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 campaign. According to Countryaah website, national day of Iraq is every October 3.
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.
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 civilian.
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 possible attack.
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, Iraq 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 and Iran.
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.