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[casi] Iraq: 100 Days Of 'Peace'

Iraq: 100 days of 'peace'
On 1 May, President Bush declared war over after six weeks. Mission accomplished?
09 August 2003
The US Administrator: Paul Bremer, head of US-led civilian administration

"We believe that the attacks against the coalition forces are coming from a number of areas, some 
of which will be, I think, reduced if we can kill or capture Saddam. Those are attacks that are 
coming to us from desperados, from the Baathist party, the trained killers of the Fedayeen Saddam 
and the trained killers of many of the intelligence services which Saddam had.

"We believe that the death of his sons and eventual capture or death of Saddam will have a 
beneficial effect on reducing these attacks. I said at the time of the killing of the two sons that 
I expected attacks in the short run to increase ... People are coming in to police stations with 
evidence of where Baathists are, and providing tips that allow us to arrest these people."

The Café Owner: Burhan Gharib, Baghdad

Many bad things have happened, such as the looting. There is no electricity, the security situation 
is unstable. If you compare them with Saddam Hussein, the Americans have done nothing for us. They 
came to Iraq and said, 'We came to protect you' but the only place they protected from the looters 
was the Ministry of Oil.

They can move tanks all over the world but they can't bring a small generator to the city. We feel 
angry because they do things against our principles. They search our houses and our women.

This is a good country, a developed country. The resistance are not Fedayeen Saddam, they are 
mujahedin, Islamic resistance. They are heroes and we pray to God to save them. We can kick the 
Americans out.

The British Politician: Robin Cook MP

I'm astonished that the coalition have put little thought into what to do after the capture of 
Iraq. The military preparation was meticulous, but the preparations for how to reconstruct the 
country are being made up as we go along.

We were told that it was essential to displace Saddam Hussein because of a "clear and present" 
danger to the UK, but 100 days later we have still not found one single weapon of mass destruction. 
It would have been better to let weapons inspectors stay ...

The invasion and occupation was a neo-conservative show. They promised it would be easy to win ... 
the co-operation of the Iraqis. Now that is proving much more difficult and the neo-conservatives 
are on a retreat in the United States.

The US Politician: Al Gore, former Democratic vice-president

"Normally, we Americans lay the facts on the table, talk through the choices before us and make a 
decision. But that didn't happen. As a result, many of our soldiers are paying the highest price. 
I'm convinced one of the reasons we didn't have a better public debate before the Iraq war started 
is because so many of the impressions the majority of the country had back then turn out to have 

"Robust debate in a democracy will almost always involve occasional rhetorical excesses and leaps 
of faith. But there is a big difference between that and a systematic effort to manipulate facts in 
service to a totalistic ideology felt to be more important than basic honesty.

"Unfortunately, I think it is no longer possible to avoid the conclusion that what the country is 
dealing with in the Bush presidency is the latter."

The Journalist: Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent of 'The Independent'

It wasn't Mr Bush's remark about the end of major military operations that spelt out the lie. It 
was the banner hanging from the aircraft carrier upon which he made his notorious remarks. Placed 
there by the White House publicity men, it said simply: "Mission Accomplished'' ­ the ultimate 
illusionary end to an invasion that was driven by fantasy and right-wing ideology. True, the mass 
graves have been opened, many of them containing young people whom we betrayed ­ by urging them to 
fight Saddam in 1991 and then allowing them to be massacred. True, the regime no longer governs ­ 
it attacks the US army instead, along with Saddam's old enemies. True, Uday and Qusay are dead ­ 
but their father still speaks from the underground. A new resistance movement is now cutting down 
US soldiers every day. Anarchy is widespread. Changing the map of the Middle East is what this 
illegal invasion was supposed to have achieved, according to the right-wing and pro-Israeli 
advisers around Donald Rumsfeld. They may be right, but the new map is unlikely to be the one they 
had planned for. Amid the wilderness of occupation, America may contemplate that its young men are 
dying for an illusion that will prove as dangerous to Israel as it will to America and the Arab 
world. Mission accomplished indeed! Leading article, page 18

The Shopkeeper: Sa'id abu Ali, Sadr City

The Shia accepted the Americans at first because we were the ones suffering a tragedy under Saddam. 
This is the second country in the world for oil reserves but Iraqi families are suffering just to 
get one gas cylinder. Of course people are against [the Americans]. We think they encouraged the 
looters, because it suits their aims to keep the chaos here so they can stay. I don't believe 
America cannot solve these problems like gas and electricity. So there is no difference: Saddam was 
yesterday, America is today. Is this liberation? Most of the injustices still exist. Can you go out 
in your car after 10pm? If you manage to escape the looters, the Americans will shoot you. If there 
is occupation, there will be resistance. All Iraqi citizens want the situation stable and safe and 
an end to the occupation.

The Aid Worker: Dominic Nutt, Emergencies Officer for Christian Aid

I think the most obvious issue is a lack of security across the country. It is clearly 
deteriorating. Under the old regime people were too terrified, and law and order was not an issue. 
Now women and girls are being attacked. Soldiers have two options: shout or shoot, nothing in 
between. They need an effective police force.

The issue of whether we should have gone to war is a very difficult one. It is an ongoing dilemma 
... The Iraqis I have dealt with and spoken to welcomed this invasion and the end of Saddam Hussein 
[but] one questions the principle that right goes with might. The Iraqis are getting frustrated and 
no one is benefiting.

The Iraqi Politician: Dr Adnan Pachachi, acting head of Iraqi Governing Council

There are sporadic acts of violence against the Americans. They think that by continuing they are 
going to force the Americans to get out of Iraq, but they are mistaken. They are delaying the 
recovery of Iraq. I would like to ask these people: "What do you hope to achieve?"

Right from the very beginning, I wanted the UN to have a central role. I said immediately after the 
collapse of the regime that the secretary general should appoint a special representative to 
oversee the whole process. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and we have to deal with a situation 
where a huge US army is in Iraq.

One way to deal with this would be not to co-operate, but the Iraqi people are tired after three 
wars, and don't want to start another one.


    * 57 US troops, 11 British troops killed since 1 May
    * 35 allied troops died in accidents,
    * 3 possible suicides, 3 drowned
    * 1,000 children injured by unexploded ordnance
    * 15 to 25 civilians shot dead daily in Baghdad
    * 1 UK journalist shot dead

Armed forces

    * 150,000 still deployed
    * 6 countries providing forces (US, Britain, Spain, Poland, Denmark, and the Czech republic)


    * $680m rebuilding contracts handed out by Bechtel ($400m to local companies)
    * $3.9bn per month spent by US on occupation
    * £44m to provide new 'Baath-free' textbooks to school pupils
    * £60m spent by International Red Cross on humanitarian aid
    * 1.6m barrels per day of oil being pumped (compared to 2.8m before the war)
    * 1 Arab mobile phone network launched (but shut down by US)<
    * 75 per cent electricity delivery, according to the US


    * 1,000 military patrols daily in Baghdad
    * 150 out of 400 courts in operation
    * 18 aid trucks hijacked


    * 1 in 12 children suffer malnutrition


    * 150 newspapers started; 1 shut down
    * 3 plays performed

© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

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