With last month marking the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, many reflected on the controversial war and its long-term global implications. With a single tweet, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld started a new controversy that tested many people’s assumptions about what a just war entails, and how far the United States’ influence extends in the promotion democracy across the globe. The controversy is not solely a phenomenon in the US, however, as this article from Australian newspaper East Coast News describes. The world is now closely examining the situation in Iraq as it currently stands, and discovering that with one tyranny overthrown, another is quickly taking hold.
The article seeks to describe the current situation in Iraq from the viewpoint of actual Iraqis, rather than American policymakers. Local infrastructure is still struggling to rebuild itself, while free elections are being held, they are marred by domestic terrorism and accusations of fraud, and the federal government is rife with corruption. More than anything, most Iraqis are still dealing with the incredible death toll, a tangible loss that the Iraqi people will never be able to overcome. Democracy, promised to Iraqi’s by the US government, is tenuous and in disarray. While it is clear to all involved that Hussein needed to be removed from power and prosecuted for his crimes, and equally clear that for the protection of the United States’ economy and national security armed forces needed to withdraw. To call the Iraq war a success is to revise history, and the war will surely be examined in the future as the wrong way to go about post-war reconstruction.