Life in Iraq After Saddam Hussein's Death

In this essay, I will be discussing eight terms and also life in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s death. I will be exploring the changes and also the past experiences. The terms that I will talking about are Anfal, Halabja, Marsh Arabs, 1991 Uprising, Baath Party, General David Patraeus, The Surge and
the Sunni Awakening. The Anfal campaign was a genocide campaign against the Kurdish people ( and many other ethnic groups) in northern Iraq, led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by his cousin Ali Hassan Almajid in the final stages of the Iran-Iraq war. This campaign got it’s name from Surat al-anfal in the Qu’ran, which was used as a codename by the former Iraqi Baathist regime for a series of a systematic attacks against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq conducted between 1986 and 1989. The campaign also targeted other minority communities in Iraq including
Shabaks, Yazidis, Jews, Mandeans, and many villages belonging to the these ethnic groups were also destroyed.

The Anfal campaign included the use of ground offensives, serial bombings, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, firing squads, and chemical warfare. Thousands of civilians were killed through spring 1987 and fall of 1988. It destroyed approximately 4,500 Kurdish village areas of northern Iraq and displaced at least a million of the country’s estimated 3.5 million Kurdish population. Many women became widows and many lives were unaccounted for. There were eight stages of this campaign seven of the stages targeted areas controlled by the patriotic union of the Kurdistan. They also mustard gas 200,000 soldiers with air support (Kurdish guerrilla forces also). There were also concentration camps and exterminations. Some men and women were captured while lining up they were murdered on the spot ( also Christians). People ages 15-20 were executed also. In my opinion, I think this is pure evil and it is similar to the holocaust. What gives people the right to feel that they are better than other races and commit such horrific crimes. The thought of this makes me so sick and upset and totally breaks my heart.

Secondly, The Halabja poison gas attack. This was a genocidal massacre against the Kurdish people that took place on march 16, 1988 during the closing days of the Iran-Iraq war, when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of the Halabja Iraqi Kurdistan. This attack killed about 3,000-5,000 people, and injured about 7,000-10,000 more. Most of them were civilians, thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after these attacks. This event was an act of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq. It is the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian population in history. The Halabja attack is marked as a separate event from the Anfal genocide attack against the Kurds by the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein. This attack was a five hour attack and it started march 16, 1988. Aircraft began dropping chemical bombs on Halabja residential areas far from the Iraqi base on the outskirts of the town. Kurdish rebel commanders stated that the Iraqi aircraft conducted up to 14 bombings in sorts of 7 to 8 planes each and helicopters also. Survivors of this attack said that the gas at first smelled like sweet apples. They said people died in a number of ways. Some just dropped dead, died laughing, other’s took a few minutes to die, burning and blistering or coughing up green vomit. Many believed that the Iraqi forces used multiple chemical agents during this act. The following were mustard gas, nerve agents sarin, tabun, vx, blood agent hydrogen cyanide. I know that the people who committed these crimes did not have a heart. It is such a shame to find all of these things were going in Iraq.

Thirdly, The Marsh Arabs “ Arabs of the marshlands” also known as Maden are inhabitants of the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands in the south and east of Iraq and along the Iranian border. Marsh Arabs are members of many different tribes such as the Al bu muhammed ferayghat, shaghanbah and bani lam the maden developed a unique culture centured around the marshes natural resources. Many of their inhabitants were displaced when the wetlands were displaced during and after the 1991 uprising in Iraq. Maden means “ dweller in the plains” there is a predjudice to them because of their origin and partly their practice of temporary marriages. Historians and archaelogist provide strong evidence that Iraqi’s marsh arabs share strongest links to the ancient Sumerians. Sumerians disappeared as a race in 1800 b.c long before arabs entered the region. During the 1980’s-1990’s Saddam purposely drained the wetlands that was essential to the culture and livelihood of the marsh arab people. The majority of the marsh arabs are of the Shii muslims.

