Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The US in Iraq: enemies as elusive as sand

Notes from the update on the US-Iraq invasion and occupation:

- coalition: mainly US & UK.
- new Iraqi army
- Shi'a vs. Sunni minority.
- insurgents, or rebels loyal to the Hussein's regime.
- 3000 US soldiers dead.

War rationale -
- threat to US interests in the region (oil).
- future effectiveness of US influence.
- UN sanctions against Iraq after '91 Gulf War.
- biological & chemical weapons.
- UNSCOM to destroy WMD, inspect.
- Iraq Liberation act of 98 / signed by Pres Clinton.
- Saddam praised 9-11 attacks.
- GWB: wmd, human rights violations, terrorism, SCUD missles, UN Oil-for-food, UN inspectors.

- Hans Blix, UN inspector: "not enough"
- 03 threat by Bush.
- $20 billion rebuilding promised by US against future oil revenue.
- worst violence in Baghdad, Basra, Fallujah.
- Sunni insurgency.
- insurgents' Mahdi Army strong.

Human rights abuses on all sides -
- US at Abu Ghraib prison.
- scattered attacks on Iraqui citizens.
Insurgent forces -
- murder of Iraquis, some 12,000.
- bombings, beheadings and torture.

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