Iraq: May 25, 2003


Offering rewards (which are often just favors) to Iraqis who provide information on Baath and Saddam Hussein loyalists, armed resistance groups are being hunted down and their members arrested. Even in cities that are very pro-Saddam (like Fallujah), 18 armed men were arrested for shooting at American troops. Massive supplies of weapons and munitions are being discovered as well. In the last six weeks, nearly 5,000 tons of such material has been found and removed from Baghdad. 

In Baghdad, about half the electricity needs is being generated. About a third of the garbage on the streets has been collected. Money has been provided to resume payments for civil servants and pensioners. Since the 1991 war, the Baath party took over most of the economy, with Baath party members getting ownership or a cut of the action, and making most of the population dependent on the government for basic needs. Turning this around will be a major task. Even before the oil was discovered, Iraq was fairly prosperous, with vibrant agricultural and trading operations. 


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