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For decades, Iraq was under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. After the terrible war of attrition with Iran in the 1980s (started by Iraq), Iraq’s economy faced numerous problems. Relations with neighboring Kuwait deteriorated and eventually led to an invasion by Iraq in August 1991.
After the resulting Persian Gulf War by the US to oust Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq. The US and UK enforced it thoroughly, even when other nations wanted them lifted for the sanctions strengthened Saddam’s regime and hurt the people of Iraq.
When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US Secretary of State] thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children [from sanctions in Iraq, during the 1990s after the first Gulf War] was a price worth paying, Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”
— John Pilger, Squeezed to Death, The Guardian, March 4, 2000
The 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on the US saw a US “War on Terror” and George Bush tried to link Saddam Hussein to Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaeda, responsible for the attacks. This link was never proved, for these two were fundamentally opposed in ideology. Nonetheless, the US continued to raise reasons why Iraq needed to be targeted.
In 2003, the US/UK invasion of Iraq was criticized to be on false pretenses (that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready for deployment within minutes and posed a great threat to the world, etc.), without the backing of the international community and even with large domestic opposition to war in both those countries.
Geoff Hoon, the [U.K.] Defence Secretary, suggested yesterday (April 4, 2003) that mothers of Iraqi children killed by cluster bombs would “one day” thank Britain for their use.
— Paul Waugh and Ben Russell, Hoon is 'cruel' for claims on cluster bombs claims, The Independent, April 5, 2003
Since the bombing campaign ended and Saddam Hussein was overthrown, the expected quick democracy, peace, and gratitude to the US quickly became a nightmare and disaster as major religious and ethnic factions started fighting each other and the US/UK occupation forces. The civilian death toll has been immense, with 2006 seeing almost 100 deaths a day.
This section provides numerous articles in the following sections looking at these aspects in further detail.
3 articles on “Iraq Crisis” and 1 related issue:
Last updated Sunday, December 12, 2010.
Regardless of international opinion and their failure to secure a second UN resolution authorizing war, the U.S. and U.K. decided to invade Iraq anyway. The Iraqi regime was hardly able to resist and the war ended quickly. However, numerous issues turned up, including,
- Media reporting of the war once again proving controversial as did the intelligence used by US/UK governments;
- That even though democratic transition has been attempted, it has not worked out;
- That religious and ethnic factions have turned on the occupation forces, and on each other as the power vacuum was not fully filled by the coalition-backed new democratic government. Into 2006, for example, some 100 people per day have been dying from suicide bombings, roadside attacks, and other aspects of sectarian violence, and what looks increasingly like civil war;
- The geopolitical aftermath of the attacks, which will have a long lasting effect, especially as Iran and Syria start to gain more influence.
The collection of articles in this section looks at these issues.
Read “Iraq—2003 onwards; War, Aftermath and Post-Saddam” to learn more.
Last updated Sunday, February 05, 2006.
The build-up to the war on Iraq up to 2003 led to immense media coverage and propaganda. This section looks at the way the US/UK tried to make the case for war based on controversial, often misleading or incorrect messages that the mainstream media often failed to cover adequately, even amidst the immense opposition to the war.
Read “US/UK Buildup for War on Iraq” to learn more.
Last updated Sunday, October 02, 2005.
This section provides a series of articles looking at issues during the period of UN-sanctions that were mostly enforced by the US and UK. Issues during this period included the immense civilian death toll due to sanctions. Other issues looked at include various bombing campaigns by coalition forces during the sanctions, and the impact on the environment.
Read “Iraq—Post 1991 Persian Gulf War/Sanctions” to learn more.
Last updated Tuesday, December 06, 2011.
Read “Middle East” to learn more.