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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid