Iraq. The international iron ring around Iraq rusted more
and more during the year. When Venezuela's President Hugo
Ch芍vez Fr赤as - also chairman of the oil exporting countries'
cooperative organization OPEC - visited Iraq in April, he
became the first democratically elected head of state in the
country since the Kuwait War in 1991. After him, foreigners
of various rank continued to visit Baghdad. Some wanted to
demonstrate their solidarity with the Iraqi people, who
suffer severely from the UN sanctions. Others wanted to be
in the starting pits for commercial operations when the
sanctions were once lifted and the revenues that Iraq have
gained access to since the volume restrictions for Iraqi oil
exports were lifted in December 1999 can be freely marketed.
COUNTRYAAH, the new UN weapons inspection body, UNMOVIC (United
Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission),
which the UN had created at the end of 1999, was unable to
get started with its work during the year. Its
representatives were not included in Iraq. The crack in the UN
Security Council - with the United States and Britain on one
side and France, the Russian Federation and China on the
other - also eroded UN credibility. The United States and
the United Kingdom continued to fire Iraqi air defense
facilities in the no-fly zones in the northern and southern
parts of the country and also to claim that all flights to
and from Iraq required UN authorization. But at the same time,
French and Russian aircraft were the first to land in
Baghdad without permission when Saddam International Airport
was opened in August.
A long line of Arab countries began flying to Iraq later in
the fall, and on November 5, state-owned company Iraqi
Airways resumed its traffic. At the Baghdad Fair in early
November, representatives from more than 1,500 companies
from 45 countries came, among others. Sweden.
In the Muslim countries, Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein picked
up points for being the one who harshly criticized Israeli
violence when the Palestinian uprising broke out in
September. One was even noted between Iraq and Iran.
During the year, several international organizations
reported that child mortality in Iraq has doubled or even
tripled since the sanctions were introduced in 1990. The
main reasons were reported lack of electricity and water in
hospitals, malnutrition and increased spread of infectious
diseases. Two high-ranking UN employees in Baghdad, the
Germans Hans von Sponeck and Jutta Burghardt, resigned in
February in protest of UN humanitarian efforts in Iraq, which
they considered to be completely inadequate.
In October, the UN published a report on violence and
threats against politically active Iraqis in exile as well
as on torture and executions in the country. Among other
things, prisoners are locked in metal coffins that are kept
open for only 30 minutes a day. Another report claimed that
50 people had been executed publicly in Baghdad. Among them
were a number of women and girls who were punished with
death for prostituting themselves.
In December 2008, US departing President Bush
surprisingly visited Iraq to celebrate his victory over
Saddam Hussein. For the first time, the president ventured
out of a North American military base and held a press
conference in Baghdad. The pictures from the conference came
around the world when an Iraqi journalist was so provoked by
the president's statements that he cooled his shoes after
Journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi shouted: This is a farewell
greeting to your dog. This is from the widows, the orphans
and those killed in Iraq. The journalist was arrested and
subjected to torture, but around the Arab world and among
groups in the West working on the US war in Iraq that have
cost 1 million Iraqis for the time being, shelling contests
have been made against the Bush puppets.
The UN occupation mandate expired on December 31, 2008
and was replaced by a direct agreement between the
superpower and its vassal state. The main points of the new
agreement were that all the forces of the occupation should
be withdrawn from the Iraqi cities by mid-2009 and all the
forces of the occupation should be withdrawn from Iraq by
the end of 2011. The agreement should be sent to a
referendum in Iraq in the spring of 2009 This was later
postponed to March 2010, when it was postponed again. The
Iraqi government has the problem that the agreement would be
voted down by a vote, as the Iraqis want the occupation to
be terminated immediately.
In accordance with the agreement, the United States
withdrew its forces from Iraqi cities on June 30, 2009. It
was celebrated across the country with fireworks, and
several called for June 30 to be a new Independence Day. At
the same time as the retreat, crime in cities increased
dramatically. It was unclear to what extent it was the
United States that paid bandits to commit highly violent
crime (abductions, robberies, shooting assaults, etc.), and
to what extent former militia members were behind the crime.
But at the end of the year, crime again dropped dramatically
- to the lowest level since the 2003 invasion.
In September 2009, US Vice President Joseph Biden visited
Iraq, where he met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Partisans fired the US Green Zone in Baghdad with rockets
during the two meeting inside the zone. Biden promised to
withdraw the North American combat troops by August 2010 and
the rest of the troops by the end of 2011.
In March 2010, parliamentary elections were held. The
election was won by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's
Iraqi National Movement, which got 91 seats out of the 325
in the National Assembly. The incumbent Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki's state coalition had to settle for 89 seats. The
election triggered the tradition of believing in a political
crisis due to the problems of forming a new government and
getting a president appointed. In May, the Rule of Law
Coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance were merged into
one party under the name National Alliance, but they
remained 4 seats away from having a majority in parliament.
Ten days later, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud
Barzani, announced that the four Kurdish parties in
parliament were merged into one under the name Kurdish Lists
Coalition, with a total of 57 seats. Only in December a new
government was formed.
In April 2010, a North American soldier posted a video on
WikiLeaks showing civilians Iraqi being shot in pieces by an
Apache attack helicopter in 2007. In June, the United States
military tracked down the soldier facing a war trial (US
soldier linked to Iraq helicopter video leak charged, BBC 6
July 2010). There is a tradition that the United States does
not punish war criminals, but only those who reveal them.