Sunday, October 16, 2005

Analysis for Week of 10/10:

This week, I focused my resources to information concerning the war in Iraq. It is a poignant example for our project on War, Militarism, and Terrorism because of it hits the nail on the head on each of these three topics and is also a current topic that everyone around the world can relate to. All nations were drawn into the debate as the UN gathered before the war to figure out what to do with Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the scope of the debate is far-reaching.

First, it is a current example of what War is. The War in Iraq automatically brings images into our minds of what War is. Whether it be a sky lighted by “shock and awe”, a limp Jessica Lynch being carried to a helicopter, or video clips of Iraqi prisoners being publicly abused and humiliated by U.S. troops, images immediately come to our mind. Perhaps this makes it a powerful case study alongside other Wars simply because of its proximity to our context.

Second, the Iraq War also provides superior examples of Militarism from two different angles. Whether it be in the United States with the flag being raised and proud reports concerning our troops, or Iraqi insurgents who are desperately grasping for control, the same thing is happening. There is an ideal that unites individuals beyond themselves to a larger cause. There identity is intertwined with their militant actions, making them willing to die for their cause- on both sides.

Third, Terrorism also comes into play in this war over Iraq. The insurgents have been named terrorists who sneak in roadside bombs and sniper attacks in order to remind the U.S. troops that they continue to be a force worth reckoning with. Not only that, but it continues to reinforce the stereotype in the United States that a terrorist looks like a person of Middle-Eastern descent. This raises all sorts of pertinent questions regarding foreign-policy, racism, and what we describe as the causes for terrorism and our responsibility in that, if any.

I found some excellent current resources this week on the War in Iraq. It was interesting to me that this week was also the first time that a poll was taken and the majority of those polled opposed our continued presence in Iraq. I found it difficult to find internet resources that shed a positive light on the issue. That is the reason why the White House webpage on the Iraq War is so useful right now. It provides current insight and defense from the administration for the War.

This was also the week when Iraq drew up and voted on its Constitution. There were some excellent articles, including the one on NPR’s website that described the draft of the Constitution in a way that translates some of the cultural insights that we might not understand as foreigners. Furthermore, the articles from the BBC and NY Times were also extremely insightful in considering what life truly looks like in a country that has been “Democratized” in a post-war state.


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