In March 2003, The United States of America invaded Iraq, and this war is also called as the Second Gulf War. During this war, Iraq was strongly defeated, which even its president also has been killed. There are two main reasons, declared by the US, to invade Iraq. First was to defend for the security of its own country and the whole world. Second was to promote freedom and democracy to the innocent Iraqi people who were tortured by its leader. However, there are also many conspiracy theories were raised up among the people around the world. Some people think that US invaded Iraq because US wants to dominant Middle East or to show its power as the world hegemony, and some believe that US wants to control the oil as it is very important to US’s economy. Yet, the real motivations which led US to make such a harsh invasion toward Iraq were still unclear, and thus people still keep discussing and debating it until now.
To justify the first theory, declared by the US, US believed that Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president, violated the agreement in 1991 which is a treaty to disarm all the WMD; also, he was secretly producing the WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) and working with AL Qaeda by protecting them and aiding them with both technique and weapon. US believed that there would be no economic sanctions, isolation from the civilized world, or cruise missile strikes on Iraqi military facilities could stop Saddam Hussein from continuing his plans, so invasion was just the only way.
One of the evidences from the speech of President Bush in 2003 showed that, in 1999, UN had found that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons materials sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax which is enough doses to kill several million people, and more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin which could subject millions of people by respiratory failure; also, through US’s intelligence officials, they estimated that Saddam produced as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent that could bring death to thousands of people. (Why did the United States Invaded Iraq in 2003, n.d.)
Besides this, US really worried about Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is a private Islamic military organization found between 1988 and 1989. It was secretly led by Osama Ben laden who was regarded as the most dangerous person in the world. This organization is considered to be the risky terrorist group, which its goal is to against the Christian-Jewish, and most of its members are hiding in Middle East such as in Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They specialize in suicide attacks and synchronized bombings at different places. As the background of Al Qaeda was described, it showed that Al Qaeda could be very dangerous not only to US, but also the whole. Consequences, US invaded Iraq was to diminish the support for this group of people.
For the Second theory, US declared that they invaded Iraq because they wanted promote freedom and democracy to the Iraqi because according to US, during Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Iraqi civilians were tortured appallingly by the government. The people were electric shocked, burned with hot irons, dripped acid on the skin, mutilated with electric drills, cut out tongues, and raped. These actions were strongly viewed as human’s right abuse. Thus, to be the world hegemony, US have the obligation or duty to release them from that hell. Also, regarded to this point, President Bush stated that, “Your enemy is not surrounding your country; your enemy is ruling your country, and this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.” (Why did the United States Invaded Iraq in 2003, n. d.)
However, if we try to analyze carefully from the theories that just declared by the US, we would surely find many weak points that cannot be realizable. First of all, US claim that Saddam was producing many of the WMD such as anthrax, botulinum toxin and sarin, but there wasn’t any of the WMD could be found after the invasion. Second, there is no reason that US should be so worried about the producing of WMD in Iraq, while US also have it and even had more which US can defeat Iraq at any time. Besides this, there are many countries in the world such as India and North Korea have WMD, so if US really cared about the WMD, US would also invade North Korea as it now officially declared that it is producing Nuclear Weapon and even trying to test it.
Furthermore, if we move to look at the Iraqi side, we would find that there was no possible reason that Saddam would support Al Qaeda. As we know, during the first Gulf War in 1991, Saddam was defeat by Saudi Arabia which was supported by Osama Bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda. Thus, in Saddam eyes, Al Qaeda was regarded as his sworn enemies, so he would never support his enemies at all.
Moreover, US wouldn’t invade Iraq just to have freedom and democracy as the history shows that US only thought about its self-interest and its own security. For example, during the civil war in Somalia, just only 18 of US’s troops were killed. US immediately withdrew all troops from Somalia and didn’t care for the people in Somalia who being killed and tortured. Also, in Rwanda, genocide happened. Thousands of Hutu were killed within 100 days, but US still kept silent and had no action. Thus, there is no reason that US would let its troops sacrifice in Iraq and pay a big bunch of money which estimate to nearly 3 trillion dollars for just to promote democracy there.
Therefore, the reasons that were declared by the US such as to defense for its security and promote democracy would be only used as the pretext to invade Iraq, and there might be other possible reasons or motivations behind it.
First of all, according to the people’s idea, the Iraqi invasion was to revenge for the September 9, 2001 which is also called 9/11. This incident destroyed many skyscrapers such as the two twin towers of World Trade Center in New York City, Pentagon in Arlington, and Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania. Moreover, it has killed nearly 3000 people, which included 19 hijackers. Thus, because of this incident which was believed to make by the Arab Muslim- Al Qaeda, many American became very aggressive, and so they strongly supported the government to invade Iraq. (September 11 attacks, 2010)
On the other hand, there are still more official reasons of why US invaded Iraq raised by many people and analysts about this war, but most of them seem to agree on a reason that the war with Iraq is the war to protect the position of the US Dollar hegemony known as fiat currency a type of currency which is made legal currency exchange by a government. A Fiat money is different from other currency, commodity currency, which fiat currency is not covered by valuable things like silver or gold to publish but it is based on Issuer’s finance and market condition. Dollars has become very essential to economy of US since 1970s, but to understand more about this we should know that after the end of World War II dollars was agreed by the conference of Breton woods to be the international gold standard reserve currency which valued to be 35$ per ounce of gold as the US was the only that was the largest producers of products and the country that hold the largest amount of gold around the world that contained 30 billion dollar in gold reserve, but because of its war in Vietnam and spending on its many military base that spent million dollars each year and led to the exceed of US treasury and the float of US money. Fortunately, the US president Nixon had took dollar out of gold standard and turned dollar to be the most important currency or fiat money in 1974 as US had made some secret agreement with the of Saudi Arabia by providing military assistant and technical support to protect Saudi Arabia royal family form upheaval made by anti-monarchy group and neighboring country. Saudi Arabia is the largest of oil producers of the world and the leader of OPEC cartel which is the only one of OPEC member that does not have to pay plotted product quota and the swing producer who could made the amount of oil shortage or flooded in the world market and could increase or decrease the price of oil. Soon after the agreement with this leader of OPEC, OPEC then agreed to choose dollars as the only of its oil standard currency.
