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Iraq’s Economic Divide

Everyone who looks at Iraq sees a nation divided between Shia, Sunni, and Kurd communities. But an equally fundamental division – one that has contributed as much to the ongoing insurrection as sectarian strife and opposition to the American-led military occupation – is the widening gap between Iraq’s rich and poor.

When Iraq was liberated, most people, especially the poor, began to hope for a charismatic leader who would save them from the bitter reality of daily life. Raised in fear, they had no idea how democracy could apply to their society, or how human-rights groups and other civic organizations could help shape the future.