On this day (March 20, 2003)the international coalition under the leadership of America entered Iraq in a coalition that is the second of its kind against the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Some called it an invasion, others said it was a victory over tyranny, amid this, the Iraqis lost their homeland, a dream that they paid high cost for it.
According to the statistics, an estimated 151,000 to 600,000 Iraqis were killed in the first four years of the conflict. The world's oldest and most famous medical journal, " Lancet ", reported an additional 650,000 deaths in 2006, in addition to the victims of violence.
The story of the Iraqis' suffering did not begin with the American invasion of Iraq. It went through multiple stages that decimated The Iraqis, and paved the way for the country to fall into the political and security chaos.
The political system in Iraq before the invasion.
The country that is located on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and stretching from the Gulf in the south to the Taurus Mountains in the north, traditionally called Mesopotamia; the cradle of human civilization.
In the Middle Ages, Iraq was the heart of the Islamic Empire, but the barbaric invasion of the 13th century weakened its role. In the 15th century Iraq became part of the Ottoman Empire until the British occupation in 1917. Finally it got its independence in 1932.
The monarchy which was established by the British, was overthrown in July 1958 while the first republican regime was overthrown in a bloody coup in February 1963 by the army officers in cooperation with the Baath Party followed by another coup that removed the party from power. The Baath Party was able to return through a military coup as well in 1968.
After the Sunni-minority descended Saddam Hussein came to power in the oil-rich Iraq, he suppressed and marginalized other components such as Shiites and Kurds depriving them of their rights and using excessive violence and paving the way for the sectarian division in Iraq.
How did Saddam's regime put Iraq in great troubles?
Saddam Hussein's regime plunged Iraq into great troubles which caused it to collapse economically and paved the way for division between the Iraqi components. It was the beginning of the eight-years long Iraq-Iran war or what was called then the first Gulf War. it left 1 million dead and $400 billion financial losses.
This war in addition to Kuwait war, which lasted from August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991 (The Second Gulf War) and the international sanctions that followed, had devastating effects on the Iraqi economy and society.
Saddam's invasion of Kuwait marked a turning point with forming the first international coalition against him. The United States led an alliance of Western and Arab armies to repel the Iraqi attack on Kuwait and drive Iraqi forces out of the country. Iraq was subsequently subjected to a suffocating economic blockade.
Abroad wars affect back on the inward
After the end of the Second Gulf War, Saddam Hussein suppressed the 19991 uprisings or what was named Shaaban' month; this uprising took place in the Kurdish areas of the north and Shiite areas in the south.
In these circumstances, the regime began to use the U.S made helicopters to bomb cities by using chemical weapons against citizens.
As a result a no-fly zone in northern and southern Iraq was imposed by the UN Security Council to protect people from Saddam Hussein. Later Kurdistan Region of Iraq in the north was established.
The invasion of Iraq…Its causes and consequences?
The issue of mass destruction weapons surfaced in the aftermath of the Second Gulf War after Iraq was accused of using them leading the United Nations to conduct investigations. It concluded then that "there was no evidence that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme continued after the war".
With the election of George W. Bush as president in 2000, the United States followed a more aggressive policy toward Iraq . the U.S presidents called for the full implementation of the Iraq Liberation Act in order to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
following 11 September attacks in 2001 and the accusation of al-Qaeda, President Bush declared the war on terror on 20 September 2001. He planned to invade Iraq under the pretext of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's cooperation with Al-Qaeda.
The war on Iraq began with air strikes on March 20, 2003 "At that hour, U.S. and coalition forces began the early stages of the military operations to disarm Iraq, liberate its people and defend the world from imminent danger."
On May 1, 2003, the U.S-led coalition forces declared the end of major combat operations, dissolving the Iraqi army and the state institutions, and appointing the U.S General, Paul Brimer as the military governor of Iraq.
