This is my persuasive speech that was required by the Sophomore year curriculum. We had to select a topic from a list, create a subtopic from that, than create a speech in an outlined format given to us by our English teacher. I selected the War in Iraq and the subtopic of the war being unjustified. Please excuse any errors, I proofread it again but I seem to have a weakness when it comes to editing.
Opening Statement of Interest
A. Like any citizen of the United States I have witnessed the impact of the war in Iraq. Oftentimes I will watch the news reports flash onto the screen, informing the weary American public of yet another tragedy that has shaken Baghdad. I watch as the names of the week’s dead are listed solemnly and wonder why 150 American troops have died in the year 2007 as of today.
B. Have you ever wondered where all the original reasons for the War in Iraq have gone? I have, and I have searched for them. Consulting the reservoirs of information that have been compiled by various research groups and journalists concerning the inconsistencies of the Bush administration, I have found that many of the initial motivations for going to war have either been proven wrong, misrepresented, or built on shaky ground.
C. Based on the overwhelming irregularities of our present administration, I will be explaining to you why the War in Iraq is unjustified.
Statement of Need
A. It is crucial for the American people to recognize the fallacies that have led us to this War, for if it is not acknowledged the government will continue to manipulate the facts, portraying whatever they please to the “sheepish masses”.
B. Through the use of false rhetoric, The Bush administration had led the populace to believe that Iraq was connected to the September 11 attacks and that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Three days after September 11th the Czech government informed the United States of a meeting that was believed to have occurred in April 2001 between a 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta, and an Iraqi spy in Prague. The Czechs seemed indecisive about the reliability of the story. A few months later Czech officials declared that they had been mistaken and the CIA and FBI abandoned the idea of such a meeting taking place according to their own analysis. Despite the rejection of the stories’ authenticity, Vice President Cheney and other members of the administration continued to support it and state it as proof of a connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. Another example that proves to be even more alarming is that of the forged Niger documents. These papers were handed over by Italian Intelligence, presenting them as evidence that Iraq had purchased yellowcake uranium from Niger. Late in 2002, the white house received multiple memos from the CIA declaring the documents to be doubtful. One of these memos was given directly to National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and another to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. However, it seemed that these warnings were ignored, for the event continued to be referred to as though it were fact to bolster their argument. President Bush even alluded to them in his State of the Union address in 2003. Reluctantly, the documents were handed over to The International Atomic Energy Agency, who took only a few hours of analysis to determine that the documents were counterfeit. Though the forgery was known by March 3rd, 2003 the declaration of war on Iraq was made on March 19th, the main justification for the campaign being “to disarm Iraq” and to “protect the world from grave danger.” These documents were the foundation of the primary reason for going to war; possession of WMDs known as weapons of mass destruction. The pronouncement of a military campaign in Iraq also suggested a connection to the 9/11 attacks, stating that it was best for the United States to confront the threat with armed forces now rather than face it with “armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities” later. The Downing Street Memo is but one of many things that suggested such misuse of facts.
C. This manipulation of information deals directly with the American public, directly with you. If this war continues there is always a possibility of a draft, which concerns the young men in this room who plan to register for voting when they turn 18, as well as others who will or already have friends or relatives overseas. To be misled in such a way by a democratic government is not constitutional and is an infringement of your right as a free-thinking citizen of the United States.
Statement of Satisfaction
A. The war in Iraq was not justified because much of the main components that rallied support from both the people and congress were false. To avoid this exploitation of flawed information the press must remain ever-vigilant of our governments actions and U.S citizens must utilize the media to stay informed. Both of these parties, especially the press, must ask questions of their government and investigate the behaviors of our current administration.
B. During the build up of the war, the press significantly neglected their duties as the great inquisitors of the government. The United States is well-known for their media, which possesses a precedent for questioning anything and everything having to do with government, as well as making the opinion of the people a major influence. However, the spell of devastation that resulted from 9/11 captured not only the American people, but the press as well. The information being given to us was not questioned with the scrutiny of previous years and slowly we slid into a war that was backed by fabricated intelligence and altered facts.
Statement of Visualization
A. Setting up information so it will support anything, let alone something as grave as war, can have terrible consequences if not discovered. If such facts are allowed to be distorted for military campaigns in the future, it could have the potential to be even more consequential than this war. Aside from the customary war causalities, countless civilian deaths, and the inevitable but appalling war crimes such as Abu Ghraib, any war nowadays always has a chance of becoming a nuclear conflict and having our military resources directed elsewhere may encourage other terrorist attacks. Our International approval rating has plummeted since we have entered this war, especially in the Middle East, and will take a great deal of time to redeem. To take the brunt of a war without justification beyond distorted evidence simply makes no sense.
Statement of Action
A. The Iraqi War was unjustified due to the distortion of facts during the build up of the military campaign.
B. To prevent these kind of falsifications from happening again, the press and the people must be up to date on the happenings in the government and question any suspicious actions.
C. Every soldier who serves, dies, or is wounded in Iraq deserves to know the real reasons for going to war upfront and the American people have earned the right to ask questions. Now the spotlight goes to you; are you prepared to ask why?