| GEO World|
| Seven years on Iraq war|
| Updated at: 1043 PST, Saturday, March 20, 2010|
BAGHDAD: The seventh anniversary of the start of the Iraq war dawned today with very little notice in the media--but at the start of the war, many more newspapers opposed it than we now remember.
Americans believed Saddam had WMD--and no wonder, given the deceitful propaganda from the Bush administration--and that they backed an invasion if it came to that. But most surveys also showed a clear split between those who wanted to go to war soon, and those who wanted to wait for more diplomacy or to give the United Nations inspectors more time to work (remember, they had found nothing and then were withdrawn by the president).
Perhaps more important in the minds of many Iraqis was the ongoing wait for final results from the country’s second nationwide parliamentary election. The milestone will determine who will oversee Iraq as U.S. forces go home, but could also point the direction the fragile democracy will take down the road — deeper into the sectarian divide that followed Saddam’s fall, or toward a more secular, inclusive rule.
Many blame the U.S. for the sectarian violence that erupted after the invasion.
While violence has dropped since the height of the bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, attacks continue, although in smaller numbers.
Many Iraqis view the U.S. withdrawal with concern that the lull in violence may break and killing return.
Others think the violence will dissipate after the U.S. pulls out.