Mohammed Hussein, director of the Iraqi Center for Political Studies and Research, told Hawar that "the political events after 2003 deepened the division more because the political class has devoted these divisions due to instability in Iraq and the failure of Iraq to form "Iraq's national political identity for a number of reasons, including the regimes of repression and the failure to recognize the rights of the components of the society. So the American occupation is not the main cause of the instability of Iraq."
" Iraq's current problem is not that of the American occupation. Despite its negative effects, it had some positive effects in its beginnings; because the Iraqi are very divided about the occupation," he said.
According to Hussein, "the problem of stability is very complex and related to the composition of the Iraqi people. We know that Iraq like Syria and Yemen is an artificial country and the relationship among its people and the policies of their leaders is bad, interlocking and complex. That made the Iraqi people meet around the sectarian and national political agendas.
An invasion leaves a distorted democracy
The United States created the system of " the sectarian quotas" in 2003 after its invasion, where it distributed the presidential positions among the components and factions along the sectarian bases. The political governance in this country is still based on this system that is why many see it as a problem and not a solution to Iraq's crises.
Observers believe that the quota system caused widespread financial and administrative corruption in Iraq after 2003. The quota means that the blocs and parties winning the parliamentary elections share government positions; under this quota, a kurd holds the presidency of the Republic, a Shiite the prime minister and a Sunnis the parliament. This has highlighted the phenomenon of corruption in the country.
In addition to the issue of corruption, sectarian and nationalist tensions have led to the rise of the extremist groups, most notably ISIS. On June 29, 2014, ISIS spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani announced in an audio recording the establishment of what he called the Islamic State, and Abu Bakirr al-Baghdadi as its leader.
ISIS's history in Iraq goes back to 2003 when Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi founded "Jihad and Tawhid" in September 2003. later the Islamic State of Iraq was announced in 2006.
In April 2013, the establishment of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" was announced and was joined by most of the foreign fighters who were members of Jabhat al-Nusra.
A large number of Shiite factions have emerged under the pretext of resisting the United States of America and fighting terrorism.
Not only the quotas system was based on sects and nationalities, but these communities and nationalities themselves were divided into parts, depending on their affiliation with the states involved in Iraq.
Among the Sunni, there are loyalists to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar or the United States; some are close to Iran. The Shiite are the same way. The Kurds are divided into two parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by Massoud Barzani who rules Hewler and is close to the Sunnis, especially Turkey while the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which controls Al Suleimanieh is close to Iran.
" The quota system isn't perfect, and proven to be a failure.
The problem of the Iraqi political system as Hussein sees it " It is not in the system, laws and constitution, but in the practice of the politicians and the fragility of the state. "Any militia or politician can bypass the laws and the constitution with the aim of suppressing his rivals, or according to his interests, as Saddam Hussein has done before."
"It is a big problem and the incompetent politicians in Iraq because the fragility of the institutions in Iraq has facilitated the control of iran-affiliated militias as well as the existence of deep state mafias which have a great influence that exceeds even the authority of leaders and ministers," Hussein said about the quota system.
The emerging democracy in northeastern Syria is more successful than quotas.
About resolving the crises of the quota system, Hussein, director of the Iraqi Center for Political Studies and Research Mohammed Hussein." "Now the emerging model of democracy emanating from the people and the components of the people such as the north and east of Syria is more successful than the quota system because of the principle of participation. People have the ability to participate in the leadership "The marginalized are not motivated to participate in the building of their country. There is no material motivation for anyone to remain in power because the possibility of change in the institutions of northern and eastern Syria is very flexible."
"The quota system is a cover for corruption," Hussein said.
Despite 17 years since Saddam Hussein's regime overthrowing, which his opponents have always described as dictator and criminal and replaced by a "democratic system", Iraqis continue to pay the tax of invading Iraq. Since then, terrorism has claimed the lives of Iraqis. Most areas of Iraq from north to south are living in difficult living conditions, prompting them to take to the streets with massive protests denouncing poor services, poor economic conditions, widespread unemployment and the control of their areas by armed groups.