The Social Transformation in Post-War Iraq

Sayı 25- Mutluluksuzluluk (Ocak 2010)

Iraq is located in the Middle East between Iran and Kuwait, bordering the Persian Gulf. Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration.

The world came to know Iraq by its dictator president, Saddam Husayn. This interest increased tremendously when Saddam invaded Kuweyt in 1990. However, this was not the first war that the Iraqii people were experiencing: Iraq had been in an eight-year war with Iran due to territorial disputes. The eyes turned to this Middle Eastern country again when Bush Administration invaded Iraq in 2003. This invasion raised big contraversy in the international political arena. While Britain supported Bush Administration, even by sending soldiers to Iraq, many European countries reacted this invasion and demanded from USA to prove their claims that Iraq Government was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

There were many protest against this war. This was the most widespread and organized protest since the Vietnam War, even in countries that supported the war majority of people reacted against USA. This reaction was at its peak among Iraqi people. Iraqiis do not know a life without a war.

A very high rate of poverty combined with the loss of loved ones from almost every family to war over decades. This condition deepened by the psychological affects of war to people, the fear can be seen in every Iraqiis eyes. Peoples’ daily lives are crushed by the destructive affects of American invatsion. For instance, there are now many check points where Iraqiis must submit to searches. Those who resists to American soilders risk death.

The most important impact of war on Iraqiis was the big economic crisis in the country. The most significant wealth of Iraq is its oil reserves. After the invasion, American companies took total control over oil wells. The post-war economic regulations that was enforced to the country opened up the national economy to global competition. As the Iraqi companies were not ready to compete they will not survive in the long-run. This will leave Iraqi economy under foreign influence. The biggest outcome of American claims on Iraqi oil reserves showed itself in northern Iraq which has the richest oil reserves of the country.

These claims resulted in the modification of the social structure in northern Iraq since the occupational powers moved American supporters to the region. The ethnic map of the region changed drastically. Another affect of war on the social structure of Iraq is the role of women in the society. In the patriarchal society of Iraq women has always been considered second class citizens. This did not change after the invasion but became obvious. The women whose place was behind their husbands while walking on the street have to walk in the front now. The men uses their own wives to secure their way from landmines.

In conclusion, the invasion has changed the Iraqian lives in many ways. Their social structure, ethnic relations, economic activities and pychological perceptions influenced as mentioned above. After long decades of war Iraqi people belive that they are cursed somehow. Iraq will never be the same again. In my recommendation to Iraqiis is to fight against invasion in order to gain their indepencence.

Evrim Gözener,

Graduate from İstanbul University, Institute of Busines Administration, Master of Human Resources and still continue Management and Busines Administation in English.

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