The Rewards of ‘Democracy’ in Iraq

Bush went to war in Iraq to purge it of ‘WMDs’, which he and his allies like the UK and Germany had bestowed unto Saddam in the Gulf War. Back then, Saddam was a friend and was considered the legitimate ruler of Iraq. But after the Kuwait invasion, and particularly in 2003, somehow he turned into a ‘tyrant dictator’, and a ‘threat to democracy’. Resultantly, it was deemed ‘absolutely necessary’ to oust Saddam and to let the Iraqis reap the rewards of ‘democracy’.

Three years on, however, the ‘rewards of democracy’ have been bitter for most ordinary Iraqis. The country still lacks a government which has the support of all factions in the country. Security is still a very grave concern for many. The economy has seen a recession.

For those of you who believe an ordinary Iraqi is better off than before, here are some statistics to help us to understand the ground realities of this war.

  • Almost all indicators of the economy show that it is worse than the pre-war era.
  • Oil Production now is around 1.7 million barrels a day as compared to 2.5 million barrels in 2004. Iraq has a capacity to produce 6 million barrels a day.
  • In 2005, inflation rate was 20%.
  • Electricity production has hardly gone up from the days of the pre-war era. Baghdad homes only get 4 hours of electricity. This is less than 25% percent of what the city got before the invasion.
  • Unemployment rate is between 27 to 60% when curfew is not in effect.
  • Around 80 Iraqi journalists and media assistants have been killed in the past three years out of which 14 were killed by US forces.
  • Sixty-seven percent of all Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation.
  • On average, 120 police officers are killed every month.
  • Some unofficial studies project the total deaths among civilian Iraqis to be between 17,000 and 38,000 while others put this figure close to 100,000.
  • Twenty-five percent of the people in Iraq depend on the food and rations distributed by charity organizations.
  • Consumer goods have poured into Iraq, with car ownership reported to have doubled since 2003 and mobile phones and satellite television spreading rapidly. However, in a 2004 UN survey, only 20% of households said they had any savings.
  • An estimated 25% of primary-age children do not attend school, according to the World Bank, although US figures show primary school enrolment up 20% since 2000.
  • Out of the 34,000 doctors before the invasion, 12,000 have left the country while 2,000 have been murdered.
  • Daily insurgent attacks increased form 14 in February 2004 to 70 in July 2005 to 75 in May 2006.
  • Cancer mortality as a result of depleted uranium ammunitions usage in Iraq has increased by 1200%. Depleted uranium used in a weapon makes it a weapon of mass destruction. Such weapons are suspected to have been used in Iraq during the invasion.

The only good thing I came across while researching for this post was the fact that the spread of disease has slowed. Also, that compared to the $16 million spending on health in the pre-war era, $1 billion is spent now. However, an overwhelming majority of this spending goes to refurbishment and rebuilding of hospitals destroyed during the invasion.

These statistics are enough to prove that the war on Iraq, apart from being illegal and a total failure, has been a total devastation too. It can reasonably be inferred that the rise in insurgency and sectarian violence is a direct upshot of the invasion and that it wouldn’t have happened had the US and its allies not invaded Iraq. Also, ordinary Iraqis were much better off in dictatorship than they are now in ‘democracy’.

Nonetheless, the fact worth mentioning here is that all the responsible citizens of the countries contributing troops to the war on Iraq must know that if their troops leave Iraq now, it is going to turn into a sectarian and ethnic battleground. Because the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police officials trained are not well trained and well equipped to handle the security of the country.

What legacy is going to be left in Iraq and Afghanistan is what is going to define the necessity, efficacy and popular support for wars on terrorism in the future.

Update: Revealed: How US Marines Massacred 24 (May 28, 2006)

Sources Used and Suggestions For Further Reading:


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4 Responses to “The Rewards of ‘Democracy’ in Iraq”


  1. 1 Jamie Stern-Weiner May 29, 2006 at 1:07 am

    Good post.

    However, you contradict yourself:

    You finish by recommending the illegal occupation continue, because it it didn’t, Iraq would turn into a “sectarian and ethnic battleground”.
    Setting aside the fact that, even from your own description, it appears that Iraq is already that (75 insurgent attacks *a day*), you state further up the post that “It can reasonably be inferred that the rise in insurgency and sectarian violence is a direct upshot of the invasion and that it wouldn’t have happened had the US and its allies not invaded Iraq.”

    You are correct…sort of: it can be reasonably inferred that the invasion caused the problem, but more specifically it can be reasonably inferred that the occupation is part of the problem rather than the solution.
    Let alone the fact that the Iraqis themselves (you know, the ones we are supposedly gifting democracy to) unequivocally want us out (something like 84%, a Gallup poll recorded).

    With this in mind, how can you advocate a continuation of the occupation?

  2. 2 MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan May 29, 2006 at 7:53 am

    I advocate the troops to stay in Iraq because:
    1. “the hundreds of thousands of [Iraqi] soldiers and police officials trained are not well trained and well equipped to handle the security of the country.”
    2. “It can reasonably be inferred that the rise in insurgency and sectarian violence is a direct upshot of the invasion…” and that they have to be held accountable for it. Therefore, they must stay long enough to restore peace in the country by strengthening the security institutions so as to enable the Iraqis to take control of the country by themselves.
    3. If the forces leave, “it [Iraq] is going to turn into a sectarian and ethnic battleground.”

    Do you reckon we have a better solution at hand at this moment other than what is provided here? I don’t.

  3. 3 Jamie Stern-Weiner May 30, 2006 at 1:05 am

    ““the hundreds of thousands of [Iraqi] soldiers and police officials trained are not well trained and well equipped to handle the security of the country.””

    And their job is being made impossible by the continued presence of foreign occupiers.

    “they have to be held accountable for it. Therefore, they must stay long enough to restore peace in the country by strengthening the security institutions so as to enable the Iraqis to take control of the country by themselves”

    But that sentence itself is a contradiction. Coalition troops are part of the problem, not the solution. The insurgency is, in a significant part, a response to the occupation. There will never be peace or stability while the occupation is there. Perhaps thats why the Iraqi people want it to end.

    “Do you reckon we have a better solution at hand at this moment other than what is provided here? I don’t.”

    Unfortunately, when you illegally invade a country and kill 100,000 people, yes, its going to be difficult. I absolutely believe we should be held to account, but not by punishing the Iraqis further. For a start, since one of the pretexts for invasion was democracy, we should listen to the voice of the people. That voice demands an end to the occupation immediately. After all coalition presence is withdrawn – that includes corporate power – we should then, of course, respond to requests for help.

  4. 4 MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan June 1, 2006 at 11:22 am

    So what you’re basically trying to say is that despite the knowledge that Iraq may descend into chaos and civil war if the troops pull out, they must pull out?

    What I am trying to say is that the international community has already broken the prerequisites of democracy by invading Iraq, so what’s wrong in keeping the invasion a little longer if it can help the Iraqis strengthen their security institutions so as to enable them to take control of their homeland? This will serve two purposes:
    1. The international community will fulfil their responisbility of bringing peace to that land in exchange for their accountability of bringing violence.
    2. The international community will be spared another invasion in case the Iraqis were unable to control the situation and the insurgents ran rampant.


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