Iraq. US-US relations deteriorated further in the wake of
the September 11 attacks in 2001. US President George W.
Bush, at the end of January I, labeled North Korea and Iran
"the axis of evil", threatening the outside world with
weapons of mass destruction.
Bush also made statements during the year that I's leader
Saddam Hussein must be replaced and that the United States
was prepared to act on its own. In October, Congress passed
a resolution that allowed Bush to resort to violence against
Israel if necessary. The American War Mull was criticized by
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder during the German election
The Arab League withdrew from the talk of war at a
meeting in Lebanon in late March. Iraq declared that the
invasion of Kuwait would not be repeated. In October, the
Kuwait National Archives which were seized during the 1990
invasion were returned.
As reported on
Digopaul.com, Iraq suspended its oil exports in April due to the
escalated Iraqi-Palestinian conflict. No other oil
producers followed suit, and after a month exports resumed.
On May 14, the UN Security Council decided to review food
for the oil program. New "smart" sanctions were introduced,
targeting equipment that could be used both military and
During the spring and summer, the UN and Iraq held several
fruitless talks on the conditions for resuming UN weapons
inspections. Iraq wanted to link these to a settlement to lift
the sanctions. Bush said in a speech at the UN General
Assembly that he was prepared to work with the UN to meet
the growing danger posed by Iraq UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan announced on September 16 that Iraq agreed to allow UN
inspectors to return without reservation. The decision was
preceded by the failure of the previously united front in
the Arab world. Among other things, Saudi Arabia appeared
ready to provide bases if the UN Security Council approved a
In October, a referendum was held in which all 11 445 638
eligible Iraqis voted "yes" to allow Saddam Hussein to
continue for another seven years as president. The Kurds in
northern Iraq did not vote.
After two months of negotiations, the Security Council
adopted Resolution 1441 on November 8, which prescribed the
conditions for the new weapons inspections. Iraq was given a
month to compile and submit documents relating to weapons of
mass destruction. Violation of the terms of the resolution
meant a risk of war.
I's Governing Revolutionary Council, controlled by Saddam
Hussein, gave the UN a clear sign on November 13. Shortly
afterwards, the head of the weapons inspection group UNMOVIC,
the Swede Hansen, traveled to Baghdad. On November 25, 17 UN
inspectors arrived in Iraq and two days later they conducted
their first inspection in four years.
On December 7, the day before the deadline expired,
submitted over 11,800 pages of material relating to weapons
of mass destruction to the UN. A preliminary analysis was
expected from the UN around 19 December.
During the year, US and British combat aircraft continued
to patrol the no-fly zones in the northern and southern
parts of the country. Iraq demanded that air patrol be
stopped. In October, almost 50 attacks had been carried out.
In early December, an Iraqi spokesman said at least four
people were killed and 27 injured when an oil terminal in
the city of Basra in southern Iraq was attacked. The United
States said it was bombing air defense posts.
In July, Iraqi exile groups formed a military council and
in December the exile groups met again in London. In August,
representatives of the groups met US Secretary of State
Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice
President Dick Cheney. During the year, the three US
government members visited a number of countries in the
Middle East to discuss Iraq.
Politically, the United States stands as isolated as
April. In July, the occupying power appointed a "government
council" consisting of 25 representatives of Iraq's various
religious and ethnic groups. The Council has no power, and
is only a thin layer of varnish over the occupying power.
For the United States, the purpose is to give Iraq an
international representation - at the same time as the
United States decides. In August, the Arab League decided to
recognize the council while condemning the occupation and
demanding the United States out of Iraq. The recognition
should not be seen as an expression of the League having
illusions about the power or representativeness of the
council, but rather as a desire to drive a wedge between
council and occupying power. The Council has therefore
«represented» Iraq in OPEC and the UN, where the Council's
most important political figure, Ahmed Chalabi, spoke at the
beginning of October to the General Assembly. However, the
protocol revealed how much representativeness the world
attaches to the council. Chalabi was allowed to speak as the
absolute last - after presidents, prime ministers, foreign
ministers and ambassadors.
Economically and socially, the situation is very serious.
60% of the Iraqi population is unemployed after the US
disbanded the army and most Iraqi state functions have
ceased. The US gave very high priority to oil production.
The intention was to pay Iraq's oil for the "reconstruction"
of the country - contrary to the Geneva Conventions. But
every time production is started, oil pipelines have been
sabotaged. Production has therefore fallen to one third of
the pre-occupation level. (BBC summary of living conditions
in Iraq after the occupation)
In October, therefore, the United States conducted a
"donor conference" in Madrid with the aim of helping the
rest of the world contribute to reconstruction, thus
reducing the financial burden on the United States. But like
similar donor conferences ifbm. reconstruction of the
Balkans and Afghanistan, it was only a fraction of the
target of $ 36 billion. US $ that was met. The funds include
Denmark already granted earlier in 2003 has not been able to
use because of the tense security situation.
US policy towards Iraq is characterized by strong
internal power struggles in the government between primarily
the Department of Defense and the Foreign Ministry. When the
Department of Defense gets stuck in its unrealistic plans,
it leaves room for Foreign Minister Colin Powel, who seeks
to assign a role to the UN and the international community.
When this fails, the Ministry of Defense gets back on the
field with threats of e.g. to extend the occupation to Syria
December 2003, Saddam is captured
In December, the toppled president, Saddam Hussein, was
arrested by North American soldiers. The capture aroused
enthusiasm in the United States, but was received much more
coolly in the Arab world, where it was widely believed that
the former president received humiliating treatment when
examined for open camera by a military doctor. The United
States declared that the capture would cause resistance to
the occupation to collapse. However, the following months
development showed that this was not the case.
In early March, the governing council adopted a new
constitution for Iraq. It is set to open for the deployment
of an Iraqi government in July 2004, but the government is
made up as little as the council of popular elections, and
the United States remains in Iraq. Iraq's most fiery
demands: the end of the occupation is thus not moved
further. The Constitution is, in a number of respects, a
backlash against the country's previous constitution. The
rights of women are reduced, and where Iraq used to be a
fresh state, the country is now made an Islamic state. Both
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have analyzed
and criticized the new constitution.
Terrorist bombings in Madrid in March are linked to
Spain's participation in the US occupation force, costing
the Spanish Conservative government the life of the election
that month. 90% of Spaniards oppose Spain's participation in
the occupation, and the Spanish socialists winning the
election declare that they will withdraw the Spanish forces
from Iraq by July 2004.