saddam won\'t die
\"Let me get this!
Sabar Hassem, 35, said he stole a broken piece of rust from the pile.
In the eyes of the connoisseur, he thinks this is the air filter of the Ford pickup truck, maybe the air filter of 1950.
He happily handed over about 100 dinars of coins to the seller.
\"I will replace the filter and re-make it for the updated model,\" he said . \".
\"Then I may get 2,000 . \"-about $1. 05.
His day may even be his week.
This is Baghdad 10 years after the start of the Gulf War. In the West for ten years, the city has been firmly grasped by its fingertips --
Sanctions and embargo.
Before the devastating bombings, Baghdad was the envy of the Middle East.
Health care and schools.
Today, Iraqis have learned to live in their own wisdom.
A decade ago, Baghdad was destroyed this week.
After 40 days of bombing by American fighter jets, its bridge was bombed, its power station was destroyed, and its communication tower was destroyed.
Operation Desert Storm, United States of AmericaS. -
Led the Iraqi invaders out of Kuwait, flying 110,000 sorties over Iraq and dropping 85,000 tons of explosives.
By February 22, 1991, when allies and thousands of soldiers from 33 countries finally stopped bombing the country, it had already experienced the worst bombing anywhere on Earth since World War II.
After the war, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq\'s huge oil revenues.
Called the \"oil for food\" program, President Saddam Hussein is required to spend his own money in Iraq for approval and forces most Iraqis to rely on monthly sugar, rice ration vouchers for their survival, oil and other items.
On a week trip to Iraq, my taxi driver told me the story of his resignation as a school teacher because he was unable to break even.
Coming here, it was hard to understand the destruction of the city at first.
The bridge in Baghdad has been repaired, the bullet marks have been glued to it, and the roof has been restored.
Electricity works almost 24 hours a day, a significant improvement over a few years ago.
The street is full of stalls, everything from plugs to paper.
Despite the sanctions, luxury goods are still available to those with cash.
One day I bought bananas from Colombia and that night I got a fine French sausagedinner snack.
Most importantly, there is a fact in life in Iraq.
In 1991, President George Bush called Saddam Hussein \"Hitler\'s re-visit\" a decade.
As the third White House government since the Gulf War prepares to unpack in Washington next week, the United States will also see the return of key Gulf War figures Dick Cheney and Colin Powell.
The government of the man whose father sued the war faced a difficult problem: if Saddam had gone through all this, what will eventually drive him out of the Republican campaign was last year\'s promised \"plan to completely clear Saddam \".
Last month, Powell announced that Saddam was \"sitting on a failed regime,\" and \"not there in a few years . \".
As Secretary of State, Powell said he would \"re-
He said the \"international embargo\" should be strengthened \".
During the week in Iraq, Powell faced an extremely difficult task.
The international community\'s compliance with sanctions has gradually weakened, and many countries, especially Jordan and Syria, have re-established important trade relations with Iraq in recent months.
Meanwhile, countries such as France and Russia have long pressed the United States. N.
By putting an end to the sanctions, they will only deprive ordinary Iraqis of food and medicine and will not weaken Saddam.
In fact, senior Iraqi officials and diplomats say Saddam has received more support in Iraq than before the war.
Some of the reasons for this are that he uses his huge wealth to buy human feelings.
But Saddam also gained a position to fight against Western attacks. -
And tell the story live.
\"He is now as popular as ever,\" said Vice Foreign Minister Nizar Hamdoon, who served as ambassador to Washington in his 1980 s and as ambassador to the United Nations in his 1990 s, tell me in his office.
\"When a country feels pressure both economically and externally, they gather around the central people.
The core figure in Iraq has always been the president.
\"Traveling around Iraq, there is no doubt who is in charge. The 350-
The mile lane connecting the old Gulf War front line along the Baghdad-Kuwait border winds through many military posts, with tanks at some of the posts pointing in all directions and walls decorated with portraits of Saddam Hussein.
