Talk:Occupation of Iraq, 2003-2004/Archive 1

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NYTimes Linking

We can not link to NYTimes, as they require registration. Taw 20:19 27 May 2003 (UTC)

Sure we can. --The Cunctator

The NYT is very clearly a biased source on the subject. If you must give links, try a source that isn't openly advocating one side of this issue (like Reuters, for example). --A Person

I don't care now about biases of NYT, but it's impossible to read these articles without registration (well, everyone on /. knows certain tricks, but ...), so people unwilling to register (and experience would suggest that's the majority) are unable to read it. Unless NYT is the only source that exists, I would seriously suggest linking to some other paper. Taw 17:40 6 Jul 2003 (UTC) can just put in any old fake info to "register". It's more of an annoyance than anything else. Of course the other problem with NYT links is that they usually stop working after a couple of months, then you have to pay to access the archive. If someone just has to cite the NYT, perhaps they should just cite the paper version, which is much more generally available. Tualha 01:02, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Is this title accurate? As the article notes, the UN Security Council authorized a joint occupation by the US and the UK, not a sole US occupation. There are also other countries involved in the occupation, notably Denmark. Delirium 03:24 12 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It's a 99% (at least) accurate title. British troop numbers have been going down, the presence of other country's forces is minimal, the U.S. military is dealing with all of the combat situations, the U.S. government is in charge of the civilian administration of the country, etc. --The Cunctator
I agree, this title is improper. I propose moving this to Occupation of Iraq post 2003 invasion or 2003 occupation of Iraq or something like that. MB 16:52 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
So which is better, to imply that the "U.S. is merely in charge, not utterly dominant" or to imply that the US is the only contry involved. I say the latter is much worse (which is the current situation). The whole rest of your arguement is irrelevent, the fact is, the title should be changed. United States-led occupation of Iraq, and 2003 occupation of Iraq would both be perfectly acceptable. Regarding the latter, why is it nessary to show the structure of the occupation in the title? What I'm saying is, 2003 occupation of Iraq as a title does not imply that the US has no role, or that the US is not calling the shots. Lets compair the current title with the 2 other titles:
1. The current title totally leaves out non-US involvement. However, people can probably figure out what it means.
2. U.S.-led occupation of Iraq is better than the current one b/c it doesn't imply no non-US involvement. However, it isn't really nessesary to point out who leads the occupation in the title (although it isn't nessearily bad).
3. 2003 occupation of Iraq is better than the current title b/c it doesn't imply no non-US involvement. However, it leaves out pointing out any coutry specific involvement (which could be considered bad by some, but good by others).
I think that covers the problem throughly enough. Now, I would be happy with either of the 2 proposed alternate titles, however, I think that it would be best decided by someone not from the US. Since I am a citizen of the US, I will leave the moving for someone else. MB 20:30 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Also, I think it would be acceptable to bring this to a vote if need be. MB 20:38 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I tend to agree with TC - the U.S. is basically doing this on its own, and certainly setting all the terms for what happens in Iraq. We should call a spade a spade. Just because they're tacking on other token participants doesn't mean that this is not a wholly American invasion, in concept, implementation and execution. For this reason I tend to like the current title. Graft 22:54 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
There is another article that discusses the "invasion". It's titled "2003 invasion of Iraq." I don't see US invasion of Iraq (even though that is mostly correct. The reason for this, is it isn't correct, just mostly. If you want a mostly correct encyclopedia, that's your perogative. I on the other hand, would like an encyclopedia with titles that are the best representative of thier content. Sure, we are effectively running Iraq, but the truth of the matter is this, "On May 22, 2003, the UN Security Council voted 14-0 to give the United States and Britain the power to govern Iraq and use its oil resources to rebuild the country." It is the pompas attitudes of Americans, that the world revolves around them, that cause many to dis-like the US. This occupation is not being carried out solely by the US, and the title should reflect this fact (i.e. U.S.-led occupation of Iraq). Otherwise, 2003 occupation of Iraq would be more acceptable than the current title, and it has the added bonus of naming consistency with the similarly named and related article 2003 invasion of Iraq. I will say nothing more on the subject. I feel that I have debated it to death. MB 00:20 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I agree with Delirium and MB. This should be 2003 occupation of Iraq. - Efghij
I'll concede, anyway, although I think that the Brits are only American gravy, props so that the U.S. can pretend they're not managing this alone. I guess either way the title is POV.. 2003 occupation of Iraq is the most acceptable alternative although it suffers from the flaw of likely becoming dated - this probably won't end by 2004. Is occupation of Iraq too ambiguous? I guess one might confuse it with british colonization... So, either way, 2003 occupation or just occupation of iraq if someone wants to move it. Graft 05:15 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
2003 occupation of Iraq is fine with me, though the date concern is a potential issue. Perhaps US-led occupation of Iraq (or U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, if you prefer periods)? I'm quite willing to concede it's obviously US-led (and I think stating that is NPOV); I was just objecting to it being called a sole US occupation of Iraq (because, regardless of the reasons for doing so, the UK has committed itself pretty heavily). -Delirium 05:21 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I too agree that "US-led" is a bit America-centric, and deceptive, in the sense that it perpetuates the myth that the entire war was some sort of completely unilaterial American thing. However I also agree with the concerns that "2003 occupation" might get dated quickly. If only this war had a better name.... maybe somthing like "Post Saddam Iraq occupation" or something... user:J.J.

