President Bush shakes hands with former Sen. The co-chairmen of the Iraqi Intelligence Commission issued a report indicating that U. Iraqi Shiite demonstrators loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burn a U. The rally was called on the second anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, with protesters demanding an end to the U. People gather at the scene of a car bombing near a busy market in eastern Baghdad on May, 12, A resident makes a phone call in the aftermath of a double suicide car bombing that struck civilians living near the blast walls that protect the Hamra Hotel in Baghdad on November 18, Thomas Gaines kisses his wife during a welcome-home ceremony in Fort Stewart, Georgia, on May 11, About members of the Georgia National Guard 48th Brigade returned home from a year-long deployment to Iraq.
Hans Blix: Iraq War was a terrible mistake and violation of U.N. charter
A British armored vehicle is illuminated by traffic during a patrol of Basra on July 27, Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein addresses the court during his trial in the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad on October 17, Hussein and six co-defendants were on trial for mass killings in the Anfal campaign against Kurdish rebels in the late s. Hussein was hanged for his role in the Dujail massacre, in which Iraqis were killed after a failed assassination attempt against the then-president.
Marines prepare for a military operation at Camp Ramadi in Anbar province on January 14, The president announced plans to increase the size of the U. An American Apache helicopter provides air support while a Marine takes aim after being fired upon by insurgents near the Euphrates River in Ramadi on February 2, Iraqi children watch U. Army soldiers climb to the roof of their school to get a high vantage point in Baghdad on April 15, Marines sleep at their patrol base in the area known as Zaidon in Al Anbar province on May 12, Mary McHugh mourns her fiance, Sgt.
Iraqi army commandos teach junior soldiers during a combat training course in Baquba on July 18, Medics treat Army Spc. An American soldier prepares to search a home for illegal weapons in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad on September 9, Relatives help an Iraqi man at a hospital in Baghdad on September 20, He was injured when Blackwater security contractors opened fire on civilians on September 16, killing The company lost its contract to guard U.
Army Brig. Nolen V. Bivens presents an American flag to Maribel Ferrero during the funeral of her year-old son, Army Pfc.
Iraq Without a Plan
Marius L. Ferrero, in Miami. He was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. Seven men were detained after multiple assault rifles were found in the house. Commanding Gen. In reporting on the success of the surge in Iraq, Petraeus said the number of U. A boy looks out from his family shelter at a Narwan brick factory on July 1, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama flies over Baghdad with Gen. David Petraeus during a tour on July 21, John Kelly, left, and Anbar province Gov. The U. The Iraqi journalist who threw the shoes missed the president but could be heard yelling in Arabic, "This is a farewell Jeremy Tomlinson, who was wounded a year before in Iraq, waits with fellow soldiers to greet returning comrades in Fort Carson, Colorado, on January 28, About 3, soldiers were coming home after a month tour of duty.
A poll worker helps a member of the Iraqi National Police cast his ballot in Baghdad on January 28, Polls were opened early to members of the Iraqi security services, many of whom would be working during the provincial elections. An Iraqi soldier searches a boy at a polling station in Baghdad on January 31, People across the country voted to fill provincial council seats.
In his speech, Obama outlined plans for the gradual withdrawal of U. Iraqi army special forces patrol Baghdad's al-Fadel district on March 30, Air Force team carries a flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of Army Spc. Omar M. Albrak was killed while serving in Iraq. Donald Lewis from the 1st Cavalry Division is greeted by his wife, Nicole Lewis, after his brigade arrived home in Fort Hood, Texas, on November 10, , after a year of deployment in Iraq.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks with soldiers at a forward operating base in Kirkuk on December 11, An Iraqi woman votes in parliamentary elections in Kirkuk on March 7, A string of bullets lies across photographs of women adorning the armor of a Stryker vehicle north of Jalaulah on June 11, An Iraqi explosives expert gets into a special suit for bomb disposal during a training session organized by his U. Shiite worshipers pray during an Ashura commemoration ceremony at the Kadhimiya shrine in Baghdad on December 6, Ashura marks the death of Prophet Mohammed's grandson, the revered Imam Hussein.
A technician works on a prosthetic at a factory in Baghdad on December 13, Iraqis have faced a shortage of prosthetics due to a spike in war-related injuries over the years. Iraqis gather at a women's art exhibition in a posh Baghdad neighborhood on December 14, Military personnel lower their heads during the flag casing ceremony in Baghdad on December 15, The ceremony officially marked the end of U. The last U. Story highlights Blix: Lead-up to war shows we must rely on international inspectors' reports War aimed to eliminate non-existent WMD, but ended up replacing tyranny with anarchy Blix: Invading a country is easy for great power, but achieving political aims is more difficult Blix: It is likely my U.
