Iraq: March 19, 2001

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US attempts to support opposition to dictator Saddam Hussein is having a hard time coming up with suitable candidates. In 1998, the US authorized $97 million for Iraqi opposition groups. So far, only three million dollars has been spent. The money is being handed out gingerly for fear it will go to support corruption or action against other opposition groups. The program was questionable from the start, because the Iraqi opposition units were few, small and not on good terms with each other. This mirrors the divisions within Iraq itself, where the Arab Sunni minority, led by the Baath party and Saddam Hussein, dominates the nation. About half the population are Shia Moslems and the rest Sunni Kurds. Both of these groups are divided in to several antagonistic factions. 

 

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