War Situation: War against Iraq, or a war against Islam?

Essay by PelcoEHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2003

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The war against Iraq currently under sway is pitted as a battle for freedom for the Iraqis. The Iraqis now live under the regime of Saddam Hussein, a tyrant that oppresses them greatly. The main focus of the United States government is to free the Iraqis by ending Saddam's grip on power. This will benefit Americans by ridding another threat of terrorism and will also provide peace and democracy in the turmoil of the Middle East. The major concern is that this new American campaign can cause widespread Muslim anger, and possibly fuel even more terrorism. The fear has been aroused by calls for an Islamic jihad, which is have been furthered by Saddam Hussein and allies.

In recent news, Saddam has initiated the call for a 'jihad' against the American, or 'infidel' invaders. This is to encourage other Arabs from neighboring states, where the general public is vocally against the war on Iraq, to fight in the name of Islam.

If Saddam is successful, the campaign against Iraq can be widened to other Arab nations, thus validating the opinion that President Bush is waging a 'clash of civilizations.'

Arabs may have many reasons to make a call to arms. New York Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar stated the motive for Arabs volunteering to fight in Iraq is a "combination of religious zeal and Arab nationalism, which drives the volunteers, plus no small amount of outrage and horror at the daily scenes of civilian carnage broadcast from Iraq."

Many people in the Arab world suggest alternate reasons for invading Iraq, not just the words that United States says for its attack. Many Arabs point out to the United States dominant position in world politics, and its key interest in oil reserves to pump up its weak economy. Instead of...