U.S. President George W. Bush has announced that war against Iraq has begun.So, how is contemporary Iraq?
Seven years after the first bombs in the war to oust Saddam Hussein, Iraqis went about their business yesterday with little observance of the anniversary.
Perhaps more important in the minds of many was the wait for final results of the country’s second nationwide parliamentary election. The milestone will determine who will oversee Iraq as US forces go home, but it could also point the direction the fragile democracy will take down the road: either deeper into the sectarian divide that followed the fall of Hussein or toward a more secular, inclusive rule.
“Now we have democracy and freedom, but the cost was dire, and Iraqis have paid that price,’’ said Raid Abdul-Zahra, 38, a technician in Najaf.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition appears to be ahead in the tight race. With almost 90 percent of the vote counted by yesterday, his coalition was leading in seven of Iraq’s 18 provinces, compared with five provinces for his closest rival, the Iraqiya coalition led by secular Shi’ite Ayad Allawi.
Many, especially among the country’s Sunni minority that dominated Iraq during Hussein’s rule, blame the United States for the sectarian violence that erupted after the invasion.
“Failure is the word that should be linked with the US war,’’ said Mohammed Thabit, a retired teacher from Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit.
“The Americans brought people to power, but those people are specialized in reprisals, blackmail, inflaming sectarianism, and robbing.’’And contemporary America?
It was a day like any other day — except that it was the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And, for the most part, that was forgotten.
"Honestly, with everything that's going on in my personal life, it slipped my mind," said Chris Skidmore, 39, as he sipped a drink on the artificial lawn at Raleigh's North Hills Mall. "I've been out of work since August of last year."
It's not that the average American isn't aware that we still have tens of thousands or troops in Iraq, or that nearly 4,400 U.S. military personnel have died there since the war began. Scattered demonstrations were scheduled around the country to call for the troops' swift return.
But with so much else going on — a torpid economy, a climactic debate over health care reform, a mounting conflict in Afghanistan — it's easy to lose sight of the fact that Americans are still fighting and dying in Iraq.
Well, it was March 20th in Iraq when the war began. Iraq is in the Middle East, and my brother was not too far away from Iraq at that time--he was in Dubai. Why is my brother relevant in this? March 20th is is birthday--happy birthday!
BTW, in Iraq, how do they refer to the Iraq War? Do they call it the "America War" ....?