Tuesday marks 10 years since the United States lead a coalition of forces into Iraq.
Former President Bush vowed to give the Iraqis a "united, stable and free country." Ten years and $800 billion later, one native tells us the war has had a lasting effect on his homeland.
"My wife called me and she said, 'Honey, Saddam is gone.' I said, 'Great,' and she said, 'Turn the TV on.' I was really surprised. I was really happy to see that minute," says Vigo County resident and Iraq native, Mansor Al-Mansor. He's recalling the day President Bush announced the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Al-Mansor came to the U.S. in the 1980s and owns an auto shop in Terre Haute. He says he sees only one true victory of the war. "The only thing that's really come out of this war is Saddam is not there. That's the only things; I'm so happy with it. But other things is disaster," says Al-Mansor.
Saddam Hussein was executed in 2006 for crimes against humanity.
Since the invasion in 2003,189,000 people have died--both Iraqis and Americans.
"I don't like war to kill innocent people; even losing our people. We lost a lot of people in the war. I feel so sorry for the people who lost their life," says Al-Mansor.
says lost life isn't the only casualty of the war. Al-Mansor says
broken promises continue to affect the Iraqi people. "The material
things for example; electricity, water, a lot of facilities, schools,
hospitals; it's totally behind way far. It should be a lot better,"
he says. Al-Mansor also notes that corruption is still a big problem for oil-rich Iraq. Iraq is considered one of the most corrupt counties in the world.
Al-Mansor does credit Operation Iraqi Freedom with advancing the women's movement in the country. "The women in Iraq; they have more freedom than other oil countries in the middle east. But we need them pushed up higher and higher because the woman is very important in the society," he says.
Al-Mansor says he thinks there are more effective non-violent means to bring democracy to the middle east."We have special technology. We have Twitter, Facebook, all kind of tools we have--beautiful technology--we can wake them up, these people. And make them understand what they live and what they want," he says.
Al-Mansor says he talked to his brother back in Iraq on Tuesday via Skype. His brother said there were many celebrations throughout the country to honor the anniversary of the ousting of Saddam Hussein.
Al-Mansor has been back to Iraq three times since the insurgency began in 2003. He says he feels a freedom that hasn't existed there before, but says there's still a pervasive sense of fear.
More than 50 people were killed by a wave of bombings in Iraq Tuesday.