One year after the toppling of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and his regime, Iraqis still wonder why the regime collapsed without resistance.
For months that proceeded the war, Saddam announced almost everyday that Iraq would be a graveyard for the invaders and the well-armed army forces, republican forces, security forces and the members of the Baath party, then ruling party, would terminate the Americans.
But the opposite happened and the regime collapsed as soon as the Americans arrived to the outskirts of Baghdad.
Iraqis wondered whether the sudden collapse was because of the treason of some of the military leaders close to Saddam or the cowardliness of Saddam himself.
A small town in the south of Iraq, Um Qasir, resisted for two weeks, but Baghdad, which was well equipped with the major forces and weapons, did not resist at all.
Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem Abdul Razaq said he gathered what was left of his exhausted soldiers on the morning of April 7 last year,when the American airplanes were roaming the skies of Iraq and bombing whatever they wanted and the American army advancing to Baghdad.
"When it became clear that we lost control, I gave an order to my soldiers to withdraw, for their stay would mean only their death," said the high-ranking former Iraq army officer.
The plan prepared by Saddam was to destroy the American army by guerrilla fighting when it entered Baghdad, but no one trusted thatplan, which proved to be a failure, and the people of Baghdad were saved from a horrible massacre and total destruction.
Col. Hassan Jabbani said that 70 percent of his soldiers deserted their units by April 3 and he realized there was not any chance of wining, so he let them go.
Abdul Razaq said Saddam created small armies to protect him and his clan, interests and family. He used to give them difficult assignments and then generously reward them, which made them exaggerate and even lie in their reports about the Iraqi army and its capabilities.
After the toppling of Saddam's regime, a report said the Iraqi loss was not only due to the American bombarding, but also due to the way the Iraqi army was built, which was absence of trust and infamous for their oppressive practices, especially after the 1991 Gulf War.
The report quoted one officer as saying that news from the southat the beginning of the war were very encouraging for the soldiers.But after they heard that the Americans took control of Baghdad airport, their morale collapsed and most of them deserted the army.