Ten years on, Iraq still in 'shock and awe'
The removal of Saddam Hussein was greeted with hope by most Iraqis, but the US occupiers promptly proceeded to implement a series of disastrous policies that have left the country in a shambles and quite possibly on a path to civil war
A decade has now passed since Saddam Hussein was removed from power, following more than 30 years of tyrannical rule. The dream of Iraqis after Saddam's fall was to build a new, prosperous, and democratic Iraq. A country at peace with itself and its neighbours, with a constitution upholding basic human rights and the rule of law, was the desire of almost everyone.
But the United States and its allies, lacking a coherent vision of Iraq's future, much less a sound policy for the post-Saddam era, declared Iraq an occupied country, with a US-appointed administrator to run it, who soon decided to dismantle all existing security, military, and media institutions. He also introduced a de-Baathification law, which evicted members of the Baath Party from all official positions, paving the way for sectarianism and, ultimately, communal violence and unrest.
These unfortunate _ and ultimately disastrous _ events established an unstable foundation in a strategic country at the core of a highly troubled yet vital region of the world. As Iraq moved through progressive phases of mismanagement over the subsequent ten agonising years, the country fractured, shattering the dreams of Iraqis who saw their beloved homeland once again sliding toward authoritarianism, with almost daily violations of the constitution. The world watched, seemingly helpless to do anything.
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