There had to be an offical Pentagon name for the invansion. I have heard the media use the term "Gulf War 2" But I don't know if that is officially used. Maybe someone could find the real name. Then again, the common name is most important, so maybe Gulf War 2 is best? In any case, I will move it to 2003 occupation of Iraq, unless someone wants it to be put to a vote, and then we can move it again if a better name comes about in the future. MB 15:34 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Well, the official name was Operation Iraqi Freedom. I don't think many Wikipedians will find that NPOV. The Pentagon's primary name for the first Gulf War was Operation Desert Storm. Calling this Gulf War II could be problematic, since it's actually the third Gulf War in the last 25 years. -- Minesweeper 19:52 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I have moved U.S. occupation of Iraq timeline too. MB 15:41 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I agree that this new name is more appropriate. There is news that thousands of non-U.S. and non-U.K. troops may soon be headed to Iraq. (See [1], [2], [3]) However, if this occupation drags on into 2004 and beyond, the naming will become an issue again. I agree with J.J. that something like "Post-Saddam Hussein occupation of Iraq" would be most accurate and NPOV, but it is probably too verbose. -- Minesweeper 19:52 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How about just "Post Saddam Iraq." I mean, in some sense the term "occupation" is a fairly POV choice, and besides, as some have noted the occupation seems quite half-assed anyway. If trends continue it is unlikely to be as historic as say, the Occupations of Japan and Germany.

Years from now, I think the period will be thought of as "Post Saddam Iraq" in the sense that the current climate is largely being viewed through the lens of who is NOT there (Saddam) as opposed to who IS there (Americans et al).


It need not be as grandiose as Japan or Germany - we can certainly talk about the "Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon", which was comparable in half-assedness and smaller in scale. And, at any rate, it would be disingenuous to say it is NOT an occupation, since it obviously is. American troops are in Iraq, policing the streets. American civilians are running the Iraqi government. That's an occupation, if ever there was one. Graft 00:30 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Fair enough, but this article seems to be more about the general conditions of post-Saddam Iraq rather than sorely the US Occupation. An article about the US Occupation would be more focused on the nature of the Occupying forces as Iraq's political authority, rather than the events that occured while that authority was in power. As well, most of these events are occuring more as a result of Saddam's departure than America's arrival. So, I rather than creating yet ANOTHER page on the Iraq war, I say re-naming this page "Post Saddam Iraq" or something along those lines would both help resolve the issues raised above, as well as create a page that could be used as a NPOV source for info on both the Occupation government and the post Saddam anarchy, which I predict this page is on the road to becoming, anyway. user:J.J.

Do you really think the occupation is going to end this year? How are you going to rename the article once it's 2004? U.S.-led occupation of Iraq is a better compromise. --The Cunctator
Regarding Post-Saddam Iraq, let's wait to see how things develop before putting the nail in Saddam's coffin yet. I'm not entirely certain how that bit is playing out. He's clearly still important.... Graft 17:54 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Is this the first "U.S.-led occupation of Iraq?" If not, we need to come up with another name, b/c this one is still flawed. MB 18:53 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Yes. US troops did enter Iraq in 1991, but they only spent a few days there before a cease-fire was signed and they pulled back. - Efghij

Graft rewrite

This really is not NPOV the way I've re-written it. Does anyone have anything good to say about what the U.S. occupation? What positive steps have they taken to establishing a new government? What regarding reconstruction, which is totally absent right now? Baghdad is apparently bereft of power in 40+ degree heat. (See what I mean? I only have bad things to say!) Also, the famed hunt for WMDs surely deserves mention? Graft 15:47 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If it was NPOV, it would basically say the the US bit off more than they could chew. For instance, there has been critisism that the US did not protect the Iraqi National treasures, but it should also be mentioned that the US said it protected what it could. MB 15:52 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
But, as far as the assessment that reasonable progress has not been made on any front (establishing a new government, rebuilding the country, restoring law and order, discovery of WMDs), for whatever reason, and the U.S. has abandoned most of its initial promise except the one to stick around, which seems to be continually increasing in tenure... I think this is a particular POV (mine), but I'm damned if I can see how someone can hold another one. Graft 16:05 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Indeed, it is a good POV, but at the same time bad, b/c it is not neutral. So, any POV info should be removed. Maybe I can help out on this, I haven't actually read the article :). MB 16:48 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

