Iraq—2003 onwards; War, Aftermath and Post-Saddam

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  • by Anup Shah
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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 claims1, The Independent, April 5, 2003

Saddam Hussein’s regime finally toppled on April 9, 2003, greeted by a mixture of jubilation from many citizens in Iraq, some thanks to the Coalition forces, and others warning America and Britain that while there were thanks for getting rid of Saddam, they do not desire occupation.

But controversy has followed this Iraq war from many, many angles. Just a few examples:

  • The typical justifications for war (the link to terrorism, the threat of weapons of mass destruction, etc) have proven false so far.
  • Intelligence before the war had often hinted that information was sparse although only now is it being questioned while the Bush and Blair governments try to avoid following intelligence inquiries up with political accountability.
  • The destruction of an entire society and reconstruction of a new one, materially, socially and politically is meeting obstacles and criticisms of being shaped by U.S. agendas and interests.
  • Power vacuums and democratic struggle are proving difficult to overcome.
  • U.S. President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been facing increasing criticisms about lack of progress and possibly misleading their populations to justify war.
  • Geopolitically the fallout from this war in the region and around the world are enormous, but hardly discussed in the mainstream.

This section, used to be one page, but when printed in printer friendly format would be about 100 printed pages, yet many issues are hardly covered. Nonetheless, this page has now been split into the following sub-pages:

0 articles on “Iraq—2003 onwards; War, Aftermath and Post-Saddam” and 2 related issues:

Iraq Crisis

In 2003, the US and UK invaded Iraq under 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.

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 looks into issues during the sanctions following the first Gulf War when the US forced Saddam Hussein to get out of Kuwait, which he invaded, as well as the propaganda build-up to the 2003 invasion and issues since.

Read “Iraq Crisis” to learn more.

Middle East

Read “Middle East” to learn more.

Iraq - WikiLeaks - More Damaging Revelations for the US

The release of classified US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks on Iraq (as well as on many other issues) reveals more concerns about US conduct in Iraq.

Read “Iraq - WikiLeaks - More Damaging Revelations for the US” to learn more.

Iraq War Media Reporting, Journalism and Propaganda

The media is filled with stories these days questioning and analyzing intelligence and issues to do with where the supposed weapons of mass destruction are. Yet, often more fundamental questions, especially during the war, and its buildup, were not asked. During the war itself, embedded journalists reporting and giving footage like never before lead to some awe, but studies show that journalism by major outlets during wartime were generally pro-war. This section looks at some of those issues listing a few examples.

Read “Iraq War Media Reporting, Journalism and Propaganda” to learn more.

Aftermath and Rebuilding Iraq

From being under a dictatorship to now being in a power vacuum, insecurity and instability have become major problems for Iraqi civilians. Rebuilding and reconstruction is being offered to companies, some of which have ties to major political figures in the Bush Administration, leading to charges of personal interests. Looting and lost archeological treasures were immediate problems after the initial war had ended, but lack of facilities and poor conditions have remained.

Read “Aftermath and Rebuilding Iraq” to learn more.

Iraq: Lack of Security and Deteriorating Conditions

Occupation troops have faced hostile resistance as security has deteriorated in some parts while only being brought under control many months after the main war was won. With some towns appearing to be under siege, and torture and rape accounts coming about from occupation forces on Iraqis, the situation looks bleak for the coalition troops.

Read “Iraq: Lack of Security and Deteriorating Conditions” to learn more.

Justifying the Iraq War and WMDs

The war was justified on the grounds that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the West and the entire world. The ease at which the U.S-led forces won the war (if it could even be called a war) almost ridiculed such fears. Yet for many months leading up to the war, intelligence sources had pointed out that Iraq did not pose that much of a threat. War still went ahead. Since the war the many months spent hunting for weapons of mass destruction have still proven negative and many top officials have come out with concerns and criticisms. There has therefore been increasing pressure on Bush and Blair to investigate intelligence, although they appear to be doing this in a way that will not hold political decisions (i.e. themselves) to account.

Read “Justifying the Iraq War and WMDs” to learn more.

Iraq War and Geopolitics

For all the coverage of the war, the aftermath and the questioning of the justification for war, there has been almost nothing about the wider geopolitical ramifications, or about possible geopolitical reasons for war, other than a few mentions of oil. Yet, there are other wider issues, such as using Iraq to attempt a break from OPEC, or a modern form of American imperialism, or a look at the financial repercussions (one estimate from the United Nations fears that war in Iraq could cost Arab countries a trillion dollars in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP), on top of the 600 billion already lost from the previous Gulf War. This would amount to economic and financial warfare.) Empires in the past have often resorted to military means when needing to hold control of their wealth and power. Are we seeing the first stages of such an effort? The neo-conservative Project for a New American Century, which has a lot of influence in the Bush Administration, has been a strong advocate for war on these geopolitical grounds to expand and ensure that the U.S. dominance in the world is retained.

Read “Iraq War and Geopolitics” to learn more.

Handover of Power to Iraqis

In amidst a power struggle, and the U.S.-led occupation who look set to try and install a regime favorable to their interests, Iraqi civilians once again are the ones that will be affected.

Read “Handover of Power to Iraqis” to learn more.

Iraq Links for More Information

It would be impossible to keep up with all the information, so this page provides links to a variety of sources that hopefully offer some diverse coverage and viewpoints.

Read “Iraq Links for More Information” to learn more.

Author and Page Information

  • by Anup Shah
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