A topic that was mediated was the fact that the war in Iraq cost many lives and millions of dollars a day. There was a disagreement between where and how the money is being spent but mediation was reached because a war cannot continue without sufficient funds. The issue about the amount of lives being lost was also mediated because one side of the argument argued that the lives being lost were to a lost cause and the other side argued that the lives lost is the price paid to get the job done. An agreement was reached that wars cannot won without casualties. The current death toll for Iraqi citizens due to the fighting is around 80,000 (Iraq Body Count). The current death toll for American troops is 3886 (Iraq coalition casualties). The national war debt as of December 2007 is a little over nine trillion dollars and that number continues to raise daily. There are over one hundred thousand soldiers in Iraq at this moment and they all need to be supplied with logistics which includes food, munitions, and other daily supplies that war demands.
Another topic that was mediated was the fact that a reason that the US is occupying Iraq is to protect the country’s oil supply. The two sides of the argument were that the US only wanted to protect the oil for their own use versus protecting the oil for Iraq to make money for rebuilding. The mediation was that both of the reasons were true because the US needs the oil and the Iraqi people will benefit from the oil money once democracy is secured. "Safeguarding the Iraqi people's oil -- and that's truly how we look at it -- is extremely important to us," said Maj. Chris Hughes of the Marines (U.S. Seeking to Protect Iraqi Oil Fields). "There is an incredible natural resource available to the Iraqi people to help them reestablish their society, and we will work to make sure it's available, and that a significant environmental disaster is not inflicted," he said (U.S. Seeking to Protect Iraqi Oil Fields). Back in the seventies, during Saddam Hussein’s reign over the country, the western owned Iraq Petrolium Companywas nationalized which gave tremendous controlling power over Iraq’s economy. The people of Iraq did not experience the full benefit of their country’s vast natural resource. The US is trying to establish and protect the oil to aid the Iraqi people in rebuilding their country. If this is not the source of the country’s rebuilding funds, then the reestablishment will most likely collapse due to lack of funds. Protecting the oil in Iraq will benefit not only the people of Iraq, but the US and the other countries that depend on the oil supply. The US imports oil from several different countries daily and Iraq is one of the top six contributors with about 600,000 barrels a day.
The final topic that was mediated was the fact that Iraq has many ideological problems and they need fixing before the country can be deemed stable. Issues like the Shiite and Sunni conflict in Iraq’s Islamic region, the presence of anti-American extremist groups before the invasion and the possibility of terrorist training facilities in sections of Iraq. In order to have a stable country and government, issues like these need to be resolved or terminated. Due to the intense fighting in the capitol, many Iraqis were left without every day necessities like electricity and other supplies (Leech). Situations like this are necessary to reach the ultimate goal, but it is causing new problems by creating a negative environment for the people. The Sunni and Shiite conflict has been ongoing for many years and is responsible for some of the previous government’s corruption. Iraq’s previous ruler, Saddam Hussein, was a Sunni and during previous conflicts he repressed any kind of movement from the Shiites in fear of losing his position. During the entire time that Hussein was in power, the Sunni run government gained all the power of the country and left the Shiites and other groups with no say. Democracy will bring equal representation to every group in Iraq. With the war continuing many years after the initial invasion, many Iraqis have come to not support US involvement in their country. Groups like these were present before the invasion spread after the US has occupied the country for longer than expected. The populist Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr reappeared after many months of refuge earlier this year to support his anti-American views (International Herald). Sadr is extremely against any occupants in Iraq and wants to unite the people his own way without aid from the west. He wants to bring the Sunni and Shiites together himself and show that they are all brothers accepting other faiths including Christianity. In Sadr’s speech he stated, "I want to say now that the blood of Sunnis is forbidden to everyone, they are our brothers in religion and in nationality, and let our Christian brothers know that Islam is a friend to our minorities and to other faiths, and seeks dialogue with them.”(International Herald) Sadr is trying to accomplish a resolution to make his country more united but does not want the west involved. This creates a problem because this conflict is only one small part of larger ordeal. Many people who do not support the war claim that there was no terrorist link to Iraq on the September 11 attacks. Many camps have been discovered in Iraq since the invasion that recruits people from other Middle Eastern countries to train and then to send back to their own country. These camps and the groups that train there need to be eliminated from the country before order can be obtained.
When the issue of whether or not to continue to occupy Iraq is introduced, the questions, what would result in the US withdrawing completely, and what would result in the US continuing to occupy Iraq until a democratic government is established. When looking at these two questions and possibilities, negative and positive results present themselves for both situations. For the side of the argument that the troops should continue to occupy Iraq until democracy is established believe that there are far more positive outcomes for staying then to pull out immediately. If the troops were to continue to fight in Iraq, democracy would be established, Iraq would become a key ally in the Middle East and the terrorist activity in the country would drop tremendously. If the government would happen to decide to withdraw troops immediately, then there would be a rise in terrorist activity in the area, a new government would be created with a large of being corrupted and a civil war between the Sunni and Shiites is certain. Rapidly withdrawing the troops would allow Iraq to fall back to the way it was before the war started, making the effort in the past six years worthless. The governments and terrorist activity of the area would greatly influence the new Iraq.
In defense to the previous paragraph, the other side of the argument believe that the troops should being withdrawn carry much more positive results than the troops continuing to occupy Iraq. If the US were to pull out today, the national debt would stop falling at such a fast rate, the US population and the rest of the world would be satisfied, and the people of Iraq would be free from the destruction to their country. If the troops decide to continue their occupation, war debt and casualties will continue to rise, the US and world population will continue to not support the war, and the negative effects of war will continue to shadow Iraq. With the national debt being almost nine trillion dollars a war is the worst thing to be caught up in. The quality of living for the Iraqi people is worse or no better than the start of the war. Not only are they in a war zone environment, but have lost several everyday necessities such as water and electricity. Studies have also found that the quality of Iraq’s hospitals is astounding. Raw sewage is found on the floors and many patients leave the hospital with an infection that they did not have when they fist checked in (Leech). Unemployment has skyrocketed due to the occupational forces. The coalition forces have hired foreign workers because they do not trust the Iraqis and they are paying the new workers far more than the average Iraqi citizen (Leech).
In conclusion, the complexity and extremities of the two sided argument about how to fix the issues in Iraq prevents an overall mediation of the topic. The terms about why the troops are in Iraq were mediated but the issue about how to fix them could not be mediated. It is too difficult to say the correct way to go about obtaining a solution in Iraq because there are so many different actions that could result from either pulling out immediately or staying to finish the mission.
Arnove, Anthony. "The Reality of Occupation." Iraq: the logic of withdrawl. 14-30.Birdsall, Nancy, and Arvind And Subramanian. "Saving Iraq From Its Oil." Foreign Affairs. 7 Dec. 2007
Duffield, John S. "OIL AND THE IRAQ WAR:." The Middle East Review of International Affairs. 7 Dec. 2007
Howe, Sam, and John Hendren. U.S. Seeking to Protect Iraqi Oil Fields. 7 Dec. 2007
Iraq Body Count. 7 Dec. 2007
Iraq coalition casualties. 7 Dec. 2007
Leech, Gary. "Iraq: seeking teh riches of Babylon." Crude Interventions .