On March 19, , Iraq was invaded by an "alliance of willing states" headed by the U. While we were sad to be ushered out in the midst of a job entrusted to us by the U. Although the Foreign Office ruled out full-scale military intervention, sources confirmed they had had discussions about sending military and police as part of a "counter-terrorism" package.
In a defence of his actions in Iraq, Blair attacked as "extraordinary" any notion the country would be stable if Saddam Hussein had stayed in power. Iraq is now in mortal danger. The whole of the Middle East is under threat. He said it was inevitable that events across Iraq had raised the arguments over the war.
While admitting that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, he said: "What we now know from Syria is that Assad, without any detection from the west, was manufacturing chemical weapons. We only discovered this when he used them.
Officials didn’t lie, and I wasn’t fed a line, writes Judith Miller
We also know, from the final weapons inspectors' reports, that though it is true that Saddam got rid of the physical weapons, he retained the expertise and capability to manufacture them. Surely it is at least as likely that he would have gone back to them? Blair said a likely scenario was that during the Arab spring Iraq would have been engulfed in civil war which would have blown sectarian conflict across the region. He added that until three years ago al-Qaida had been a "spent force" in Iraq and that the country had had a chance to rebuild itself.
But will this democracy and peace be able to spread to other nations in the region and what are the possibilities of a democratic Iraq helping to create regional peace? Though theorists such as Huntington, Starr and Lindborg argued that democracy can spill over borders and Cederman and Gleditsch concluded that the more democracies there are in a region, the more likely undemocratic states in the region will democratise, others disagree.
They also argue that should Iraq become a dim beacon, it would undermine, rather than enhance regional democratisation. However, the true results of the democratisation process are yet to be seen as though there have been setbacks and challenges, Iraq has had successful democratic elections since the invasion, but time may be the only test of whether democracy will hold in Iraq and whether regional democratisation and peace will follow. But the democratisation of Iraq was not solely for strategic and security purposes.
The humanitarian motives for toppling an oppressive and tyrannical dictatorship from power and replacing it with a liberal democratic government are clear; Saddam Hussein was terrible man who murdered thousands of his own people and ruled with oppression and force . In this respect, removing the dictator from power the war was clearly a humanitarian victory. However the invasion and subsequent occupation as well as the insurgency and internal conflict have claimed the lives of between 95, and , civilians.
The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths - WSJ
There was no sectarian violence; no gross levels of violence. Post , it has become a very serious problem. The removal of the oppressive regime has also not necessarily translated to an improvement of civil rights. The Bush administration refused to back the establishment of quotas on the employment of female workers and the allowance of female politicians, which has been heavily criticised. Women have made moves into politics and have proved effective as pressure groups and campaigners female support proved decisive in the opposition to Resolution in , which would have introduced a more conservative interpretation of Sharia law but female employment has declined since the invasion as concerns for their security have forced them to avoid work and women have faced disproportionate job loss as a result of privatisation of state-owned enterprises.
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Perhaps the biggest shock is that the removal of the Hussein regime has led to widespread oppression of women, who are being increasingly harassed and assaulted by Islamist militias that roam the streets and kidnapped and sexually assaulted by criminal gangs, who sometime kidnap Iraqi women for trafficking. The violence caused by the war and the occupation has also led to women and girls missing school and university for weeks or even months out of fear. It is widely argued that one of the primary reasons for the Iraq War was for the procurement of the second largest oil reserves in the world.
Indeed, this objective was achieved almost immediately when the US secured a UN resolution granting the US and UK occupying authority control over the expenditure of Iraqi oil revenues. There are many arguments that this was for commercial gain in order to support the US economy and oil lobbyists, however Alkadiri and Mohamedi argue that Iraqi oil has far more strategic value for the US as it would hoped it would secure Western resources, reduce dependency on the undemocratic oil producing nations, and would undermine, weaken and pressure the oil-producers such as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Iran to undergo economic and political reform in order to further the neo-conservative security though democracy-spreading agenda.
However because of increasing anti-Americanism in the region caused by the war, and because of the pressures created by the War on Terror and the concern of businessmen that their overseas assets could be frozen or nationalised as part of the War on Terror, the Gulf governments have become more focussed on internal trade and businessmen have repatriated funds for investment in local real estate and stock markets, which may have actually strengthened and returned buoyancy to their national economies.
The higher prices caused by the Iraq War have also supported the economies. This means that the neo-conservatives have actually benefitted the rentier and authoritarian states.