“Iraq: End of an Occupation” examines the prospects for Iraq following the end of the US combat mission. Iraqis do not mark time in the same way foreign press and governments do. Much more important than elections or artificial deadlines are the bombings and waves of violence that have punctuated life here since 2003.
David Enders travels across the country to interview Iraqis about their experiences before and since the US invasion, and to examine the US military’s role in Iraq after December. He also begins a critical assessment: what has the encounter with the US brought the Iraqi people?
Nearly a decade after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, millions of Iraqis made refugees by the occupation and civil war have yet to return. Many indicators of the quality of daily life remain no better than they were before 2003, and it is only in comparison to the horrific sectarian warfare from 2005 to 2007 that Iraq now seems calm.
The country’s various regions continue to demand greater autonomy from Baghdad. The most recent proposal is one that would create a government in Anbar Province to manage the province's finances separately from Baghdad. The movement is rooted in the central government's chronic neglect of cities and towns that have been ravaged by drought and destroyed by war. Meanwhile, sectarian violence and shelling by Turkish and Iranian forces continues in northern Iraq, bringing into question serious issues of sovereignty.
“End of an Occupation” attempts to reconcile statements from Washington with realities on the ground. If the occupation is truly ending, the question Iraqis are asking is who will fill the vacuum?