News / Middle East

    Mixed Views in Iraq on 10th Anniversary of US-Led Invasion

    Mixed Views in Iraq on 10th Anniversary of US-led Invasioni
    X
    March 19, 2013 1:53 PM
    It's been 10 years since U.S.-led forces launched an offensive that toppled the government of Iraq's then-President Saddam Hussein. Although some Iraqis say life since then has improved somewhat, many are angry at the legacy left by the war. VOA's Scott Bobb is in Baghdad and has this report.
    Mixed Views in Iraq on 10th Anniversary of US-led Invasion
    Scott Bobb
    It's been 10 years [March 20, 2003] since U.S.-led forces launched an offensive that toppled the government of Iraq's then-President Saddam Hussein. Although some Iraqis say life since then has improved somewhat, many are angry at the legacy left by the war.

    It's early morning in central Baghdad's Bataween district. Out-of-work laborers huddle on the street hoping to pick up a day's wages.

    Abed Khaled is a house painter. He's been coming here for 10 years. He said he works a few days a month. It earns him about $35 a day.

    “Everybody is suffering. There are no jobs. When an employer comes by everyone rushes him, competing to get hired. The income is very little. It's bad and every day seems to get worse,” said Khaled.

    Baghdad's streets are choked with vehicles as workers head to their jobs. Tight security slows traffic even more. Most residents say life is hard. Only a few seem to have benefited from the conflict that took more than 100,000 lives, and continues to do so today in reduced numbers.

    In a central market a few kilometers away, Najila Ali Saba shops for her nine children and 21 grandchildren. She said bombs are a major worry.

    “Life is difficult because of the security situation, the terrorists. Most of the terrorists are not Iraqis. They are coming from foreign countries,” said Saba.

    Ten years ago, U.S.-led forces launched the air strikes and subsequent ground invasion that brought an end to the regime of President Saddam Hussein. But most Iraqis say the system that replaced him has not fulfilled their hopes for freedom or democracy.

    They are especially angry at their politicians. They accuse them of widespread corruption and of stoking ethnic and sectarian tensions to further their careers.

    Hadi Jallo Mare, who leads Baghdad's Center for Political Analysis, said, “There are deep divisions among the Iraqis. Some Kurds and Shiites reject Saddam Hussein. But some Sunnis would prefer him because they believe the current political situation deprives them of their rights.”

    In the well-to-do Mansour district, people come out in the evening to shop. Osama Rasheed said business at his clothing store is good some days. But it drops off after a bombing because people are afraid to leave home.

    "Security is better than two, three or four years ago, but we hope it will improve even more,” said Rasheed.

    Some residents of this still vibrant city despair of ever seeing a return to normal life. Others remain hopeful. Many say they are living day-to-day.

    • Smoke rises from the Iraqi Trade Ministry in Baghdad after it was hit by a missile during a U.S.-led attacks, March 20, 2003.
    • Smoke rises moments after the bright light at the right faded during U.S. strikes in downtown Baghdad in this image from television, March 20, 2003.
    • Then President George W. Bush makes a statement to reporters while Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld look on following a Cabinet meeting, March 20, 2003.
    • An explosion rocks Baghdad during air strikes March 21, 2003.
    • U.S. Marine Corp Assaultman Kirk Dalrymple watches as a statue of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein falls in central Baghdad, April 9, 2003.
    • Iraqi men run through a neighborhood with looted items, Baghdad, April 10, 2003.
    • Iraqis cheer a column of U.S. armored vehicles arriving in Bagdhad, April 10, 2003.
    • A detained Iraqi man with a plastic bag covering his head sits in garden of a house searched by U.S. soldiers during a night raid in Tikrit, Oct. 30, 2003.
    • Iraqi policemen guard the burning pipeline near Karbala, Feb. 23, 2004.
    • British Army troops are covered in flames from a gas bomb thrown during a protest in Basra, March 22, 2004.
    • Coffins of U.S. military personnel are prepared to be offloaded at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware in this undated photo released in 2004.
    • A still from Al Iraqiya television shows masked executioners putting a noose around former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's neck moments before his hanging in Baghdad, Dec. 30, 2006.
    • A man runs down a street warning people to flee shortly after a twin car bomb attack at Shorja market in Baghdad, Feb. 12, 2007.
    • A U.S. soldier guards an arrested man after a gunfight in central Baqouba, Iraq, March 29, 2007.
    • Demonstrators wave Iraqi flags during an anti-U.S. protest called by fiery cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, marking the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, April 9, 2007.
    • Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr burn a banner representing the U.S. flag during a protest in Baghdad's Sadr City,July 3, 2009.
    • U.S. Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles drive through Camp Adder before departing Imam Ali Base near Nasiriyah, Iraq, Dec. 16, 2011.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: lifebiomedguru from: Pittsburgh, PA
    March 19, 2013 11:09 AM
    Where did the missing billions go? Follow the money. Recall that the Project for a New American Century pushed for ELECTIVE war to promote the US's influence in the middle east - they want to invade Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya and other countries... they used Saddam as an excuse to invade, and publicly proclaimed that they would, if in power, take over and stay in control of Persian Gulf oil whether Saddam was in power, or not. Not one person among them was ever asked my a reporter why they felt that the USA was entitled to invade sovereign countries to promote our interests. For them, it was a given.

    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?neoconinfluence_neoconservative_think_tanks=neoconinfluence_pnac&timeline=neoconinfluence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora