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It is hard to determine what was the foreign policy used by the George W. Bush administration in the Iraq War. The U.S. foreign policy was shaped by outside factors up to the 9/11 events. The presidential administrations preceding George W. Bush's were aware that they had to adapt their foreign policies on account of their interests and of the interests of the international public. Surprisingly, at the apex of the Iraq War, a large number of Democrats in Congress conveyed ambiguous criticism. Moreover, through their criticism, Republicans proved that they were in fact supportive of the war (Forsythe, 2004, p. 79).
Throughout his first term, George W. Bush managed to generate positive feedbacks from the American public. "Culturally conservative voters and especially white evangelical Christians" appeared to have become fond of him and thus turned most of their votes toward choosing him to complete a second term. One of the most probable reasons for which the masses chose to elect him as their president is the fact that he got actively involved in the war against terrorism. Apparently, there are little events in the history of U.S. elections relating to how a single concern can influence voters to elect a particular person. Unemployment and the Vietnam War were the only two matters to have generated an impressive reaction from the public, with Jimmy Carter and respectively Richard Nixon being the ones who were elected as a result of their actions (Klinkner, 2006).
When being asked what they considered to have been the most important foreign policy-related event in their country during the time of the 2001-2009 George W. Bush administration, most voters reportedly said terrorism. At its time, in spite of being one of the main reasons for Nixon's election, the Vietnam War got less appreciation than the war against terrorism in 2004. When considering warfare, Republicans are apparently more likely to influence U.S. citizens to be supportive in comparison to Democrats, who have limited authority over people in the U.S. This comes as a shock, as Republicans are known to have had little to no involvement in conflicts taken on by the U.S. whereas Democrats are recognized as authentic heroes when it comes to their contribution in such events (Klinkner, 2006).
It is not surprising that George W. Bush managed to gain support from the public in the 2004 elections and in the war against terrorism in general. People did not necessarily decide that it was morally right to go to war, but they decided that it was reasonable for them to engage in warfare because they were directly provoked. They believed that the 9/11 events directly threatened their well-being and that George W. Bush's foreign policy concerning the war was the perfect approach someone could exhibit in such conditions. It was as if George W. Bush wanted to protect them by putting an end to terrorism and to immoralities everywhere through his actions in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The fact that the Iraq war was preceded by the one in Afghanistan made it easier for Americans to support the war. In spite of the support they showed for the war against terrorism however, American citizens appeared to identify the Iraq War as a separate matter (Klinkner, 2006).
Although a large part of the public was supportive in regard to the war against terrorism, a percentage of these individuals were also convinced that there was no connection between the 9/11 events and the Iraq War. As a consequence, they chose to vote on John Kerry, directly proving that they did not want to support George W. Bush, even with his rapid and apparent efficient involvement in the war against terrorism. Provided that the largest part of George W. Bush's voters chose their candidate because they considered the war against terrorism to be one of the most important issues their country was dealing with, it is understandable that the Iraq War too was seen as part of the war against terror by numerous people. American voters were indifferent to the Iraq War and were willing to vote for George W. Bush, as even if they did not actually approve of the war, they supported George W. Bush for his anti-terrorist attitude (Klinkner, 2006).
From the voters who considered that the Iraq War was a just one 94% voted for George W. Bush, while the rest of 6% voted for Kerry (Klinkner, 2006). While voters previously paid more attention to issues like what political ideology the presidential candidate belonged to, matters changed during the 2004 elections and people started to display a stronger determination to support acts they considered to be moral.
The main concern people had regarding the Iraq War were related to its consequences and to it purpose in general. The majority of Republicans in Congress believed that war decreased the terrorist threat previously faced by the country. In contrast, most of the Democrats believed that the war had done nothing but to increase the threat (Klinkner, 2006). This proves that opinions differ when considering the Republican and Democrat parties, with the former acting in support of the war and the latter being against it. U.S. foreign policy during the George W. Bush Administration is differently perceived by members in the two parties.
In spite of their disagreement in regard to the Iraq War, the two major parties in the U.S. apparently think otherwise when it comes to human rights. Both consider that it is essential for their country to express a foreign policy that would include human rights and their protection. For the two parties, one of the most important measures that need to be taken by the U.S. is to reinforce the United Nations (Klinkner, 2006).
When it comes to efficiency in foreign policy, Republicans appear to support military operations where conditions present this opportunity, where Democrats believe that it is more effective for a superpower to employ diplomacy. Once again, it is surprising how Republicans act in disagreement to their background and Democrats want to avoid warfare through any means possible (Klinkner, 2006).
Some have motivated the divergence between the two parties through their connection to the country. Democrats are in general less nationalistic and can thus put across unbiased sentiments. Quite the opposite, Republicans are dedicated nationalists and most are willing to support their country regardless of the circumstances, even when it commits immoralities (Klinkner, 2006).
George W. Bush's religious nature contributes to the support he got in fighting the Iraq War. Christians had several reasons to approve of the war. Their president's faith and the fact that the people Americans were fighting were mainly Muslim strengthened their dedication to go to war, regardless if it was just or not. Christians are also influenced by paragraphs in the Bible, which relate to how it is their purpose as god's people to fight individuals in the Middle East. Some of the most ardent supporters of the Iraq War are Evangelical Christians, as they are uninterested in the fact that most of the world does not approve of the conflict (Baumgartner, Francia & Morris, 2008). Seeing this, it becomes clear that religion has a strong influence on how Americans perceive the Iraq War.
Judaism is yet another religion that is likely to influence its followers on their perception of the war. Given that most Jewish people see the U.S. involvement in the war against Muslims as something beneficial for Israel, it is justifiable that a large part of the Jewish people in America supported the Iraq War (Baumgartner, Francia & Morris, 2008).
Foreign policy views are intensely influenced by the religious factor, with Evangelical Christians in particular being firm on supporting almost any war that is directed against Islam. Not only are Jewish people in the U.S. supportive of the war, but Evangelical Christians are supportive of Israel, with most of them being convinced that wars directed against Muslims reduces the terrorist threat faced by Israel. In spite of the fact that the costs of the Iraq War on American resources and personnel were far greater than anyone expected, Evangelical Christians have apparently kept their convictions a propos the war (Baumgartner, Francia & Morris, 2008). Public opinion on the subject of the Iraq War is passionately shaped by religion and numerous Christians would not hesitate to support an unjust war when they believe that that conflict is in accordance to their religious principles.
The Iraq War is responsible for numerous discussions within the American public, as there are plentiful factors that influence people's opinion. On the one hand, President Bush was seen by some as a rich individual who did not deserve his position and thus could not perform rational acts. On the other hand, the former administration is considered to act on account of religious and republican principles, therefore meaning that the acts that it executes are carefully thought and are likely to benefit the U.S. Obama's success in the 2008 presidential elections have triggered controversy, given as incumbent president is a Democrate, a black…[continue]
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