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Senior Modern History: The Iraq War

Inquiry into whether the Iraq War was in response to a genuine threat to global security presented by the Saddam Regime or US hegemonic power at play in securing its oil interests in the Middle East.
by

Ryan Slavin

on 17 October 2014

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Transcript of Senior Modern History: The Iraq War

GEOPOLITICAL EVIDENCE
Security or oil?Conspiracy theory or reality?
Its for you to decide...

Weapons Of Mass Destruction,
Bush said he invaded Iraq, "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people."
Saddam
gave
"immediate, unconditional and active cooperation"
with
UN
and
IAEA inspections
, shortly before his country was attacked.
United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix
had found
no stockpiles of WMD
and had made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament, but
not always
the
"immediate"
Iraqi
cooperation
as
called
for
by UN Security Council Resolution
.
Later
U.S.-led inspections

agreed
that
Iraq
had earlier
abandoned
its
WMD programs
, but asserted that
if UN sanctions
were
lifted
the
programs
will
continue. So...
The
U.S
decided
to
invade Iraq
to
verify
that there are
no stockpiles of WMD, i.e.
to verify that which they had already been told and already knew
Invasion of Iraq:
20 March 2003
U.S.‑led Iraq Survey Group
concluded that
Iraq
had
ended
its
nuclear
,
chemical
and
biological programs

in 1991
and had
no active programs
at the time of the
invasion
.
Alan Greenspan
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Out of office, confessed in biography,
Elaborated in an interview with The Washington Post 's Bob Woodward
NOTE -
The Washington Post is an American national newspaper and the capital's paper. It is political in nature and favours articles on foreign affairs and policy.
"If Saddam Hussein had been head of Iraq and there was no oil under those sands, our response to him would not have been as strong as it was in the first Gulf War...
... The removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies."
"Everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."
Paul Wolfowitz
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense
"We had virtually no economic options with Iraq," he explained, "Because the country floats on a sea of oil."
Told the press that war was our only strategic choice,
MOTIVES: Let's consult the data...
First, the US itself is increasingly dependent on oil imports; already a little over half its daily consumption of 20 million barrels is imported.
The US imports its oil from a variety of sources -Canada, Venezuela, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
But its own production is falling, and will continue to fall steadily, even as its consumption continues to grow

Secondly, if other imperialist powers were able to displace US dominance in the region, the dollar would be dealt a severe blow.
Complete US control of oil would preserve the rule of the dollar, not only would oil producers continue to use the dollar for their international trade, but the dollar’s international standing would increase and hurt the credibility of the euro.
Was oil a motive for the United States to invade Iraq in 2003?
In the future the US will become increasingly dependent on oil from west Asia, North Africa, a region where the masses of ordinary people despise the US, where three of the leading oil producers (Iraq, Iran and Libya) are professedly anti-American, and the others (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates) are in danger of being toppled by anti-American forces. The US are doing its best to seize supplies from other regions, west Africa, northern Latin America and the Caspian region.
Given its growing dependence on oil imports, the US cannot afford to allow the oil producing regions to be under the influence of any anti-western power.
The US has gone to great lengths to frustrate alternatives to its Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which is to run from the Caspian through Turkey to the Mediterranean. With the US invasion of Afghanistan, the US has set up a chain of military bases in Central and South Asia - Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with military advisers in Georgia as well.

The US has a military presence in Colombia to help suppress anti-U.S. insurgency groups; it is also training a new brigade to protect Occidental Petroleum’s pipeline in that country.
THE IRAQ WAR
Key Question:
??????????????????
What do we KNOW
about Iraqi WMD?
Let's consult the evidence!
ASPECT OF INQUIRY:
SOURCES
From who might it be useful to hear, and...

What statistics might be useful to consult in order to support or contest this hypothesis?