This is a terrible title. Its as bad as "liberation" would be or "Coalition"...yadda-戴&#30505sv 20:44, Aug 13, 2003 (UTC)

Sep/2003 suggestion

Those of you focusing efforts on this article should take a look at this news item [4] and incorporate it into this article. Kingturtle 07:25, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I want to say a few things. One, we can and should link to the new york times or to mainstream papers. Do we fail to do it for the Blair scandal? They are not neccessarily the only paper worth reading--and they have made journalistic gaffes which I do not appreciate. Nevertheless, Internet custom does not justify a failure to link to the most popular newspaper in the United States because they require registration.

Second of all, it is acceptable to talk about the types of critisms that were proffered and how they were addressed by the Bush administration.

occupation or continued war?

U.S. aircraft are attacking enemy forces in Iraq. The war is not over. I suggest this article be renamed to reflect this....such as 2003 invasion of Iraq, phase two. Kingturtle 22:52, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The reason it is an occupation rather than a continued war is that the enemy is different. True Saddams supporters may have a hand in it, but the threat is from Islamic terrorists, not Saddamists. It is a different conflict :ChrisG 02:25, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The threat is from anyone upset enough with the foreign invasion to do something about it. Not just Islamic terrorists. Kingturtle 04:06, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)
It is easy to claim that all opponents are "terrorists", outsiders etc. After all - weren't the US supposed to be welcomed with open arms according to the official POV? I don't think we can tell who is uprising - my guess is that it is a disperate bunch. Secretlondon 15:00, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)

Rights abuses

Does anyone think it would be inappropriate to add a section on human rights abuses by the occupying governments? I've seen allegations of families being held hostage to flush out alleged terrorists, and of prisoners being held without registration (ie, notification to anyone that they are prisoners - they've simply disappeared) - both violations of the Geneva Conventions.

I freely admit that I have a POV here - I'm pissed off that "the land of the free" is doing such things, and nominally in my name too, since it's nominally a democracy. Tualha 14:50, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree, the article needs more than a single sentence & a link to another article. Mdchachi|Talk 15:24, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

New Article

After careful perusal of this article, and the discussion of it, I've written a new, somewhat shorter, but I believe more neutral article on Post Saddam Iraq. I hope you all enjoy reading it, commenting on it, and editing it in the usual manner - have fun! --Xinoph 23:27, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)

Shi'ite population

Based on what sources did the writer conclude that the majority of the population is Shi'ite.? ----?????

Is this really in dispute? I don't know where the writer got it, but the CIA World Factbook states:

Religions: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

Dpbsmith 17:30, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The statistics, released by a reliable international humanitarian relief agency in2003 , suggested that Sunnis make up 58 percent of the Iraqi population and Shiites 40 percent.

'The Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq' put the whole population at about27 million, including 16 million Sunnis and 11 million Shiites, Quds Press International news agency reported on Wednesday, January28 .

The remainder, 2 percent, include Christians and Jews.

The group depended on statistics by the former ministries of trade and planning as well as the data provided by the self-rule government in Kurdistan.

It also depended on ration cards every Iraqi family have used to get food supplies under the more than 12 years' sanctions after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in1990 .

You can see the rest of it at: [5]

--- The article has al-Hawza, the newspaper that was shut down recently as a daily, I remember reading that it was a weekly, does anyone have any quotes to back up it was a daily? If not I will remove the daily refernce to make it less specific.

Position of Norway

Does Norway really have troops in Iraq? --Kulkuri 16:54, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Concerning the issues with the "moderate" line:

1) Moderate is a relative term. For example, what is moderate in the US is very conservative in Europe, and very liberal in the middle east. Consequently, terms like this should be avoided.