Baghdad is plastered with many faces of men dressed in bronze, oil, plaster and mosaics, immediately and immediately, waving, smiling and gently visiting poor traditional families, typing, drinking tea, in a village scene in Chagar, bend over to look at the sick patient and even hover in the sky
Like \"Panorama\", I spy in a corner of Saddam\'s art museum.
\"He is often portrayed as a symbol of all Iraq,\" explained my government\'s \"Guide,\" and \"in all interviews, even in galleries, he was asked to accompany me.
In a room, the 32-year-old artist Mejdi Ahmed showed me three of his modern paintings, all abstract modern works.
But like all artists in Baghdad, Ahmed\'s actual income over the past decade has come from drawing portraits of Saddam ---
About 30 people since 1990.
\"It\'s a good deal,\" he said . \"
\"A lot of people are in government offices.
\"In fact, the only non
The portrait of Saddam I have seen all week is a portrait of George Bush.
Bush\'s face was mounted on mosaic tiles after the Gulf War
The Rashid Hotel, the country\'s top accommodation, of course, the government-owned.
For nearly 10 years, every journalist, businessman and politician in Baghdad has stom his blue eyes.
Description: \"Bush is a criminal.
\"Stories of Saddam Hussein\'s ruthlessness and splurge abound, and no sign of dissent is immediately punished;
Thousands were executed or imprisoned.
Most of the Iraqi opposition, while the United StatesS.
After the war, expect to overthrow Saddam and be driven out of the country or destroyed.
Saddam himself is more ubiquitous than ever before.
At the end of last year, an internal memorandum of Western diplomacy estimated that Saddam had built about 46 new palaces since 1990.
Among them is a large complex near the airport, more of which is Las Vegas, an artificial lake and a corner of Saddam Kim statue.
You can see it all from the revolving rooftop restaurant of Saddam challenge tower, which is the former communication tower of the United StatesS.
The bomber was destroyed in 1991.
There was a huge statue of Saddam outside the tower, and the leader stood on the bomb shrapnel with victory.
Iraqis may be angry at Saddam\'s control, but the ordinary Iraqi people and senior officials I interviewed said that life has improved significantly over the past few years and international sanctions are weakening.
For example, Syria recently announced a reopening of its oil pipeline with Iraq.
\"In fact, the sanctions regime is collapsing,\" hamdonn said . \".
\"In any case, people and businesses are doing business with Iraq.
\"In fact, years of sanctions have bred wealth from those who smuggle --to-
Bypass Western rules and ship goods into the country.
At the Sardar car dealership in Baghdad last Sunday, two workers put a brand of carsnew blue-
Green Dodge Durango Sports
Bus still hanging the yellow American warning labelbag cover.
\"It will cost about $35,000.
This is the only one in Iraq, \"32-year-old Sardar Hussein said in his showroom that he had a Rolex watch on his wrist, inside
Huge Saddam International Airport in Baghdad after years of empty air-
The largest airport in the Middle East, built in 1982--
Over the past two months, flights across the Middle East have been dusty.
Commercial Aviation Services between Iraq and Jordan have resumed. On my 10-
600 from Amman, Jordan to Baghdad
A mile-long highway was packed with trucks carrying goods, far from the spy of UN officials.
Three trailers in front of us, loaded with factories
New Mercedes Benz sedan.
Traffic from Iraq shows the reason: loading the cut tanker
Oil production in the world\'s second largest oil field is second only to Saudi Arabia.
Iraq produces about 2 million barrels of oil per day.
Even if sanctions were imposed, about 40% of them consumed natural gas.
Make American consumers furious.
But last month\'s oil source estimated that Saddam\'s additional income was about $1 billion, transporting oil to Jordan and Syria by land and then disappearing into the world market, with profits flowing directly to Baghdad. Bypass international officials.
The same was true of the United States at the end of 1999. N.
