Wednesday, May 21, 2008

:: IRAQ: War Without End

War Without End

On May 1, 2003 George Bush, the US president, gave a speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln declaring an "end to major combat operations" in Iraq. Five years on, with violence continuing unabated across the country, Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid looks at the major events of the Iraq war. Each episode in this special five-part series will focus on one of the last five years - looking at the events, policies and people that helped to shape Iraq and its current chaos. As well as speaking to top policy makers from the US and UK, along with their senior Iraqi advisors, War Without End hears from ordinary Iraqis and US soldiers.

In video
Watch War Without End: 2005
In early January US personnel accused of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison are found guilty, but many Iraqis were to remain sceptical of American justice.The country's first multi-party elections in 50 years saw a surprisingly high turnout, especially in Kurdish and Shia areas. The polls were hailed as a great boost for US efforsts to democratise Iraq.However there was a surge of violence following the election that was to continue throughout the year. By mid-July about 25,000 Iraqis were estimated to have been killed since the start of the war in 2003. People returned to the polls again to vote in a referendum on Iraq's constitution and in parliamentary elections.Meanwhile Saddam Hussein and his senior officials went on trial in Baghdad.

The year saw more and more sectarian attacks with each group blaming the other for the escalating violence. Coalition forces came under increased attacks by so-called insurgents but the policies remained the same. The battle for hearts and minds was clearly being lost as US patrols often burst into people's houses in the middle of the night and photos detailing abuse of Iraqis held in Abu Ghraib prison were made public. Meanwhile there was a long and bloody siege of Fallujah and there were clear indications the war was far from over. The symbolic gesture of handing power to an interim Iraqi government does little to quell the ever increasing fighting.Watch part one of War Without End: 2004 Watch part two of War Without End: 2004
Paul Bremer
"The system was not working"Click here for more...
The lack of a plan for restructuring Iraq and moving the country forward after the invasion helped to shape events in 2003. Policies were put in place that contributed to creating a divide between the various sectarian groups within the country. The violence escalated and started to take on sectarian overtones as the year went on. The year ended with the capture of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader, who was found in a spider hole near his home town of Tikrit. The US-led coalition were hoping that this would bring an end to much of the violence but it had no effect whatsoever. Watch part one of War Without End: 2003 on YouTubeWatch part two of War Without End: 2003 on YouTube
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Source: Al Jazeera
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