RCC Honors History Project

A Manifest Destiny in Iraq

Posted by rcchonorshistoy on December 8, 2008

While Reading Manifest Destiny I observed that America, in order to spread its ideology, beliefs and land, went to war with many peoples. This got me thinking that maybe the war in Iraq is a manifest of American beliefs.  As I researched some of the reasons America went to war in Iraq I found a web sight about quotes from President Bush.  Here is a quote from President Bush which says,


“America is a Nation with a mission – and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace – a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.”


What this is saying is that although America doesn’t want to conquer Iraq, America dose want to spread its ideal of freedom of rights for all.  Here is another quote I found from President Bush about the war in Iraq. 


“The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.”


This hints at a manifest destiny in Iraq.  Although these are just two quotes I think that these imply a manifest destiny.  What do you think about a manifest destiny being present in the war in Iraq?


8 Responses to “A Manifest Destiny in Iraq”

  1. drwprkr said

    Of coarse there is a type of Manifest Destiny in the Iraqi Conflict. But the main difference is that it is more modern, that is the only difference between this conflict and any other, or at these that is what I think. Every battle, war, or conflict has some kind of religious ties to it and there are some wars that have come about strictly from religion, or what were the Crusades about? This is one thing that truely gets me shacking in my boots. The idea of religious warm, it is a sad thought that we cannot fight for other things anymore. And it is also clear that we are forcing our beliefs onto other peoples. Religion has become sort of a cult to some peoples and this is a scary thought. A good example of this is the Fundamentist Christian Evangelists. If anyone wants to follow up on this there is a good movie that shows what they are doing, “Jesus Camp.”

  2. meluleki said

    i do agree with you that Iraq is the modern Manifest Destiny. The ideology is still the same but what differs is the strategy. today the world is more civilized than it used to be , and people are well educated and informed about the ideologies and missions of the past.America went into iraq because of the weapons of mass destructions, not human rights abuse, it was not a humatarian mission but an actual inversion which explains why our troops are still trapped in the deserts and streets of iraq. All the President was doing was keeping up with the tradition of expansion, and he saw the loophole in Iraq. It looks and feels wrong because it happening during our time but, it has happened before and there is no gaurantee that it will stop.it is just an observation based on the events of the past, like the vietnum war,the gulf war,and many more.

  3. nrohr said

    I think that manifest destiny is present in the Bush administration’s war in Iraq because it asserts the idea of American exceptionalism and entitlement. The idealogy the Bush team used to go to war were quite similar to that of Wilson and Reagan, which Stephanson cited as extentions of the manifest destiny mindset. However, I’m reluctant to believe that the war in Iraq has much true foundation in idealogy. I think it has far more to do with money and oil and no-bid contracts. But the same could probably be said for the other instances of manifest destiny—America was founded for gold, not God, and yet people were talked into believing it was the other way around. Westward expansion was also wrapped up in economic issues and matters of national politics and dominance, but the language and idealogy of divine ordinance was perhaps and even greater driving force than the real issues at hand, understood by the wealthy and powerful. Ronald Reagan, the teflon president, could throw pretty words at anything. So I think that idea of manifest destiny is very present in Iraq (well, they’re probably not really into it over there—but in the war in general), and I even think that it might be sincere on the part of good ‘ol President Bush. But not on the part of his puppet masters.

  4. jabberwhacky said

    The idea of Manifest Destiny is interesting in this sense, because it is applicable to almost any war or even any rationale which attempts to justify war, expansionism, or the spread of political ideals. The comparison has been made before between the Vietnam War and Iraq War, (yes, I personally label them as wars) but the Vietnam War could also be declared as a Manifest Destiny in which it is America’s divine providence which dictates its right to stop the spread of communism. Of course, it usually doesn’t work out as easily. Iraq and Vietnam just being the few examples. It’s an interesting concept in this sense, though.

  5. freestylepro1 said

    I honestly believe that Iraq is not a version of Manifest Destiny. Although the Bush administration consistently cites God and the Christian religion as motivation for the invasion of Iraq, such as when Bush said that his real father was “the wrong father to appeal to for advice…there is a higher father that [he] appeal[s] to,” I believe that these citations are used as a guise. I believe that the true motivation behind the conquest of Iraq was profit of natural resources, profit from Bush backed corporations (i.e. Halliburton and Bechtel), and control of Iraq. Evidence of this can be seen in documents from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC)—a right-wing, Washington DC-based, think tank. In a document written by Paul Wolfowitz, and signed by the likes of Dick Cheney and Jeb Bush, it is stated, “Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.” I believe the reason that the Bush administration uses God to their advantage is because it is an easy way to gain support in a highly religious society, not because they truly believe God deemed it.

  6. dselinger said

    First of all, I do agree that the current conflict in Iraq draws from several similarities from “Manifest Destiny”. Then I tried to look a little bit more closely at the multiple reasons for the occupation of Iraq. Justifying the occupation as a form of mission seems to be a standard answer for an occupation and invasion of a country. Forcing a belief on somebody who maybe doesn’t event want a change in his or her government is always a problem, and this is precisely the case in Iraq. Also, spreading the ideal of freedom of rights for every individual can be considered another vague reason of invading a country; as of today I think the United States had little interest in spreading its ideals and values to the Iraqi population. Probably the most controversial justification for the presence in Iraq is the reference to god. Religion has always been used as a form of justification but claiming that it is gods will can never be proven.

  7. blooney said

    I believe a thread of manifest destiny can now be seen in the Iraq War. As a nation however, I disagree that we initial entered the war with even a slightest thought of manifest destiny. The Americans entered into the war believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. This was further instigated by Bushes propaganda “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.” (Side note: If that was a case, can someone answer what happened to them?) As a nation we believed that we were protecting our nation. In addition, I believe this war was orchestrated by Bush and has a greater correlation with money, oil, and contracts than any ideology.

  8. kriemer said

    I think political supporters of “operation iraqi freedom” are in it mostly for money in things like oil. I think the “Joe the plumbers” are supporting the war because they think they’re doing something right by trying to spread democracy and liberate people.It seems to me that throughout reading Manifest Destiny there were several instances where it seemed as though politicians were spreading the ideas of manifest destiny without even believing in it them themselves. Again, history repeats itself. If a ruler can con his subjects into believing going to war is the right thing he will be much more succesful. Personally, I believe that this war was started under false information (i.e. WMD) and that it has continued to have some, although little, support because of empty rhetoric of the idea of manifesting destiny by spreading democracy.

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