Politics, Not Policy

Behind US Calls for War Crimes Tribunals for Iraq

by Sarah Graham-Brown | published August 25, 2000

In a public break with the US, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook today submitted a draft parliamentary bill supporting the rapid establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC) in which to try major war criminals and violators of human rights. The British move to secure the ICC's ratification in Parliament contrasts sharply with the Clinton administration's recalcitrance on the ICC. The US continues to insist on protecting its own nationals from prosecution by the ICC--even at the cost of watering down the court's mandate.

"They Dignified Our University"

Anti-Sanctions Protesters Rock Berkeley's Commencement

by Nadine Naber , Fadia Rafeedie | published May 24, 2000

The Situation in Iraq: Democracy Cannot Be Manufactured at Foggy Bottom or the Pentagon

An Interview with Representative Cynthia McKinney

by Laurie King-Irani | published October 21, 1999

UNICEF Establishes Blame in Iraq

by Sarah Graham-Brown | published September 21, 1999

UNICEF'S recent reports on child mortality in Iraq provided ready fuel for the ongoing propaganda war over the future of sanctions. Iraq's representative at the UN has spoken of a "genocide" caused by sanctions while US and United Kingdom spokespersons, completely ignoring the sanctions' impact since 1990, have blamed Saddam's regime for Iraq's socio-economic decline.

The Trouble with the Tribunal

Saddam Hussein and the Elusiveness of Justice

by Jennifer R. Ridha
published in MER232

“Baghdad, if you ask your friends about it, has one re- markable peculiarity.” [1] So wrote Freya Stark in 1937 in her famed, and more than slightly Orientalist, collection of travel essays, Baghdad Sketches. Today, Baghdad has a number of peculiarities, though its most staggering is the pervasiveness of the memory of atrocities under Saddam Hussein’s 25-year rule.

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The Paris Club, the Washington Consensus and the Baghdad Cake

by Justin Alexander
published in MER232

In October 2004, representatives from the G-8 and 11 other countries will meet without fanfare or press coverage in a quiet room in the French Finance Ministry. It is unlikely that their lunchtime dessert will actually be a cake decorated with the stripes and green stars of the Iraqi flag, but they will certainly be intent on grabbing as large a slice as they can of the metaphorical cake in their minds. The outcome of their meeting will have tremendous significance for 26 million Iraqis.

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State Rebuilding in Reverse

The Neoliberal "Reconstruction" of Iraq

by Khalid Mustafa Medani
published in MER232

In June 2003, L. Paul Bremer, head of the now dissolved Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), announced the broad outlines of the Bush administration’s plan to rebuild Iraq along strict free market principles. “The removal of Saddam Hussein,” Bremer helpfully explained, “offers Iraqis hope for a better economic future.

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Silent Battalions of Democracy

by Herbert Docena
published in MER232

Sheikh Majid al-Azzawi was one proud Iraqi. His office, surrounded by sandbags, barbed wire and tall concrete walls, looked more like a military base than an administrative building. But even the pitch-black darkness that swirled in the corridors most of the day did not dampen al-Azzawi’s spirits. “We are very happy to be part of this council, even if we have simple equipment,” said the member of the Rusafa district council in central Baghdad. “It is the first time for all the members of the government, because it was impossible before.”

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The Insurgency Intensifies

by Steve Negus
published in MER232

Within months after the fall of Saddam, the US military was engaged in a low-intensity guerrilla conflict throughout the predominantly Sunni Arab towns north and west of Baghdad. At first, the US dismissed the attacks as the work of Baathist “diehards” and “dead-enders,” a minor problem that would swiftly disappear thanks to US military might and the cooperation of an Iraqi public anxious to rebuild. Indeed, in its early stages the guerrilla campaign was little more than amateur harassment. But by the end of 2003 -- partly because of the political failures of the Coalition Provisional Authority, but also because of US counterinsurgency tactics -- the insurgency had escalated into a force capable of taking entire cities.