2) Al-Khoei was US aligned. That doesn't change him from being Sistani-aligned as well, but Khoei was strongly supportive of the US - to the point that the BBC felt fit to subtitle their article about his murder as "A senior Shia cleric working with coalition forces has been killed inside a mosque in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf" [6]. --Rei

I think your current revision with the link to the BBC story to support the "US-aligned" description is fine. I do wonder why you removed the "al-" so he's referred to as simply "Khoei", but you didn't remove the "al-" where it refers to "al-Sadr" earlier in the same paragraph. Is there some reason the al- should be included in one name but not the other? Neow 20:55, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)
But it's a judgment call on your part that the "US-aligned" aspect is the most important part. His being Sistani-aligned is also an important part, and arguably the reason for his murder, given al-Sadr's continuing power-struggle with Sistani. --Delirium 04:24, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)

my last edit

I deleted the entire portion of an anonymous user's post because it had been copied and pasted from . Kingturtle 23:38, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

An anonymous user (perhaps the same one) recently re-entered this text and was reverted. Lisiate 03:53, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Probably the same one. Has been changing the page a number of times recently under different IP adresses. After calling others Wikinazis, he created a page Wikipedia:Wikinazi, which i put on VfD. -- Chris 73 | (New) Talk 04:16, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Text from Iraq after Saddam Hussein

The following text was taken from Iraq after Saddam Hussein. Although the text is well-written, it was voted for deletion because it overlaps with this page. Despite the deletionists' call, the page is going to be a redirect to this page, not deleted. Please merge any content as appropiate.

NOTE: Page history can be obtained by visting

Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist government collapsed in 2003 following the invasion of Iraq by a small coalition of nations led by the United States and United Kingdom. After the governmental collapsed, the United States and Great Britain, with the assistance of several other nations (including Poland and Japan) and United Nations authorization, established a provisional authority whose publicly stated goal is to provide for Iraqis' basic needs and help in the creation of a new democratically elected government following the end of the Ba'ath government.

Government Structure

The immediate post-Saddam governmental authority in Iraq is the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. This body was initially led by U.S. General Jay Garner; however he was rather quickly replaced by civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer. ORHA shares some authority with the Interim Iraq Governing Council, an appointed body.


ORHA and the IIGC face many immediate challenges as basic as food, water, and electricity. Iraq is a nation recovering from years of totalitarian rule, economic sanctions, and several wars, including the 2003 invasion itself.

Establishing a Civil Society

After years of dictatorship, Iraq has virtually no civil society to serve as a necessary backbone to a democratic process. Any civil society under the Hussein regime was either tightly controlled or eliminated as a threat, or possible threat, to the regime. This is part of nation-building that is perhaps most difficult; examples of the consequences of failure can be seen in Haiti, Afghanistan, Somalia, and other nations around the world. Lack of a civil society generally leads to anarchy or back to dictatorship, either of which would be intolerable for a nation's citizens and could conceivably be a threat to U.S. national security.

Violence and Instability

As a direct result of this lack of civil society, there has been violence and instability continually in Iraq since the fall of the Hussein government. Much of this violence has been directed against foreign troops serving in the part of the nation called the "Sunni Triangle"; however there have also been attacks in other parts of the country and against Iraqis seen as as assisting the western military forces. The majority of these attacks seem to be by members of the Sunni branch of Islam who were granted special privileges in the Ba'ath Party and wish to regain their central role in Iraqi politics. However, there have been a number of violent groups at work in Iraq, and it is not immediately clear whether and to what extant the resistance is organized or united.

Iraqi Concerns

The main concerns of those opposing the post-Saddam government, both violently and politically, seem to be (not in order of importance):

Ba'ath Party/Sunni Power

While officially secular, the Ba'ath Party was largely made up of Sunni Muslims, while the majority of Iraqis are Shiite. This category is representative of both those formerly high-ranking Sunnis who are seeking to use violence to regain power and the attacks motivated by revenge for the crimes, or perceived crimes, of former members of the Ba'ath Party.

Ethnic & Religious Freedom

One effect of Hussein's ethnic and religious favoritism and opression is that the various religious and ethnic groups in Iraq are extremely distrustful of each other. There is concern that any new Iraqi government will again begin opressing the rights of one group or another in order to gain political advantage.

National Sovereignty

Some have expressed the belief that the American led government will not truly allow a democratic process to establish itself in Iraq, with the possibility of Iraq electing some sort of fundamentalist regime to power - or indeed any government hostile to the interests of the United States.

International Concerns

Many countries have expressed some of the same concerns that the Iraqis themselves have about the country post Saddam: about Iraqi self-determination and ethnic and religious freedoms. Foreign nations have largely focused on the issue of possible American influence, whether sought or unsought, in the future Iraqi governmental process and economy.


