UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Bull in a China Shop: The False Pretense of Iraqi Democracy

The war in Iraq was not about spreading democracy, as it was about bringing down a dictatorship build on war crimes and fear. President George W. Bush said on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln Navy flight deck that the images of the falling statues represented a new era of peace and liberty would make Iraq safer and help fight the war on Iraq, It was security that was important.

This was also a false pretense because the fall of the regime led to anarchy and chaos. The new democratic government did not make Iraq a safer nor did it spread the interests of America, Iraq, and the region, but it was an important ideal America stood behind. “Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity — and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations. Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth,” said President George W. Bush from his speech “Freedom in Iraq and Middle East: Address at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy”. Washington, D.C.; November 6, 2003. But the region was destabilized and the borders were not under control.

President Bush had realist values and believed Iraqi’s democratic government would lay down a foundation for peace, because a democratic Iraq would not want to fight with America. The situation was far more complicated than that and I truly believe the motives for invading Iraq did not revolve around spreading democracy, but diminishing a security threat to the U.S. by removing Saddam Hussein, a terrorist dictator who mustard gassed over 150,000 of his own people. “Our commitment to democracy is tested in countries like Cuba and Burma and North Korea and Zimbabwe — outposts of oppression in our world. The people in these nations live in captivity, and fear and silence,” said Bush.

After 9/11, Americans were scared. Many wanted a swift, vengeful, tough fisted, reaction to the terrorism that was brought to their soil. It was a preemptive strike brought on by fear. For such a dictator, who committed so many war crimes previously, to not allow the UN inspectors not to investigate possible pre-nuclear facilities, scared and angered Americans.

When some U.S. intelligent reports came out saying there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush reacted without the support of Congress for the sake of national security interests. It was not about spreading democracy, but about removing a mad man from power during a time when Americans felt angry and vulnerable.

This was different than the Gulf War. This was a full scale invasion of an Arab Middle Eastern country. It was shown on the TV like a videogame as the results of air strikes over Iraq were televised, as it was exciting to see Saddam’s regime fall. It meant progress for the human race not democracy. The region will need to be more stable before the Iraqis could govern themselves. Bush warned the war on terror would be a long-haul but he was quick to say the war in Iraq was a “Mission Accomplished”. He alluded there would be many other important missions in other Arab countries, while the U.S. continues to fight in Afghanistan.

When will Iraq be secure? Things are improving every day as the Iraqi military is able to take over more responsibility of provinces in Iraq, but it is still a very scary place to live. Perhaps someday Iraqis can enjoy living in a free and democratic state, but for now they need America’s help in trying to secure the streets and the borders.

About the Contributor
Felicia Whatley served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Managing Editor: Spring 2009 *News Editor: 2009-2010 *Whatley served alongside Caleb Nelson for these years.