News / Middle East

Iraqis Debate Impact of War

Iraqis Debate Whether War Changed Their Lives for Better, Worsei
X
April 08, 2013 1:29 PM
It has been 10 years since the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in central Baghdad, an act that came to symbolize the end of his regime and a new beginning for Iraqis. VOA Correspondent Scott Bobb covered the Iraq War and its aftermath. He returned to Iraq recently and has these observations.
Scott Bobb
It has been 10 years since the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in central Baghdad, an act that came to symbolize the end of his regime and a new beginning for Iraqis. Only a single boot remains of the statue of Saddam Hussein today in Baghdad's Paradise Square.

For many, the day Iraqis -- aided by U.S. troops -- toppled the statue marked the the end of a brutal dictatorship and the beginning of a new hope. Today the square is bedecked with campaign posters for this month's local elections, the fifth in Iraq since multiparty democracy was installed.

In central Baghdad, the main streets seem cleaner and in better repair than during the years after the war.  New cars clog the intersections at rush hour. Traffic jams can last for hours. But most Iraqis say democracy has not improved their lives. Unemployed construction worker Mahdi al-Moussawi survives on occasional day-work.

"In general the security situation has improved a little bit, but there still are security problems," said Mahdi al-moussawi, unemployed construction worker.

The bombings have diminished from the height of the sectarian conflict several years ago.  But the largely-sectarian violence continues to kill and maim hundreds of people every month.

In Baghdad's central market, shoppers complain that prices are much higher than before the war, when fuel and basic goods were heavily subsidized. Mother-of-five Intissar Fadl said "It's tragic. Tragic. Some people don't have enough money for one kilo of food. We have something to eat. Others don't. We just live day by day."

Iraq's petroleum industry has largely recovered.  But many Iraqis say its wealth goes primarily to an elite few.  Corruption is rampant.  Public services are poor.

Yet Iraqis try, when possible, to live normal lives.  They take their families to Zawra Park for picnics and boating. Sara Gae'ib is the editor of a local newspaper, Al-Gad Al-Mashriq.

"When we are in the park we feel Iraq is peaceful and we are in a good place. But when we go out of the park everything is different," said Sara Gae'ib, newspaper editor.

The amusement park, long a respite for Iraqis, has been rebuilt.  From its Ferris Wheel, people can see the fortified Green Zone, forbidden to all but the few who live or work there.

Some say life is improving; it will just take more time.  Others say it is becoming more and more like before.  Regardless, no one commemorates the war that -- depending on one's opinion -- changed so much, or so little.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mayanardo from: LA
April 08, 2013 7:16 PM
And the dozens of bomb blasts that continue to kill hundreds every month? The pending Civil war over Kirkuk or the once between Sunni/Shia? Resurgence of Al Queda? The cross border conflict in Syria, where Iraq Sunni militants travel with impunity? The new coalition between the Ayatollahs of Iraq and Iran? What a fiasco has Iraq become. A dozen Saddam Husseins can and will emerge.


by: shame on the world from: sydney
April 08, 2013 6:48 PM
the people of Iraq should put on trial the leadres of the world that manipulated the un and nato and other world leadres to justify for war against Iraq ..including..goerge bush jnr,dick cheney,donkey Rumsfeld ,peter Wolfowitz,richard perle,tony blair ,all bloombergs and rochefellas and the all rothchields and their cronies..sheme on the world ..

In Response

by: alabaneesee from: mnc australia
April 09, 2013 8:02 AM
Didn,t bush tell the UN basically where to go and jump and also included in the invasion list should be John Howard and the australian governments as they were both so willing without evidence to back the attack and following deaths to this day in Iraq

In Response

by: coup from: ellinmgen austrtalia
April 09, 2013 6:57 AM
And dont forget the howard goverenment of australia ; who wet their pants at the thought of helping the americans in iraq.they should all be made to sit and talk to the mothers of dead iraqy children{ killed as an outcome of the invasion},....and then tried as war criminals.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid