Iraq

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Iraq’s prospects are looking brighter... Iraq’s improbable political experiment has endured... [D]espite their country’s many travails, it still has something to teach the rest of the Middle East. ~ Yaroslav Trofimov

Iraq is a country on the continent of Eurasia and in the Middle East. Previously part of the Ottoman Empire, it became a separate entity under British supervision following World War I and gained formal sovereignty in 1932 under a Hashemite monarchy. A nationalist republican movement overthrew the monarchy in 1958 and was in turn overthrown in 2003 by the United States, which oversaw the creation of the present federal republic.

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Quotes[edit]

Iraq is getting stronger, getting unified. I think others, or the interference of others in the affairs of Iraq, will become less and less. This is a new-built confidence among Iraqis, the Iraqi national feeling, which our aim is to increase people’s attachment to their own country. ~ Haider al-Abadi
The bane of Iraq has been sectarianism... There are three components to Iraq... We vastly prefer a multi-sectarian Iraqi state to any form of disintegration because we know where that leads. ~ Ashton Carter
WHAT is Iraq, anyhow? Well, it's a lot of things, old and new. It is one of the oldest countries in the world–and one of the yougnest under its present government. ~ A Short Guide to Iraq (1942)
I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion... ~ George W. Bush
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility... The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens - leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. ~ George W. Bush
Iraq is a great nation now, as it has been at times throughout history. Nations generally "go to the top" only once. Iraq, however, has been there many times, before and after Islam. Iraq is the only nation like this in the world. This "gift" was given to the Iraqi people by God. When Iraqi people fall, they rise again. ~ Saddam Hussein

A[edit]

  • Iraq is getting stronger, getting unified. I think others, or the interference of others in the affairs of Iraq, will become less and less. This is a new-built confidence among Iraqis, the Iraqi national feeling, which our aim is to increase people’s attachment to their own country.
  • I hope others in the [Middle Eastern] region will see a lot of hope and positive tendencies in our [Iraqi] democracy... We [Iraqis] have decided that we’ll accept that we are different. We are very eager to keep and protect our diversity. We want to undo whatever the terrorists have done.
  • I want to prove that the Iraqi woman has her own existence in society, she has her rights like men. I am afraid of nothing, because I am confident that what I am doing is not wrong.
    • Shaima Qassem Abdulrahman, as quoted in NBC News (December 2015).
  • We came to power on a CIA train.
    • Ba'ath Party official Ali Saleh Sa'adi, quoted in Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge (2000), by Said K. Aburish.
  • If it is Syria’s shelter for the Iraqi resistance to the east that has made it the target for an American siege, it is with good reason. For in Iraq itself, the war has gone from bad to worse for Washington. Confronted with a dauntless insurgency, the Occupation is still—after three years and an outlay of over $200 billion—unable to assure regular supplies of water and electricity to the people it has subjugated. Factories remain idle. Hospitals and schools barely function. Oil revenues have been looted wholesale by America’s local minions, not to speak of a horde of U.S. contractors on the take. Wretched as living conditions were for the majority of the population under U.N. sanctions, under the Americans they have deteriorated yet further, as sectarian killings multiply and minimal security disappears.
  • Since I know that about a million people have been killed by the government of Iraq, I do not need much those weapons of mass destruction.
  • Hey Iranians! No one has been downtrodden in the country where Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib, Husayn ibn Ali and Abbas ibn Ali are buried. Iraq has undoubtedly been honorable country. All refugee should be precious. Everybody who wants to live in exile can choose Iraq freely. We Iraq's sons have been ambushing to foreign aggressors. The enemies who plan to assault to Iraq are going to be disfavored with God in this world and eternity universe. Be careful to think to attack to Iraq and Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib! If you surrender Perhaps you will be in peace.

B[edit]

  • March 19 (2018) marks 15 years since the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the American people have no idea of the enormity of the calamity the invasion unleashed. The U.S. military has refused to keep a tally of Iraqi deaths. General Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the initial invasion, bluntly told reporters, “We don’t do body counts.” One survey found that most Americans thought Iraqi deaths were in the tens of thousands. But our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion.
    The number of Iraqi casualties is not just a historical dispute, because the killing is still going on today. Since several major cities in Iraq and Syria fell to Islamic State in 2014, the U.S. has led the heaviest bombing campaign since the American War in Vietnam, dropping 105,000 bombs and missiles and reducing most of Mosul and other contested Iraqi and Syrian cities to rubble.
  • Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world. States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.
  • Iraq's talented people, rich culture, and tremendous potential have been hijacked by Saddam Hussein. His brutal regime has reduced a country with a long and proud history to an international pariah that oppresses its citizens, started two wars of aggression against its neighbors, and still poses a grave threat to the security of its region and the world.
  • We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.

C[edit]

  • Iraq — the country identified in American minds with chaos and endless warfare — is a democracy. Citizens vote, and leaders must respond to their demands; otherwise, they won’t be reelected. It’s a deeply flawed democracy, to be sure, as Salih is the first to note. Yet its institutions, created after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, have endured. Iraqis routinely take to the streets to demonstrate. The country’s top religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who acts as an unofficial political arbiter, has persistently supported democratic institutions, as well as serving as a locus of Iraqi nationalism... We can let Iraq succumb entirely to Iranian influence — or we can reengage with the country, showing Iraqis that we stand with them and take their democratic aspirations seriously. There is an opportunity here that we shouldn’t miss.
  • We know from long experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to take territory, hold territory, and govern territory and prevent a reemergence of a terrorist group... The bane of Iraq has been sectarianism... There are three components to Iraq... We vastly prefer a multi-sectarian Iraqi state to any form of disintegration because we know where that leads... But, for that to work in Iraq? The Sunnis have to be represented, and they have to be part of the fight to take back their own territory. So, we are working with them a lot.
I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” ~ Wesley Clark
  • I've been through the Pentagon, right after 9/11. About 10 days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon, and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military, and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.” So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the secretary of defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” and I saw him a year or so ago and I said: "Remember that?" he said: "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to ya!"
    • Wesley Clark, Democracy Now — Gen. Wesley Clark Weighs Presidential Bid: “I Think About It Every Day”, (2 March 2007)

D[edit]

F[edit]

H[edit]

  • Iraq is a great nation now, as it has been at times throughout history. Nations generally "go to the top" only once. Iraq, however, has been there many times, before and after Islam. Iraq is the only nation like this in the world. This "gift" was given to the Iraqi people by God. When Iraqi people fall, they rise again.
    • Saddam Hussein in an interview with FBI Senior Special Agent George L. Piro (7 February 2004); National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 279.

J[edit]

  • Iraq’s democratic and more importantly constitutional structures that were put in place as a result of 2003 and U.S. direct involvement have weathered 12 years, ISIS seizing one-third of the country, a simultaneous drop by 50% of its main economic driver oil, and conflict with Kurdistan.

K[edit]

  • The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich.

L[edit]

M[edit]

  • Do not imagine that this problem is solely an Iraqi problem because the terrorist front represents a threat to all free countries and free people of the world. [...] Thousands of lives were tragically lost on Sept. 11 when these impostors of Islam reared their ugly head. Thousands more continue to die in Iraq today at the hands of the same terrorists who show complete disregard for human life.
  • Despite what we are suffering through, we haven't heard from our political partners with any support. They are not partners in facing the crisis, but they are partners in spending the wealth of Iraq.
  • The administration has said that Iraq has no right to stockpile chemical or biological weapons, mainly because they have used them in the past. Well, if that's the standard by which these matters are decided, then the U.S. is the nation that set the precedent. The U.S. has stockpiled these same weapons and more for over forty years.

N[edit]

  • Iran was in war with Iraq for 8 years, and Ayatollah Khomeini tried to topple Saddam, but he failed. Then, a few years later, in 2003, the U.S. entered Iraq and got rid of Saddam, but it got tangled in a never-ending conflict that turned Iraq into rubble and killed thousands of innocent Iraqis. Who is the winner of this terrible war? In my humble opinion, it is the Iranian regime, because with Saddam gone, they have tried to encourage an Islamic Republic in Iraq, which is the only other country with a majority Shia population in the region, and if this becomes reality, it could turn Iran into a huge power in the region. Actually, the U.S. invasion of Iraq greatly damaged the opposition in Iran, as now anyone who criticizes the Iranian regime is accused of asking for a U.S. invasion of Iran and working for the CIA. So one of the undisputable side effects of this war has been the strengthening of the government of Iran.
  • "It's the cradle of civilization," says McGuire Gibson, who teaches Mesopotamian archaeology at the University of Chicago. "It's the place where we get the first cities, the first writing, the first thoughts about what's man's relationship to God. It's the first sort of ideas about death. It's the first recorded literature that we have."
    Gibson and other archaeologists are quick to say their first concern if war comes to Iraq is the loss of human life. But with nearly 100,000 archaeological sites at stake, they're also concerned about the loss of human history, DeRose reports. Gibson says the 1991 Gulf War literally chipped away at a priceless past. One example is the massive 4,000-year-old Ziggurat at Ur, in southern Iraq. The temple pyramid was hit by at least 400 shells that took out "big chunks" from the structure, Gibson says.

P[edit]

  • Rarely do we hear that Iraq has never committed any aggression against the United States. No one in the media questions our aggression against Iraq for the past 12 years by continuous bombing and imposed sanctions responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children. [...] Only tyrants can take a nation to war without the consent of the people. The planned war against Iraq without a Declaration of War is illegal. It is unwise because of many unforeseen consequences that are likely to result. It is immoral and unjust, because it has nothing to do with US security and because Iraq has not initiated aggression against us. We must understand that the American people become less secure when we risk a major conflict driven by commercial interests and not constitutionally authorized by Congress. Victory under these circumstances is always elusive, and unintended consequences are inevitable
  • War and its repercussions for archaeology in Western Asia have been practically omnipresent for the last 25 years; Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the pilfering of objects in the Kuwait Museum, followed by the damage to and looting of Iraqi sites in the wake of the US-led ground invasion and post invasion the dynamiting of the Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, by the Taliban in spring 2001 and the smashing of anthropomorphic imagery in the Kabul Museum; the damage during the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, most infamously in the Iraq Museum but also the ensuing looting of sites; the highly mediatized destructions of monuments and sites in Syria and northern Iraq by Islamic State since 2014 as well as the longer involvement of warring parties in looting and sales of antiquities; the damage to the Old City of Sanaa in Yemen as a result of Saudi bombing; and the ongoing conflicts in the West Bank and Gaza that have resulted in the neglect of sites.
  • I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same.
  • Without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.

R[edit]

  • If this was all about Israel dictating policy, we'd have skipped Iraq and gone straight to Iran. But this is not, and it never has been about Israel, or Iran, or Iraq. It's about America imposing its will on areas of the would that we believe to be in our national security interests. The big picture in the Middle East isn't Iran or Iraq. The big picture in the Middle East is China. People don't understand that. They don't know what’s going on right now. It's about leveraging control over Middle-Eastern and central-Asian oil, in order to dictate the pace of China's economic growth over the next 30 years.
  • I wouldn't presume to present a plan different from that of the President. But I believe he was right to take on the war on terror on an aggressive front rather than a defensive front. We toppled the government ... walking away would mean a humanitarian disaster. We're there and we have a responsibility to finish the job.
  • Oh, I don't know. You know, I thought about that last night, and just musing over the words, the phrase, and what constitutes it. If you think of our Civil War, this is really very different. If you think of civil wars in other countries, this is really quite different. There is -- there is a good deal of violence in Baghdad and two or three other provinces, and yet in 14 other provinces there's very little violence or numbers of incidents. So it's a -- it's a highly concentrated thing. It clearly is being stimulated by people who would like to have what could be characterized as a civil war and win it, but I'm not going to be the one to decide if, when or at all.

S[edit]

  • Is the Iraqi state succeeding? I think there are some prospects for this country to be moving in the right direction. But the legacies of the past, the problems are really, really monumental... We need to deliver. Otherwise we will not be able to justify what we do in the eyes of our public. And public opinion does matter in Iraq. People speak their minds. People are engaged, are interested... Life is coming back... Every time I go out of the presidential palace in Baghdad — and I do try to go out as often as I can — I do see normalcy coming back, more and more. I do think there is a window of opportunity — it should be cherished. We’ve not had it like this for a long, long time... It’s precious, but precarious.

T[edit]

  • Iraq’s prospects are looking brighter. A resurgent central government has defeated Islamic State, thanks in part to renewed American military involvement, and has taken back lands lost to the country’s Kurdistan autonomous region since 2003. And Iraq’s improbable political experiment has endured. In an increasingly repressive and authoritarian part of the world, this nation of 40 million people stands apart as a rare—though still deeply flawed—democracy. Iraq’s elected leaders insist that, despite their country’s many travails, it still has something to teach the rest of the Middle East.

W[edit]

  • WHAT is Iraq, anyhow? Well, it's a lot of things, old and new. It is one of the oldest countries in the world–and one of the youngest under its present government.
  • Baghdah’s control of Iraq’s provinces is, in part, based on its custodianship of the country’s petrodollars, with the oil sector contributing up to 99 percent of government revenue. The war against ISIS, however, forced the government to divert huge sums of money to the army, as well as to the salaries of 110,000 fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces in November, in a bid to rein in Shia paramilitary groups. This siphoned much-needed revenue from the provinces.

Z[edit]

  • The problem, again, was that there were too many reasons for the war. What conferred a semblance of consistency on this multitude of reasons was, of course, ideology.
  • What then, was the real reason for going to war? Strangely, there were, in effect, three: (1) a sincere ideological belief that the USA was bringing democracy and prosperity to another nation; (2) the urge brutally to assert and demonstrate unconditional US hegemony; (3) control of Iraq's oil reserves. Each of the three levels has a relative autonomy of its own, and should not be dismissed as a mere deceptive semblance.
  • In autumn 2003, when, after hundreds of investigators had searched high and low for WMDs, yet not a single one had been located, the public were posing the elementary question: 'If there are no WMDs, Why did we attack Iraq? Did you lie to us?'
  • The reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or “World Order”) in which “Might makes right,” and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster “law,” ruling on an international level... The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it... On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet “The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq” and wrote that “our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion,” and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.... On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered “US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone”, and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime’s invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).
  • Bush’s successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter. In fact, the “Defense One” site bannered on 26 September 2018, “US Official: We May Cut Support for Iraq If New Government Seats Pro-Iran Politicians”, and opened with “The Trump administration may decrease U.S. military support or other assistance to Iraq if its new government puts Iranian-aligned politicians in any ‘significant positions of responsibility,’ a senior administration official told reporters late last week.” The way that the U.S. regime has brought ‘democracy’ to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators’ bidding, against Iraq’s neighbor Iran. This specific American dictator, Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America’s anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives.

In fiction[edit]

  • Flagee: You see, Ribbon. We have to stop Iraq because they might develop weapons of mass destruction!
Ribbon: Gee whillikers. Flagee, I’m confused!
Ribbon: The Reagan/Bush administration helped Hussein plan and execute chemical weapon attacks against Iran in the '80s!
Flagee: Where did you read that leftist conspiracy madness, Ribbon?
Ribbon: The New York Times.
Flagee: Well, from now on, only Fox News for you!!

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