Friday, August 08, 2003

Rice Likens Iraq to Civil Rights Fight
iraqi civil rights

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) likened Iraq (news - web sites)'s halting steps toward self-government to black Americans' struggle for civil rights, imploring black journalists Thursday to reject arguments that some people are incapable of democracy.

"We've heard that argument before, and we, more than any, as a people, should be ready to reject it," Rice, who is black, told about 1,200 people at the National Association of Black Journalists convention.

"The view was wrong in 1963 in Birmingham, and it is wrong in 2003 in Baghdad and in the rest of the Middle East," she said.

"We should not let our voice waver in speaking out on the side of people who are seeking freedom," Rice said. "And we must never, ever indulge in the condescending voices who allege that some people in Africa or in the Middle East are just not interested in freedom, they're culturally just not ready for freedom or they just aren't ready for freedom's responsibilities."

By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer
Read the whole article

Sunday, August 03, 2003

"G.W.'s rush to judgement"- a timeline.

Ground forces invade Kuwait and Iraq, vanquish the Iraqi army, and liberate Kuwait. President George H. W. Bush declares a cease-fire on the fourth day (Feb. 24–28).

Shiites and Kurds rebel, encouraged by the United States. Iraq quashes the rebellions, killing thousands (March).

Formal cease-fire is signed. Saddam Hussein accepts UN resolution agreeing to destroy weapons of mass destruction and allowing UN inspectors to monitor the disarmament (April 6).
U.N Inspectors

A no-fly zone is established in Northern Iraq to protect the Kurds from Saddam Hussein (April 10).

UN weapons inspectors report that that Iraq has concealed much of its nuclear and chemical weapons programs. It is the first of many such reports over the next decade, pointing out Iraq's thwarting of the UN weapons inspectors (July 30).


A southern no-fly zone is created to protect the Shiite population from Saddam Hussein and provide a between Kuwait and Iraq ( Aug. 26).

U.S. launches cruise missile on Baghdad, after Iraq attempts to assassinate President George H. W. Bush while he visited Kuwait (June 27).

Iraq drains water from southern marshlands inhabited Muslim Shiites, in retaliation for the Shiites' long-standing opposition to Saddam Hussein's government (April).
Marsh arabs

A UN Security Council's "oil-for-food" resolution (passed April 1995) allows Iraq to export oil in exchange for humanitarian aid. Iraq delays accepting the terms for more than a 1½ years (Dec. 10).

1997 The UN disarmament commission concludes that Iraq has continued to conceal information on biological and chemical weapons and missiles (Oct 23).

Iraq expells the American members of the UN inspection team (Nov. 13).

Iraq suspends all cooperation with the UN inspectors (Jan. 13).

UN secretary-general Kofi Annan brokers a peaceful solution to the standoff. Over the next months Baghdad continued to impede the UN inspection team, demanding that sanctions be lifted (Feb. 23).

Saddam Hussein puts a complete halt to the inspections (Oct. 31).

Iraq agrees to unconditional cooperation with the UN inspectors (Nov. 14), but by a month later, chief UN weapons inspector Richard Butler reports that Iraq has not lived up to its promise (Dec. 15).
Richard Butler

The United States and Britain began four days of intensive air strikes, dubbed Operation Desert Fox. The attacks focused on command centers, missile factories, and airfields—targets that the Pentagon believed would damage Iraq's weapons stores (Dec. 16–19).

Beginning in January, weekly, sometimes daily, bombings of Iraqi targets within the northern no-fly zone begin, carried out by U.S. and British bombers. More than 100 air strikes take place during 1999, and continue regularly over the next years. The U.S. and Britain hope the constant barrage of air strikes will weaken Saddam Hussein's grip on Iraq (Jan. 1999–present).
refueling in air

Jan. 29.2002
In President George W. Bush's state of the union speech, he identifies Iraq, along with Iran and North Korea, as an "axis of evil." He vows that the U.S. "will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."

May 14, 2002
The UN Security Council revamps the sanctions against Iraq, now eleven years old, replacing them with "smart sanctions" meant to allow more civilian goods to enter the country while at the same time more effectively restricting military and dual-use equipment (military and civilian).
Sept. 12, President Bush addresses the UN, challenging the organization to swiftly enforce its own resolutions against Iraq. If not, Bush contends, the U.S. will have no choice but to act on its own against Iraq.
UN security council

Nov. 8, 2002
The UN Security Council unanimously approvesresolution 1441 imposing tough new arms inspections on Iraq and precise, unambiguous definitions of what constitutes a "material breach" of the resolution. Should Iraq violate the resolution, it faces "serious consequences," which the Security Council would then determine.
Dec. 7, 2002 UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq, for the first time in almost four years (Nov. 18).