Evaluation Question:
Why is Source A particularly reliable in terms of the information presented?
ANALYSIS QUESTION:
What assumptions can be made by the quote in Source B?
SOURCE A
SOURCE B
SOURCE C
[Extract from 'Iraq and Our Energy Future', by students of Geography 378 (International Environmental Problems and Policy) University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2003.] Professor Zoltan Grossaman, 'Oil Connections To War'.
ANALYSIS QUESTION:
Does the author in Source C suggest that the US were justified in waging war in Iraq in 2003? Explain
EVALUATION QUESTIONS:
Is the publication relevant to this study, and in particular this hypothesis?
Is the information presented here more or less reliable coming from a US tertiary institution? Explain
SOURCE D1
'The Independent' is a leading British newspaper. It claims to have contrasting political opinions. A typical reader is a Liberal Democrat or Labor voter who is politically savvy or concerned with the environment.
ANALYSIS QUESTIONS:
Do the statistics presented here support or contest the hypothesis? Explain.
EVALUATION QUESTIONS:
How does the readership of this newspaper affect the perspective from which the content is delivered?
SOURCE E
ANALYSIS QUESTIONS
What is the reference made to another academic's theory about causes for modern conflict? Research this if unsure, and explain the difference between the arguments presented by both theorists.
Are both arguments relevant to this study/hypothesis?
Klare, M. 2004 'Blood and Oil', Penguin, England.
Michael Klare is a five College professor in Peace and World Security Studies. He is the author of numerous books on U.S. foreign policy.
SOURCE F
Ebel, E.E. "The Geopolitics of Energy into the 21st Century", remarks to the open forum, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., April 30, 2002
ANALYSIS QUESTION
How does Source F support the hypothesis presented here?
EVALUATION QUESTION
How does Source F's year of publication increase the source's relevance to this study?
SOURCE H.
SOURCE I.
Elaborating on the data...
SOURCE J.
SOURCE K.
(U.S. Dept. of Energy, International Energy Outlook 2003)
From Sources H-N, list the following:
evidence from the following sources that support the current hypothesis...
any holes in the hypothesis so far (things you would still like to know or consult)
SOURCE L.
SOURCE M.
SOURCE N.
Identify the message in the cartoon and the technique the cartoonist employs to convey it.
ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL CARTOON:
ANALYSIS QUESTION
EVALUATION QUESTION
SOURCE G: the song 'BushLeaguer' was written by Eddie Vedder and released in November 2002.

1. What is the statement being made here by the band in this song?
2. How might this song corroborate with a statement by Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Noam Chomsky in an interview with the BBC in the 2003 talking about the motives for the US invasion of Iraq where he states,
“A classic modern strategy of endangered right wing oligarchy which is to divert mass discontent to nationalism inspired by fear of enemies that are about to destroy us.”
3. What might the reaction of the crowd tell us about American society leading up to the Iraq War?
How does he do it? How do they do it? Uncanny and immutable.
This is such a happening tailpipe of a party.
Like sugar, the guests are so refined, (look like melting mice)

A confidence man, but why so beleaguered?
He's not a leader, he's a Texas leaguer
Swinging for the fence, got lucky with a strike
Drilling for fear, makes the job simple
Born on third, thinks he got a triple

Blackout weaves its way through the cities
Blackout weaves its way through the cities
Blackout weaves its way,...

I remember when you sang
That song about today
Now it's tomorrow and
Everything has changed

A think tank of aloof multiplication
A nicotine wish and a Columbus decanter
Retrenchment and hoggishness
The aristocrat choir sings
"What's the ruckus?"
The haves have not accrued
The immenseness of suffering
And the odd negotiation, a rarity
With onionskin plausibility of life,
And a keyboard reaffirmation

Blackout weaves its way through the cities
Blackout weaves its way through the cities
Blackout weaves its way,...

I remember when you sang
That song about today
Now it's tomorrow and
Everything has changed
What other information would you like to know in order to better understand the motive suggested here?
Full transcript