The Security Council finally lifted the quota on how much oil Iraq was allowed to sell.
The timing is extraordinary for Saddam.
Oil prices soared to their highest level since 1990 last year, bringing billions of dollars in windfall money to Saddam.
In a meeting with reporters this week, officials boasted about their success in smuggling oil.
When I asked about smuggling estimates, General Amir Mohammed Rashid, oil minister, said: \"Our economy is not connected to the Security Council . \".
\"We have our own bilateral trade relations and we have full rights to deal with this issue.
\"Despite being ranked first --
The vast majority of Iraqis continue to endure poverty. U. S.
British officials say Saddam is wasting billions of government money to support a small elite, while Iraqis say Western countries deliberately push their people into poverty through sanctions.
However, the statistics of poverty are not controversial.
Health care has fallen sharply in 10 years.
UNICEF believes that about 500,000 children die from various diseases each year and that they will not die from them without sanctions.
The hospital says they have a chronic lack of medicines and equipment, all of which must be approved by the United States to purchaseN. officials.
\"In my 1980 s, I will theoretically teach my students about tuberculosis and malnutrition from books,\" said Sami delami, a 62-year-old pediatric consultant, told me in the office of Saddam\'s Children\'s Hospital.
\"Now we have a lot of cases here.
\"One day I walked into a small house back in the parking lot of the bus.
Inside, the 45-year-old Gulperi Beg invited me to sit on the mat on the floor of the main room, and the window of the main room was a plastic cloth.
In the 1991 explosion, the glass broke and Beg had no money to replace them since then.
\"I\'m sorry you\'re sitting on the floor,\" she handed me a glass of water and asked me to have a snack.
We sold all the furniture.
When the bomb began to drop in 1991,
Iraqis are among the highest paid groups in the Middle East.
A civil servant earns about $2,000 a month and a university professor earns about $5,000 a month.
Buy 1 for 1 dollar.
Iraqi dinar ten years ago
Now, civil servants earn less than $25 a month, and when I change to $50 ---
Dinars 1,800 per dollar-
I got a big shopping bag with a pile of bills to drag on.
\"You won\'t believe it, but we used to go on holidays in Europe and come back with money in our pockets,\" an Iraqi photographer told me . \".
\"We feel like kings.
As a result, professional Iraqis fled in droves: about 2 million people now live outside, including thousands in the United States, many of whom are \"cream of our country,\" said Deputy Foreign Minister hamar Hamdoon.
Last summer, the government\'s vague attempt to stop intellectual hunger in Iraq ended up carefully entering the internet era, opening two \"Internet cafes\" in Baghdad to connect with Iraq\'s only servers ---
Which is the government? controlled.
This is the first time that Iraqis have seen technology that even African villages have been hooked on for years.
In a government.
Running cafe, 18 terminals on two floors provide one hour service for each user for about $1-
These days are not a small sum for Iraqis.
In front of a terminal, 28-year-old Qabas Awad told me that she traveled by taxi for four hours from her home in Mosul, just to log on to a website about the UK tax code.
\"I\'m a student,\" she said . \" Her hair was covered by a scarf.
\"We have used books for at least 10 years.
\"The sex site is blocked and when the staff hovers on the floor, the user may suppress the idea of any login to the exiled Iraqi opposition site.
Downstairs is four terminals reserved for those who have already paid for e-commerce
It\'s usually mail subscriptions from government departments and companies.
No one has ever heard of a private citizen with an email. mail.
\"I went there and said I wanted to check my Hotmail,\" an Iraqi TV producer later told me . \".
\"They told me it was illegal.
\"Despite this, there are still a lot of people waiting for the free computer, Sana-
The 24-year-old Ukabi, a staff member, said she was so busy teaching people how to use the Internet that she didn\'t have time to log in on her own.
So, what is a popular website for users, she says with a smile: \"anything different from here.
\"Despite the wear and tear on the edges of the sanctions, this is still much better than here.