There have been frequent claims made, by both U.S. government officials and others, that Hussein had contacts with officials in al-Qaeda, the organization considered by many to be responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. This has not been independently confirmed. Historically Hussein did support Palestinian causes; however, this seems to have largely been in the form financial support for the families of suicide bombers. This was part of Hussein's attempts to become a pan-Arab leader. Western military officials also frequently identify Iraqi militants as terrorists, although others may consider them to be freedom fighters. As always, the application and use of this label depends on one's point of view and specific circumstances - defining these terms in a neutral way is difficult.

I don't expect this to help much, but at least as a starting point and just for the record we should note the dictionary definition (AHD4):
Terrorism, n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
Dpbsmith 01:16, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Do we need the comment of the Canadian ambassador? First it is nonsensical given the 8,700 British troops, second it is in contradiction to the official Canadian government position. As it is now it is twisting reality to a strong Canadian support and therefore POV. Get-back-world-respect 11:09, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I moved it from U.S.-led coalition against Iraq when i merged the page to remove redundancies, but I also though that it is an odd comment. Is this still up to date? -- chris_73 11:22, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Checked the web, but the only references I could find are from January, e.g. [7]. Doubt if this is still up to date. If somebody has a more recent ref, then we can add it again, no problem. -- chris_73 23:42, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I think something on this should be here. Canada was considered enough of a supporter to be allowed to bid on the military contracts reserved for supporters, which is significant. At the very least we should say that the official position is neutrality and opposition to unilateral action, but that in practice the US and the Canadian ambassador say Canada has quietly provided significant support. --Delirium 01:33, Apr 22, 2004 (UTC)
I removed it from the section Participating nations because i could not find any recent refs to actual canadian troops in Iraq. However, I also think that the Canadian position is important to mention, I just don't know where. Any suggestions? -- chris_73 02:42, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Due to international protest the US reversed its decision to reserve contracts to coalition members, not just for Canada. The Canadian government opposed the invasion and judged it illegal, although they used a more diplomatic wording about the UN weapons inspections should have continued and there should have been a UN resolution. Get-back-world-respect 01:55, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Current News

What's the point of including current events that are going to change day to day or week to week? Specifically, I'm talking about the statements saying that such-and-such country's troops are "currently" confined to their base. When these troops start venturing out again, it's probably not going to be news (or it will be news in Japan, Thai, etc. newspapers that we can't read) so we'll have inaccurate info in the article. Info that wasn't particularly useful in the first place. Mdchachi|Talk 13:36, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

the whole situation changes all the time. Number of troops, participating countries, etc. I agree, however, that it would be better to provide sort of a timeline, i.e when which country had troops where, how many, what they were doing, and what their future plan was. Are you up to the Task? I tried, but couldn't find enough information, so I (lazily) just added the latest info. BTW: there are many Wikipedians that DO read Japanese newspapers, and pretty much any other language, too. -- chris_73 14:35, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
If we say they have troops there but in fact they only have troops hiding in their bases we report inaccurately as well. Always difficult with current events. I think we should report what seems worthwhile and in the medium run we will be able to delete parts of it that do not seem to be of particular importance. Get-back-world-respect 15:06, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
There's no need for the article to be a real-time commentary. I think it's sufficient to say roughly how many troops are there and what they are there to do. And any major changes in this. What they are doing (or not doing) at any given moment is too hard to keep current. As for reading the foreign papers -- these are the kinds of things that wouldn't reach even the foreign papers for a while. Most of these countries don't have embedded reporters and any info that gets out will be info coming from the governments that are generally tight-lipped. So if the Japanese venture back outside their base, we probably won't know for a while. Mdchachi|Talk 15:18, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
No need for real-time commentary if there is another attack killing two or so. But if there is an official statement like "Our troops shall not leave their base until the situation has calmed down." I think it is worthwhile to add it as soon as possible. "Until the situation has calmed down" implies it is unclear when they will return so it does not do much harm if we come some days late reporting they are out again. We can just change it to "remained in the base during riots" or so. Get-back-world-respect 15:32, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Similar problem is the including that "one newspaper claims that Poland will pull-out". I havenot removed this absurd claim, but i would advise not to copy all newspapers articles. FYI, The source of problems is premier Miller sentence "We cannot pretend that Spanish withdrawal is not a problem" and that "Poland will review it's position in Iraq in future" (for example, because after June 30 status of Polish forces will be based on decision of Iraqian ogvernment) and that Polish forces will not be weakened until January the 31, 2005 (because of elections) and later will be weakened, but not withdrawed. User:Szopen
Why do you believe it is worthwhile to add this kind of stuff? So what if the security situation was such that work was interrupted for two weeks? I think this miniscule "current news" makes the article look bad, unverifiable and out-of-date. I think after some time has passed, significant events could be added when there will be enough information about them to deem them significant. Or whoever adds these "current" items needs to remain committed to actively following them up and changing them as soon as the situation changes. Or -- my final suggestion -- date the current news e.g. On April xx, the Japanese government announced that the troops would not leave the base until the situation has calmed down. At least this way the reader will be able to judge better how current the information is. Mdchachi|Talk 16:20, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I have no objection if you want to add dates. I think it is worthwhile reporting they hide in their bases because otherwise it looks as if there were dozens of countries keeping up law and order in Iraq, which in fact is not the case. Get-back-world-respect 16:40, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I don't have enough interest in this article to invest that kind of time. So I'll leave my comments as is and hope they are taken into account in the future. IMO statements such as "currently", "soon", "near future" don't look good in this kind of article. (This is not a newspaper article, after all.) Mdchachi|Talk 17:12, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Reconstruction Contracts

