From the Editor

published in MER215

In the spring of 1995, a special issue of Middle East Report offered a damning assessment of US and Allied policy toward Iraq since the Gulf war: Economic sanctions imposed to topple the Iraqi government were punishing the Iraqi people instead. Over five years later, little and much has changed. UNICEF studies have established beyond any doubt that US-led economic sanctions are wrecking Iraq's public health, education system and infrastructure. Hospitals beg for blood bags and basic sanitation supplies. Schools starve for paper and pencils, let alone computers.

Willful Blindness

by Chris Toensing
published in MER255

Joy Gordon, Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions (Harvard, 2010).

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Scandals of Oil for Food

by Joy Gordon | published July 19, 2004

Rep. Ralph Hall opened a set of Congressional hearings on July 8 with a dramatic flourish, denouncing "the deaths of thousands of Iraqis through malnutrition and lack of appropriate medical supplies." "We have a name for that in the United States," the Texas Republican told a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "It's called murder."

The Iraqi Klondike

Oil and Regional Trade

by Raad Alkadiri
published in MER220

From the Editor

published in MER218

On February 16, US and British warplanes bombed targets outside the no-fly zones for the first time since December 1998, prompting a brief media frenzy that refocused the world's attention on the low-level US-UK air war waged against Iraq since the 1990-1991 Gulf war. But the media mostly missed the real story. With bitter irony, George W. Bush's characterization of the raid as a "routine mission" highlighted the media's near-total neglect of the remarkable escalation of bombing inside the no-fly zones over the last two years.

Iraq: Rolling Over Sanctions, Raising the Stakes

by Sarah Graham-Brown | published November 28, 2001

Late in the evening of November 27, the US and Russia appear to have reached an agreement to once again roll over existing sanctions on Iraq for six months, by which time Secretary of State Colin Powell hopes the two powers will have agreed on a version of his proposed "smart sanctions." The December 3 deadline to renew the UN oil for food program, under which Iraq is allowed to sell its oil on the world market to import needed civilian goods, brings the familiar rhetoric, mutual accusations and rejections that have accompanied most renewals since 1997 when the program began. But this time, the stakes are higher, and the outcome is linked to broader uncertainties about future US policy in the Middle East.

Iraq's Water Woes

A Primer

by Chris Toensing
published in MER254

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