Fourthly, I will be talking about the 1991 Uprising in Iraq. This was a series of anti-govermental rebellions in southern and northern Iraq during the aftermath of the gulf war. This conflict was started because, people assumed that the power of Iraqi president Saddam was basically being tested. Many were angered also by the government repression and the devastation wrought by the two wars in a decade the Iran-Iraq war and the gulf war. The U.S also played a role in encouraging the uprising but, did not send aid by the U.S forces in Iraq. I thought that this made no sense for them to encourage the people to rebel and leave them stranded they will never be trusted. The rebellion in Iraq involved the (demoralization) embarrassment. Iraqi army troops and the anti-government shia pantres. Also northern Iraq was organized by two rival Kurdish party based militias. The Kurdistan democratic party(kdp) and the patriotic union of Kurdistan(puk) they had planned this for a long time. They posed a serious threat to the bath regime Saddam still managed to get by and still maintain power. During weeks of this uprising tens of thousands were killed nearly 2 million fled for their lives. Marsh Arabs were relocated due to the government and the draining of the Iraqi marshlands, allies established the Iraq no fly zones. George H.W Bush had addressed this issue. On a U.S radio broadcast.

He stated “ There is another way for the bloodshed to stop. And that is for the Iraqi military and the Iraq people to step aside and then comply with the
united nations resolutions and rejoin the family of a peaceful loving nation”. Also a free Iraq station funded and operated by the CIA broadcasted a
message to the Iraqis telling them to arise and overthrow Saddam. The speaker on the radio was Salah Omar al-Ali a former member of the bath
party. “He stated rise to save the homeland from the clutches of dictatorship so that you can devote yourself to avoid the dangers of the continuation of
the war and destruction. Honourable sons of the tigris and Euphrates rivers, at theses decisive moments of your life and while facing the danger of death
at the hands of foreign forces, you have no option in order to survive and defend the homeland but put an end to the dictator and his criminal gang”.
This broadcast encouraged Iraqis to fight and to start a revolution and he claimed by doing this Saddam would flee the battlefield. When he becomes
aware that every house, and every family in Iraq wanted him destroyed. This uprising began march 1, 1991 one day after the gulf war ended. Many people were killed during this uprising. Saddam did not back down and millions escaped from what was going on. March until July 1991 the U.S and some
of the gulf war allies defended the Kurdish refugees from our attacks (shooting down Iraqi su-17 aircraft) and provided humanitarian assistance to
them during the operation provided comfort. Many were killed and were buried in mass graves. Several of the graves contained thousands of bodies
have been uncovered since the fall of Saddam in April 2003. Due to the invasion of 91 Iraqis oil production dropped sadly.

Fifthly, I will be discussing the Baath Party. Baath means “resurrection” or “ renaissance” it is a political party, mixing arab nationalist and socialist interests, they opposed western imperialism. My first thoughts are why would they make Saddam president if they knew he was part of this political group. The Baath party was created as a cell based organization with an emphasis on withstanding government reoression and infiltration. In Iraq the Baath party remained a civilian group and lacked strong support within the military. The Baathist party came into power February 1963 when Abd al-Salam Anf became president. The Iraq based Baath party had branches in various Arab countries such as Lebanon, mauritiana and Jordan. Politics was very different from American politics. They believed people belonged under dictatorship. They opposed the American way of freedom for all. As far as I am concern their way doing things are totally wrong.

Sixth, I will be discussing David Howell Patraeus. He is the United States four star general and the designate director of the central intelligence agency. Petraeus last served as the commander, of International security assistance force and commander of U.S forces in Afghanistan from July 4, 2010 to July 18, 2011. Petraeus had other four star assignments including serving as the commander general, multi-national force in Iraq in 2007-2008. As commander he oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq. He was confirmed by the senate on June 30. 2010 and took over command from contemporary Commander Lieutenant general Sir Nick Parker on July 4, 2010 until being relieved by marine general John R. Allen.

In mosul a city of 2 million people, Petraeus and the 101st employed classic counterinsurgency methods to build security and stability, including
conducting targeted kinetic operations and using force to jump-start the economy, building local security forces, staging elections for city council within weeks of their arrival, overseeing a program of public works, reinvigorating the political process, and launching 4,500 reconstruction projects. Petraeus believed in nation building he did in bosnia and Haiti he believed it is a military mission. Petraeus is fully qualified for the job he does. Reports have speculated that he may have had interest in running for presidentcy. President Obama nominated him to succeed General Stanley McCrystal as commanding general of the international security assiatance, this was definitely a step down from his position as commander of U.S central command, which oversees the military efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt.

