security Council to embrace a resolution calling upon Iraq to allow swift and absolute access to comply with the U.N. resolution sponsored by Carl. Levin. The Durbin amendment limited the use of force authorization to respond to only a near threat from Iraq rather than a continuing threat.
Besides the amendments the resolution has attracted much criticism. Two foremost arguments of attacking Iraq have been found fallacious by almost all neutral sources. They were manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction and the secret links with Al Qaeda for the perpetration of terror in the American lands and that of her important allies. The post invasion Duelfer report opined that dictator had not ceased its efforts to manufacture weapons of mass destrcution. However, his strategy was first of all to win the international sympthay to bring an end to the crushing sanctions and then revive the progarm. To deter the enemy he misled the world and allowed them to believe that he possessed the weapons of mass destrcution. He did not project himself as a weak person to be devoured by the superpower of the day and thus adopted this strategy, which led to his own down fall. Another report declassified much after the attack episode confirmed that the evidence relating to the links with Al Qaeda was of non essential nature devoid of any concrete illustration and it existed more in the imagination of the allies or it was just used to coin the justification of the Iraq war. It was also later confirmed that the country had no relation whatsoever with the event of 9/11 and maintaining relations with Al Qaeda was beyond the reach of the Iraqi dictator. It was also opined by some of the most reverant voices that Saddam had no connection with terrorism perpetrated by the independent terrorsits groups. However a number of media bodies noted that the members of the administration always stressed that there was such clandestine link and all that was wrong in the civilized western world was being done on behalf of the Iraqi dicataor. Therefore, it was essential to dispossess him with the paraphernali, which provides him the tools to execute his evil designs. By doing it, America and American lives would be more safe. There are scores of other studies and reports which tell the truth that war was a ruse to exploit the natural resources of wealth and plant a new regime in Iraq that would be docile to the hegemony of Isreal in the rgion. “A 2007 report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, declassified and released at the request of Senator Carl M. Levin (D-Mich), asserted that the claims of an operational working relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, as put forth by a key Pentagon office in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, were based on dubious or unconfirmed reports” (Holusha, John. “Petraeus Calls Iraq Situation Dire”). It would help America in pursuing its interests in the oil markets of the world. Now, consensus has emerged that it was no less than blunder as the country is in the throes of the civil war and there are staggering number of body bags flowing to America and more and more miseries for the American families. These arguments which went in favor of not attacking the country were deliberately disputed with the intension of depriving Iraq with its natural wealth and realize other motives.
The Bush administartion ensured by means of its propaganda that Iraq be attacked essentially as it was losing its grip on the prices of the commodity which was going to be in increased short supply. The Iraq war has been condemned by many civil societies no less than that of America itself. Millions have demonstrated against the invasion, which caused deaths of thousands and millions have been injured on both sides. Most of the dead are civilians. International law has been violated with increased impunity. There has been open floutation of Geneva conventions and the authorization of Security Council necessary for such attack was considered irrelevant. It is quite unfortunate for the modern nation state system. “The actual politicization of intelligence occurs subtly and can take many forms…. Well before March 2003, intelligence analysts and their managers knew that the United States was heading for war with Iraq. It was clear that the Bush administration would frown on or ignore analysis that called into question a decision to go to war and welcome analysis that supported such a decision. Intelligence analysts… felt a strong wind consistently blowing in one direction.” (Minami, Wayde. World Left with Brutal Decision on Possible Invasion of Iraq).
Nato was the first casuality of the war. The Trans-Atlantic alliance was given a death blow as France and Germany did not give their consent for this invasion and openly opposed it. The invasion infused far reaching consequences in American politics and beyond the ripples of which are still being felt. The reverberations of the invasion were also being felt in the American elections giving tough time to the Bush regime. In the present times, it has depleted the popularity of the American President and he has been forced toadmit that several blunders were done by him during the course of the invasion in which sizable American soldiers have lost their live.
Holusha, John. “Petraeus Calls Iraq Situation Dire”, The New York Times, 2007.
Joint Resolution, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution Of 2002. Public Law 107-243.107th Congress.
Bellavia, David & Bruning, John. House to House: An Epic Memoir of War Free Press. (2007).
Minami, Wayde. World Left with Brutal Decision on Possible Invasion of Iraq. Air Force Times 63:54. 2002.