Iraq submits a 12,000-page declaration on its chemical, biological and nuclear activities, claiming it has no banned weapons.

Dec. 21, 2002
President Bush approves the deployment of U.S. troops to the Gulf region. By March an estimated 200,000 troops will be stationed there. British and Australian troops will join them over the coming months.

chemical warheads

Jan. 27, 2003
UN inspectors discover 11 undeclared empty chemical warheads in Iraq (Jan. 16).

The UN's formal report on Iraqi inspections is highly critical, though not damning, with chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix stating that "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it."

Jan. 28, 2003
In his state of the union address, President Bush announces that he is ready to attack Iraq even without a UN mandate.
state of the union

Feb. 14, 2003
In a February UN report, chief UN inspector Hans Blix indicated that slight progress had been made in Iraq's cooperation. Both pro- and anti-war nations felt the report supported their point of view.

Feb. 22, 2003
Hans Blix orders Iraq to destroy its Al Somoud 2 missles by March 1 . The UN inspectors have determined that the missiles have an illegal range limit. Iraq can have missiles that reach neighboring countries, but not ones capable of reaching Israel.

Feb. 24, 2003
The U.S., Britain, and Spain submit a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council that states that "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it in Resolution 1441," and that it is now time to authorize use of military force against the country
Gieger counter

France, Germany, and Russia submit an informal counter-resolution to the UN Security Council that states that inspections should be intensified and extended to ensure that there is "a real chance to the peaceful settlement of this crisis," and that "the military option should only be a last resort."

March 1, 2003
Iraq begins to destroy its Al Samoud missiles.
Al Samoud missiles

Feb. 24–March 14, 2003
The U.S. and Britain's intense lobbying efforts among the other UN Security Council members yield only four supporters (in addition to the U.S. and Britain, Spain and Bulgaria); nine votes (and no vetoes from the five permanent members) out of fifteen are required for the resolution's passage. The U.S. decides not to call for a vote on the resolution.

March 17, 2003
All diplomatic efforts cease when President Bush delivers an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to leave the country within 48 hours or else face an attack.

March 19, 2003
The war against Iraq begins when the U.S. launches Operation Iraqi Freedom . Called a "decapitation attack," the initial air strike of the war attempted to target Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders in Baghdad.

his days are numbered

March 20, 2003
The U.S. launches a second round of air strikes against Baghdad, and ground troops enter the country for the first time, crossing into southern Iraq from Kuwait. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claims that the initial phase of the war is mild compared to what it to come: "What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and a scope and a scale that has been beyond what we have seen before."

March 21, 2003
The major phase of the war begins with heavy aerial attacks on Baghdad and other cities. The campaign, publicized in advance by the Pentagon as an overwhelming barrage meant to instill "shock and awe," is in actuality more restrained.
bombing Bhagdad

March 24, 2003
Troops march within 60 miles of Baghdad. They encounter much stronger resistence from Iraqi soldiers and paramilitary fighters along the way, particularly in towns such as Nassiriya and Basra.

April 9, 2003
The fall of Baghdad: U.S. forces take control the city, but sporadic fighting continues throughout the capital.

April 14, 2003
Major fighting in Iraq is declared over by the Pentagon, after U.S. forces take control of Tikrit , Saddam Hussein's birthplace and the last city to exhibit strong Iraqi resistence. Saddam Hussein's whereabouts remain unknown.

April 15, 2003
Gen. Jay Garner, appointed by the United States to run post-war Iraq until a new government is put in place, met with various Iraqi leaders to begin planning the new Iraqi federal government.

May 1, 2003
The U.S. declares an end to major combat operations.
the War is over!

May 12, 2003
A new civil administrator takes over in Iraq. Paul Bremer, a diplomat and former head of the counter-terrorism department at the State Department, replaces Jay Garner, who was seen as ineffective in stemming the continuing lawlessness and violence taking place throughout Iraq.
May 22, 2003
The UN Security Council approves a resolution lifting the economic sanctions against Iraq and supporting the U.S.-led administration in Iraq.

June 15, 2003
Operation Desert Scorpion launched, a military campaign meant to defeat organized Iraqi resistance against American troops. U.S. and British troops face continued attacks; about one American soldier has been killed per day since the end of combat was declared.

July 13, 2003
Iraq's interim governing council, composed of 25 Iraqis appointed by American and British officials, is inaugurated. The council has power to name ministers and will help draw up a new constitution for the country. The American administrator Paul Bremer, however, retain ultimate authority.
Paul Bremer,

July 17, 2003
U.S. combat deaths in Iraq reach 147, the same number of soldiers who died from hostile fire in the first Gulf War; 32 of those deaths occurred after May 1, the officially declared end of combat.