One thing missing from the article, unless I'm overlooking it, seems to be discussion of the various issues surrounding the award of reconstruction contracts to non-Iraqi companies. At the very least, there should be some mention of:

  • the fact such contracts have been awarded, and the process by which they were awarded;
  • the exclusion from bidding of companies from certain countries which opposed the war, and all the resulting politicking;
  • allegations of improper links between certain members of the Bush administration and certain companies which have been awarded contracts; and
  • the debate over whether foreign contractors are doing work which could be done by unemployed Iraqis, and whether this is a factor fuelling resentment of the occupation.

I hesitate to add such a section myself because, try as I might, I can't make it read like an NPOV. I'm beginning to think this is because the facts in this particular case don't reflect too well upon the US administation, which I guess can't in itself be a reason not to include them! What do people think? Cambyses 05:07, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I agree with you that your points are all important and should be mentioned. Of course not reflecting too well upon any governments cannot be a reason not to include facts, often to the contrary. Many articles would not exist otherwise, e.g. Iran-Contra Affair, France and weapons of mass destruction, or Mordechai Vanunu. Get-back-world-respect 12:51, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Definitely agree this topic should be included. Suggest you give it a try, using the Gradgrind approach: facts, facts, facts. For example, one can state factually that an audit found that Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), may have overcharged the U.S. government $61 million for bringing oil products for the U.S. army into Iraq via a Kuwaiti subcontractor, Altanmia Commercial Marketing Co. On the other hand, it would probably be unwise to note that troops in Bosnia referred to Brown and Root by the nickname "Burn and Loot." Dpbsmith 17:12, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Definitely - do a "facts, facts, facts" approach, as mentioned above. I can get you lots of links - here's a few to start: "Bechtel's work on Iraqi schools earns low marks" [8] (the army investigated Bechtel's work on the schools, and found that in many cases they did more damage to the schools than they fixed); Haliburton won deal after auditor warns - Pentagon saw 'systemic' problems with contracts [9]; Pentagon Finds Haliburton Overcharged [10] mirror [11]; Cheney is still paid by Pentagon contractor [12]; Canada barred from Iraq contracts [13] (covers more than just Canada); etc. As for the issue of unemployed Iraqis, probably the best cases I've found for that are Iraqi blogers (like riverbend) giving personal accounts, but blogs probably don't count as good references, so here's a few articles: A letter from Henry Waxman(D) covering the issue extensively, an article about Iraqi labor organization, and Houston Chronicle - Iraqis say contract bidding is rigged --Rei
Rei, i ceased to consider guardian reliable newspaper when they published "Polish soldiers bewildered and marooned", where they haven't interviewed single POlish soldiers, failed to mention that fact that shiite militia is patrolling streets was effect of agreement made many weeks before Sadrists uprising, quoted Sadr-follower that "they are not attacking Poles because they are hiding behind Iraqian police, and those are brothers" (but they came to that conclusion after 4 days of battling etc. Newspaper who fails to even quote second side of the conflict is not reliable. Szopen 06:59, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Also: just in today, Bid rigging, fraud and damage common in Iraq - the AP reviewed govt. documents, and found that 10 companies with billions of dollars in Iraq contracts "have paid more than 300m$ in penalties since 2000 to resolve allegations of bid rigging, fraud, delivery of faulty military parts and environmental damage.". Some of the companies are particularly nasty. Many of the companies were banned from getting US contracts, but the Bush admin repealed the Clinton-era rules that prevented them from getting contracts. --Rei

