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Iraqi Hope Dies Last

BAGHDAD – Ten years have passed since Saddam Hussein was removed from power, following more than three decades 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 neighbors, 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 the country, 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 official positions without legal recourse, paving the way for sectarianism and, ultimately, communal violence and unrest.