oil is very important for the life of industries, without it there will be no running of modern economy. Simply, every country which is not oil producer has to buy oil, but in order to buy oil in the world market; those countries generally have to buy it with US dollars. this make those non -oil producing country demand greatly for dollar not just to buy oil but to prevent their own currency from devaluing the price a against dollars as well in case there is a sudden falling value of the currency a against dollars may cause the high price of oil and may lead to the economic crisis. Moreover, those oil importer countries cannot earn enough dollars to buy oil, they commonly have to increase their productions and services or have to borrow dollar form the World Bank or IMF and have to pay back in dollar with interest. So this system of dollar currency circulation in world market provide US dollars as the only important reserve currency and thus makes the demand of dollars very high .without doubt, US, with this system of dollar acting as hegemony currency, easily controls the world economy and gets the double advantages, first it is the only country that has the right to prints dollars whereas every country are demanding it as only dollar can buy oil but US just prints dollars to buy it and other commodity , to strengthen it military forces, and producing moderns weapons. it seems like every country are subsiding US as US just prints dollars to buy services and products from them and there would be no the limitation of printing dollars if there is no series challenging from other currency and all country still have confidence in dollars, US will contuse to enjoy this system of petrodollar that is not backed by gold but by oil as long as it could as it has been enjoying this since 1971.
Sadly, everything is not going smoothly as before because there was an emergence of Euro currency in 1999 which made up by 11 countries and headed by France and Germany with the attempt to encounter the dominant of dollar in world economy appear to be the great challenges with dollar hegemony after the Sadam Hussein declared to switch its oil transaction revenue and its 10 billion dollars reserve fund in UN oil for food , first it was laughed by economist analyst that this changing would make Iraq lost millions of its oil revenue . Surprisingly this analysis was wrong; Iraq has made good profit for this changing. As the result, euro has gained about 17 percents against dollar at that time (Paul, 2003). So this was a good message for other OPEC members to switch their oil transaction to euro as Iraq. Moreover the Euro union has become the bigger exporter and shareholder in the global market is also than US too. Besides this, euro currency seems to be more stable and not heavily indebted as US currency. Consequently, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and other countries afterwards also declared to accept euro instead of dollars and also convert their reserve currency to euro. This would be a series alarm for Bush government and a main question turned up “what would happen to US economy if OPEC accept only euro for their oil standard currency instead of dollar”.
As we know that US economy has been essentially tied to dollar as hegemony currency since 1970s and if the OPEC stop accepting dollars and replace with euro currency, there would be a serious disaster to US economy. First dollar would not be o longer a fiat currency anymore thus there would be no great demand of dollar as now dollars cannot buy oil and only euro that can only buy oil. So every country that holding dollars as it reserve currency undoubtedly would flush dollars out of their central banks and replace with euro and this may lead to the great flood of dollars in the world markets as there are no other countries or business would want to clear it up as before therefore US dollars would become float and unavoidably lead to the great inflation to US. In addition, US besides this, there would be a lot of increasing price of US import because now US cannot prints dollars to for those goods and services as before instead it has to solve the problem of inflation by producing surplus of products and services to pays its debts for other countries instead. Moreover, US also has to earn a great amount of euro to buy oil as US is one of the largest oil exporter in the world for its industrial life and modern economy and this is likely to be more and more pressure on US economy .
So in order to avoid this nightmare, US under the administration of Bush had to do something to prevent more another members of OPEC toward euro. As the result, US invaded Iraq in order to serve many economy purposes of US. First, invasion of Iraq is to revert Iraq reserve money and oil currency standard back to US again so than dollars would return as important currency back again. Then, it was also a clear message to other oil producer countries particularly OPEC cartel member that if you are still against US, you once will meet the fate like Iraq today.US can also keep the second largest oil producer under its direct controls and installed a puppet government for Iraq where US can maintain it huge forces to dominate Middle East and its crucial oil as US today has not withdraw its troop yet. In addition, by setting huge forces , US can lunch operations against the countries that are keeping against US such as Venezuela, the fourth largest oil producer, which US had help support the anti-government group, Junta , which is friendly to US to topple the democratic government .
In addition, of invading Iraq is that the natural resource of Iraq still stands as a main purpose of the U.S in that invasion. The capitalist country such as the U.S really need cheap access to oil in order to be the leading country in the world in the part of economic, military, and political. According to K. Hooshiyar & S. Karimi, “toppling Sadam’s government will help the U.S and the British companies (Exxon Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, Shell, and BP) a good shot at direct access to Iraqi oil for the first time in 30 years; keeping out potential rivals from entrance to the huge Iraqi oil reserves and development projects in Iraq; create profitable jobs for the oil service industry”, including Vice President Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, to rebuild and recover the Iraqi oil industry which had ran down for many years causing by war and sanctions; and if the puppet regime opens the way for the oil multinationals to return, “it is possible that a broader wave of de-nationalization could sweep through the world’s oil industry, reversing the historic changes of the early 1970”. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. The oil still remains in large amount because of its long distance; therefore the increasing of Iraq oil would diminish the pressure of oil price in the market on the large oil- importer country like US and especially if the oil production of Iraq reach it capacity, the power of OPEC in making decision of regulating the oil production will grow weaker and the quota determined by OPEC will come to an end to be respected in world market.