Occupation Year 4, Not Freedom Day
It seems the press overwhelmingly fail to note the overwhelming Iraqi opinion, occupation anniversaries are days for mourning, not celebrating. Please check out the rest of this post over at Alive in Baghdad, I'm also working on an ongoing analysis of an older Iraqi friend, Ali's proposal for a withdrawal
April 9th 2003 is the day credited as the anniversary of the "fall of Baghdad." Although the recent invasion of Iraq began in March, its important to have a historical context for the war.
The United States first attacked Iraq in 1991, in what is commonly referred to by the Foreign Press as the "Gulf War." In the Arab world this is considered the second Gulf War, the first being the eight year conflict between Iraq and Iran.
After the supposed completion of the Gulf War, the United States pushed the Sanctions Regime on Iraq, along with continuing to bomb Iraq, regularly, sometimes on a daily or near-daily basis, including a hundred-hour long strike under Clinton in 1998. These sanctions combined with destruction of infrastructure via bombing runs devastated Iraq's infrastructure and is believed to be the direct cause of half a million child deaths over the twelve years of sanctions.
Given the near-constant military assault on Iraq since 1991, its easy to understand how April 9th, rather than March 20th, might be a more present anniversary in the mind of Iraqis.