After Iraq's defeat in the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi dictator ignored numerous United Nations Resolutions which resulted in America declaring a "regime change" as an official goal of U.S. policy. In the context of the new terrorist threat after 9/11, the Bush administration accused the Iraqi regime of gross wrongdoing: oppressing its own people, frustrating the U.N. weapons inspectors, developing weapons of mass destruction, and supporting terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda. Majorities in both houses of Congress passed a resolution in 2002 which authorized the president to employ armed forces against Iraq.
The long-anticipated invasion of Iraq began on March 19, 2003, and the once-vaunted Iraqi military machine collapsed immediately. Iraqi factions jockeyed for political position in the post-dictator era. Insurgents, aided by militants drawn from other Islamic nations, repeatedly attacked American troops. Even though, sectarian violence has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqi', democratic elections have taken place, a Prime Minister has been installed, and a Constitution has been ratified.
"A Democratic Hope in the Middle East" [map]