How Bush Backed Iraq

by Jack Colhoun
published in MER176

An ongoing House Banking Committee’s investigation into US policy toward Iraq, led by chair Henry Gonzalez (D-TX), sheds new light on the role of George Bush in pressing for strong US support of the Baath regime in Iraq. Documents released by the committee reveal that at critical moments Bush intervened on Iraq’s behalf during and after the Iran-Iraq war.

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The False Promise of Operation Provide Comfort

Protecting Refugees or Protecting State Power?

by Bill Frelick
published in MER176

The US-led response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait has had many immediate repercussions on the international humanitarian network set up at the dawn of an earlier “new order” -- the close of World War II. It also has more than a few similarities to the protection scheme set up then to assist and protect refugees and displaced persons, and similarly reflects the values and concerns of its time.

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State Terror and the Degradation of Politics in Iraq

by Isam al-Khafaji
published in MER176

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Why the Uprisings Failed

by Faleh A. Jabar
published in MER176

In March 1991, following Iraq’s defeat in the Gulf war, the Kurds of northern Iraq and Arabs of the south rose up against the Baath regime. For two brief weeks, the uprisings were phenomenally successful. Government administration in the towns was overthrown and local army garrisons were left in disarray. Yet by the end of the month the rebellions had been crushed and the rebels scattered, fleeing across the nearest borders or into Iraq’s southern marshes. Those who could not flee did not survive summary executions.

The Displacement of Urfiya Hama Ahmad

by Joost Hiltermann
published in MER181

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Makiya, Cruelty and Silence

by Mouin Rabbani
published in MER187

Kanan Makiya, Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World (W. W. Norton, 1993).

The absence of basic human rights and democratic freedoms in the Arab world for most of the post-colonial era, and the failure of the region’s inhabitants to successfully contest this deficit, has appropriately come to be known as a crisis of Arab political culture. That this crisis is not an abstraction but is excruciatingly real was amply demonstrated during the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis. It is this important theme that Kanan Makiya attempts to address.

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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.