On June 30, 2011 Patraeus is confirmed as the next director of the central intelligence agency by the U.S senate. Petraeus continued the command of U.S and Nato forces in Afghanistan on 7/ 18 and intends to retire from the U.S army on 8/31/11. Petraeus is one of the nations greatest battle captains. He talked about the sons of Iraq absorbed in the central government of Iraq. He warned about future consequences if the efforts stall petraeus is the first to note the gains achieved in Iraq are tenuous and unlikely to survive without an American effort that outlast his time in service. Iraq is different than when he arrived in 2007 and took command. Petraeus received more than a dozen of awards for the service he did for our country. His military operations were looked upon as well planned. He was good at planning rebuilding strategies.

Seventh, “Iraq war troop surge 2007” the surge refers to the U.S president George Bush’s 2007 increase in the number of the American troops in order to provide security to Baghdad and Al Anbar province. The surge was under working title “ The new way forward”. Bush ordered 20,000 soldiers into Iraq five additional brigades, he sent a majority into Baghdad. He extended the tour to most of the army troops and marines in the Anbar area. The president described his overall objective as establishing a unified, democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the war on terror. The major element of the strategy was a change in focus for the U.S military to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security. The president stated that the surge would then provide the time and conditions conducive to reconciliation among political and ethnic factions. On 12/13/06 Bush and vice president Cheney met with members of the joints chief of staff for more than an hour discussing different military options for Iraq. While “no dramatic proposals” were put forward, “ a assessment” of what can and cannot be done by the military was offered. They did not favor adding significant numbers of troops to Iraq but saw strengthening the Iraqi army as pivotal to achieving some degree of stability. They pressed for greater U.S effort on economic reconstruction and political reconciliation as key to pulling men from militias. They said there was no purely military solution for Iraq and without major progress on the political and economic fronts the U.S intervention is simply just buying time.

They also feared throwing to much support to the Shiite may lead sunni nations in the region step up support of sunni insurgent, and that a crackdown on Iraq’s largest Shiite militia, the mahdi army, may instigate more interference by Iran. General George William Casey jr. the top U.S commanders in Iraq, was reported to be reviewing a plan to redefine the American military mission there. U.S troops would be pulled out of Iraq cities and consolidated at a handful of U.S bases. While day to day combat duty would be turned over to the Iraqi army.

Last but not least, I will be discussing my eight topic “ The Sunni Awakening” also known as the sons of Iraq program, are coalitions between tribal shieiks in a particular province in Iraq that unite to maintain security in the communities. The movement started among Sunni tribes in Anbar province in 2005. The awakening fighters in Iraq have been credited by some analysts with reducing levels of violence in the areas in which they operate. However, the rapid growth of the groups, whose salaries were initially paid for completely by the U.S military, has also led to concerns about some members insurgent pasts fighting against coalition forces and to concerns about infiltration, by al Qaeda. Iraqi prime minister Nuri-ai- maliki has warned the U.S- armed concerned local citizens are an armed sunni opposition in the making, and his urged that such groups should be under the command of the Iraqi army or police. The Iraqi defense ministry has said that it palns to disband the Sunni Awakening groups so they do not become a separate military force. In oct 08 the Iraqi government took over from the American military the responsibility for payiny 54,000 members of the awakening councils. Many awakening fighters put little trust in Iraqi government to hire them. The transfer was considered as an act of betrayal by the U.S army stated one of the awakening members. The groups are paid by the American military and the Iraqi government to lay down their arms against coalition forces, patrol neighborhoods, and to fight against other sunni insurgents. The U.S military says the groups help to find al Qaeda in Iraq more precisely and avoid collateral damage. Sheiks who work with the awakening movement frequently face killings which originate from outside the movement.

The various terms I explored on this assignment was very interesting. I have learned things I never knew about the country of Iraq. There way of living
and doing things are not of the norms of American life. When Saddam was in power Iraq was in a very bad place but, now that he is gone there is a new
sense of democracy. I just can’t believe that people in Iraq live the way that they did under such horrible dictatorship and never did anything about it. I
have to say thank God that America came to their aid and cause their homeland the change drastically. I believe we are all equal and every man
deserves to live under democracy. I must say my eyes has been open to the unthinkable things. This assignment was truly informing.