Adding a section on the reconsrucion contracts is very important, it's a crucial aspect of the occupation and the quality of this article would improve a lot. Regarding the question of the reliability of The Guardian, I think that we have to accept that no single newspaper by itself is a reliable source of information. They all have their particular agenda and point of view. The best way of dealing with this problem is to state the source, especially when there is reason for doubt, and then leave it up to the reader to decide what they believe to be facts. As a further source for information on contractors in Iraq, I'd suggest the Corporate Watch website. They produce their own articles like this one but also collect articles from other papers like these: ft: reconstruction on hold Reuters: Halliburton in Iraq. pir 10:12, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Opinion poll

Check out this Iraqi opinion poll I just added. Opinion poll of Iraqis 2004-04-28 Pretty interesting stuff. Sam Spade 04:01, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

These polls are interesting; I'm not sure what to think of them. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they've been doing interviews door-to-door instead of via phone polls as they've done in countries like Venezuela, which produces a badly skewed poll in favor of the opinions of the wealthy. However, some of the data coming back is still just strange. For example, one poll commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, and others, came back with 44% of Iraqis saying that they are Sunnis, and 33% Shiites. That is opposite what we know Iraq's religious breakdown to be, however. An article in the guardian speculates that the problem is that people are choosing answers that they think pollsters want to hear, or answers that are prestigious [14]. But really, I have no clue what is causing this... Some people have suggested that pollsters are refusing to go to areas where security is bad (Fallujah, Sadr City, etc), and are consequently staying in the wealthier, more stable areas. Who knows what is real.... --Rei

Having been a pollster myself, I will heartilly agree that it is far from a perfect source of information, even in the best of circumstances. That being said, it is also a window into what people are thinking, and is much better than just randomly shooting our mouths off (as is often done on the wiki) about how "most ABC's believe XYZ" despite the lack of anything outside of original research to verify it w. Anyhow, take it for what its worth, which is what 3,500 Iraqis told the interviewer in answer to those questions :) Sam Spade 19:47, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Full vs limited sovereignty

The introduction states

Bremer has announced that full sovereignty and control of Iraq will be given to an Iraqi government by 2004 June 30.

However, the CPA has admitted that they will only tranfer "limited sovereignty" in the sense that the occupation forces will be able to operate fully autonomously in Iraq, apart from legal restrictions to the ability of an Iraqi government to roll back the CPA's decisions prior to June 30. I think "limited sovereignty" is more appropriate than "full sovereignty", and that a section explaining what Bremer thinks he means by "limited sovereignty" is needed. — Miguel 03:23, 2004 May 9 (UTC)

The phrase "limited sovereignty" in itself is POV spin
I have a real problem with the phrase "limited sovereignty." There is no such thing, because the definition of the word "sovereignty" is (AHD4; emphasis mine):
Noun, sovereignty 1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state. 2. Royal rank, authority, or power. 3. Complete independence and self-government. 4. A territory existing as an independent state.
Sovereignty by definition is not "limited." Saying that the Iraqi government will have "limited sovereignty" is just a way of saying they will not, after all, be given sovereignty.
I am sure the Iraqis understand this, and I am sure the U. S. leadership understands this. The use of the phrase "limited sovereignty" is just spin, doubtless in the hope that the American public, wishing to think well of its leadership, will not understand this.
In addition, the phrase "limited sovereignty" has a very unpleasant history; I first encountered it in connection with the Brezhnev doctrine. "Limited sovereignty" is what the Soviet Union "gave" Czechoslovakia.
In short, the use of the phrase "limited sovereignty" is inconsistent with NPOV, and I hope that editors of the section discussing Iraqi sovereignty will find more neutral wording to describe the situation. At the very least, any use of the term should be qualified, e.g. what U. S. officials refer to as "limited sovereignty." Dpbsmith 14:13, 9 May 2004 (UTC)
It is still factually incorrect to say that the new Iraqi government will enjoy full sovereignty and control of Iraq, for the reasons you and I point out. Your discussion is what I am calling for in that section explainig what Bremer might possibly mean by his oxymoron. — Miguel 15:33, 2004 May 9 (UTC)
Agreed. No question there. (What did Bremer actually announce when, by the way? I certainly had the impression that the phrase "limited sovereignty" did not emerge until April 2004, and that before then it had been stated that the U.S. would indeed transfer "sovereignty") Dpbsmith 18:44, 9 May 2004 (UTC)
Don't you think you are getting a little pedantic? That's like going to the court and saying that you can't have limited custody of your kids because, by definition, "custody" means that you have "immediate charge and control". Remember, the dictionary doesn't define our language, our (living) language dictates what appears in the dictionary. I don't think most people have a problem with the terms "limited sovereignty" and, as you said, it has been used in the past; I would take it to mean that whoever has it, would have autonomy in some things and no authority in others. Mdchachi|Talk 20:08, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
I think that if current dictionaries still define "sovereign" the way they in fact do, that is evidence that the phrase "limited sovereignty" is not an example of the normal evolution of a living language, but a recent locution invented by officials for the purpose of putting a spin on events. Yes, officials putting a spin on words can change their meanings and eventually get the new meanings into the dictionaries but, for now, using the inaccurate language amounts to supporting the point of view of those who seek to introduce the locution into the language. Dpbsmith 10:55, 11 May 2004 (UTC)
On further reflection, I see even less conflict than I did before. "Sovereignty" is a word. "Limited sovereignty" is a phrase. Obviously a phrase consisting of a word and a modifier are not going to mean the same thing as the word alone. It works with any word with an absolute meaning that I can think of. "domination" vs "limited domination". "presidency" vs "limited presidency". Even "death" vs "limited death" could work in some contexts. That's the purpose of putting a modifier on a word -- to modify its meaning within a phrase. There's no need to modify the dictionaries since the base word remains unchanged. If they sneakily drop the "limited" and start using "sovereignty" without the modifier than we may yet see the dictionary definition crisis to which you are alluding. Mdchachi|Talk 14:57, 11 May 2004 (UTC)
With regard to "If they sneakily drop the "limited" and start using "sovereignty" without the modifier," what would you say to[Bush's speech of May 10th]. Here he says "This is a reason the June 30th transfer of sovereignty is vital. The Iraqi people, and men and women across the Middle East, are watching closely, and they will see America keep its word." So, is he saying that Iraq will have complete independence and self-government after June 30th? Or is he trying to redefine "sovereignty" to mean something other than "complete independence and self-government?" What would you say? Dpbsmith 16:21, 11 May 2004 (UTC)

