Iraq Revisited

by Fred Halliday
published in MER187

Amatzia Baram, Culture, History and Ideology in the Formation of Baathist Iraq, 1968-1989 (Macmillan, 1991).

Samir al-Khalil, The Monument: Art, Vulgarity and Responsibility in Iraq (Andre Deutsch, 1991).

Robert Fernea and Wm. Roger Louis, eds. The Iraqi Revolution of 1958: The Old Social Classes Revisited (I. B. Tauris, 1991).

Oles Smolansky with Bettie M. Smolansky, The USSR and Iraq: The Soviet Quest for Influence (Duke, 1991).

Eberhard Kienle, Ba‘th vs. Ba‘th: The Conflict between Syria and Iraq, 1968-1989 (I. B. Tauris, 1990).

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How Safe Is the Safe Haven?

by Ralf Backer , Ronald Ofteringer
published in MER187

More than 10 million landmines have been scattered in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1975. Fifty percent of these were made in Italy. During the Iran-Iraq war, vast areas like Haj Omran and Penjwin were mined by both sides. After the Anfal campaign in 1988, Iraqi troops heavily mined the remnants of destroyed villages and booby-trapped them to prevent access by villagers and Kurdish fighters. The last round of mining started during the Gulf crisis in 1990 when Iraqi troops laid hundreds of thousands of mines near the Turkish border to hinder a possible allied attack from Turkish territory.

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A Republic of Statelessness

Three Years of Humanitarian Intervention in Iraqi Kurdistan

by Ralf Backer , Ronald Ofteringer
published in MER187

For nearly three years, Iraqi Kurdistan has been in a state of de facto self-rule. At first glance, it appears that the international engagement in Iraq on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 688 (Operation Provide Comfort) provided this opportunity.

Beyond the Ultra-Nationalist State

by Isam al-Khafaji
published in MER187

The current debate on the compatibility of Arab-Muslim culture with Enlightenment ideals of rationality, democracy and tolerance is curiously devoid of historical reference. In the Arab world, the debates on democracy and progress regained momentum during the late 1970s, when the Islamist movements began to attract a wide spectrum of people who had hitherto been considered the “natural” pool from which the left would draw support. Recognition of the need for radical change in their societies by Arab intellectuals, and a resurgent attraction to liberal democracy, is not a byproduct of the so-called new world order. Nor is it an intellectual property to which any writer can lay claim.

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Kurdish Broadcasting in Iraq

by Ann Zimmerman
published in MER189

In the transition from exile to autonomy, Iraqi Kurdish parties have set up the first Kurdish-controlled television channels in the Middle East. Their broadcasts now reach more than half of the estimated 3 to 4 million people in “Free Kurdistan.” [1]

The Remains of Anfal

by Andrew Whitley
published in MER189

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The Kurdish Experience

by Amir Hassanpour
published in MER189

Numbering over 22 million, the Kurds are one of the largest non-state nations in the world. Their homeland, Kurdistan, has been forcibly divided and lies mostly within the present-day borders of Turkey, Iraq and Iran, with smaller parts in Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The greatest number of Kurds today still live in Kurdistan, though a large Kurdish diaspora has developed in this century, especially in the main cities of Turkey and Iran and more recently in Europe as well. Between 10 and 12 million Kurds live in Turkey, where they comprise about 20 percent of the population. Between 5 and 6 million live in Iran, accounting for close to 10 percent of the population. Kurds in Iraq number more than 4 million, and comprise about 23 percent of the population.

The Saudis, the French and the Embargo

by Fareed Mohamedi , Roger Diwan
published in MER193

The successful maintenance of a near total embargo on Iraq owes to a number of factors, ranging from geography to post-Cold War global economies. Iraq’s limited access to the sea can be easily monitored, while its record of regional aggression has deprived Baghdad of local friends. Despite some breaches of the export embargo involving high-ranking officials in both countries, Iran is not going to give Iraq much economic relief. The same goes for Syria. Turkey and Jordan, Iraq’s two lifelines to the outside world, cannot risk more than limited and calibrated breaches of the embargo because of their own susceptibility to US pressures.

The Iraqi Question from the Inside

by Pierre-Jean Luizard
published in MER193

To affirm the existence of an “Iraqi question” has certain implications. People usually speak, referring to the Shi‘a and the Kurds, of minorities and of the necessity of protecting them as such. But this misses the point concerning what is unique about Iraq.

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