Essay: America’s War on Terror

By the end of 2006, the relationship between the Iraq War and the war on terror had become very complicated: on the ground, in American rhetoric, among American politicians, and in the military budget. Military leadership and troops on the ground had begun the fight ‘between Sunnis and Shiites by August 2006. At nearly the same time, however, a classified military report on the situation in Iraq’s Anbar province described it as completely under the control of the rebels and Al-Qaeda sympathizers who are opposed to the American’s presence in the country and regards them as invaders who are there only to exploit their natural resources. Congressional hopefuls presented themselves up before the November 2006 elections to argue about troop withdrawal. Democrats argued that the Iraq war is a civil war between Iraqis, and the Americans should leave as they were not wanted there. Republicans were of the opinion that Iraqis friendly to the Americans were battling rebels and Iraqis and terrorists, in which case, the U.S. should not leave. Democrats also argued that the Iraq war was promoting jihadist activity in Iraq. A declassified National Intelligence Estimate report appeared to support this claim. The Democratic win and the resignation of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld shortly afterward suggested there might be some disentangling of the Iraq War from “war on terror” efforts. In early December 2006, the Iraq Study Group released recommendations, suggesting that Al Qaeda was not the main problem, just one of the many problems in Iraq.  In 2007, the administration presented a new perspective that the terrorist activity was being helped and funded by Iran. President Bush continued to claim that Iraq is the center of a global war against terror. Two speeches at that time one on Iraq policy and a second, the State of the Union address, clarified the Administration’s position. The government also began to report Iran as a terrorist sponsor in Iraq. These claims present a whole different way of calling Iraq a terrorist-infested war zone since Iran is a designated state sponsor of terrorism. Realizing the authenticity of Iraq and terrorism clearly is nearly impossible even for the most lucid of viewers, at this point. The language of the “war on terror” shapes a metaphorical reality about Iraq that could be useless. At the same time, Iraq’s reality is one in which there are multiple actors in the continually changing relationships, all with different and personal motives.

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