Multinational force in Iraq

I am not sure whether it is a good idea to move that section to a separate article. What do others think? I think that kind of decision should not be taken without discussion. It is strange to read that some countries retreated their troops when the article did not mention at all that they had troops there before. And at least there needs to be a link to the article. Get-back-world-respect 14:08, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Chris 73 and Gbwr both make good points: my creation of Multinational force in Iraq needs at least a link from the main article as well as probably some discussion first. I am not an Ent, so I'm often hasty! :-)

After listening to Bush's address on Iraq a day or two ago, I realized that the Multinational force will probably continue to stick around, even after the official "occupation" ends. That's assuming that the June 30th hand-off of sovereignty is considered "true" sovereignty. On that date, the "occupation forces" will change in character if not in composition.

Assuming that a new sovereign Iraq chooses to employ foreign troops to keep order or preserve peace, they will no longer be an "occupation force". So I thought for the sake of continuity and clarity that there ought to be an article about all these troops (or "forces" as we military men like to say :-) which transcends the point where Iraqi sovereignty begins.

Also, there might be a debate (at least among Wikipedians, if not between Republicans and Democrats) over whether "true sovereignty" arrives in Iraq on June 30th. To head off any debate over what to call the forces, I thought Multinational force in Iraq would be neutral in an NPOV way. Everyone agrees that they:

  • are in Iraq,
  • constitute a "force", and
  • are came from multiple countries

I intend for the Multinational force in Iraq article to emphasize (not whitewash!) the controversy over when and/or whether these force were "occupying" the country. This is because of the implications of being an occupying army, such as the connotation of being there to oppress and exploit. To give an historical example, Rome "occupied" Jerusalem when Jesus was around. --Uncle Ed 15:15, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

I think your title is ok and the splitting of the article is reasonable. You should only care for a link to the new article and check which information is needed here to make it coherent. I think the part about specific countries that retreated their forces could also move, as long as this article mentions shortly that such things happened. Get-back-world-respect 21:52, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Agree with Get-back-world-respect. It felt like the section was just ripped out without any accompanying edits. Except for the article getting too long, i would have preferred the list on the main article. We probably need a brief summary, with a link to Multinational force in Iraq -- Chris 73 | Talk 22:22, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Chris, you are right. I reviewed the edit history, now that the server seems be responding again and saw that (as I feared) my intended linkage from here to mfii didn't make it. I've been experiencing lags of over 5 minutes, and occasional WIKIPEDIA IS DOWN notices. Still, I apologize for not checking more carefully! The way I left it was (at best) inexplicable: a section was simply ripped out, as you said.

Now that the server's up to speed again, I hope we can proceed in harmony, discussing all major changes and creating no orphans. --Uncle Ed 17:40, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

No problem. Yes, the servers were terrible recently, and I didn't edit much either. Made me feel like I have a 28.8 modem. But things seem to be better now. Happy editing -- Chris 73 | Talk 23:44, 27 May 2004 (UTC)