April 9th, Why we should care!
On April 9th, 2003 Iraqis and the international community witnessed one of the most memorable days in our modern history - - The fall of Baghdad. On that sandy, April day, the American troops drove into the streets of Baghdad and arrived to one of the main squares in the city where a giant statue of Saddam Hussein was centered in the middle of a large roundabout. American tanks surrounded the roundabout and tens of Iraqi men arrived to the location cheering and dancing as American soldiers pulled down the statue by wrapping a rope around the neck and placing an American flag on its face. A tank pulled the rope and the statue fell. The Iraqi men at the square threw their shoes at the statue and few others started beating it with their shoes and slippers all while cheering for the American troops.
Despite the overwhelming joy or anger, that day is always present in the minds and hearts of Iraqis, especially those who were in Baghdad. That day was the day when Iraqis realized things will never be the same, and little that everyone knew, matters became worse. There was a huge power vacuum which lead to extreme chaos and panic all over the country. During the few months that followed more than 70% of Iraqis were unemployed due to the debaathification law that was enacted by the new interim government and under the supervision of Paul Bremer.
Moreover, targeted and not so targeted assassinations began shortly after, all that left Iraqis very few options to hope for a new “liberated” country and many found leaving the country as the one and only option to survive.
Sundus Shaker Saleh was one of the many Iraqis who decided to leave her home and raise her children somewhere else so her children will not be forced to carry a gun or witnessed a loved one die in the streets. She, like many single mothers in Iraq, found it impossible to support her family in the new Iraq that demolished all the rights women had. Her power was gone, just like her country.
Today, Sundus is still afraid of returning to her home because there is nothing left of it. For the way her life has changed to worse, Sundus is determined to ask for reparations from the people who were responsible and they are the siix key members of the Bush Administration who waged a war based on lies and unlawful allegations that destroyed millions of lives like Sundus’. Today, her lawyer Inder Comar addresses this case and talks about the next steps ahead.