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Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War

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This updated edition examines the current drive to invade Iraq as part of George Bush’s global "war on terrorism," even though no evidence exists that ties Iraq to the tragic events of September 11.In this critically acclaimed col-lection, leading voices against the sanctions document the human, environmental, and social toll of the United States-led war against Iraq. Care This updated edition examines the current drive to invade Iraq as part of George Bush’s global "war on terrorism," even though no evidence exists that ties Iraq to the tragic events of September 11.In this critically acclaimed col-lection, leading voices against the sanctions document the human, environmental, and social toll of the United States-led war against Iraq. Carefully documented, thoroughly researched, and written in clear language, Iraq Under Siege is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand the roots of US policy in Iraq and the Middle East."Here is a brilliantly collated body of unrelenting, undeniable evidence of the horrors that the U.S government sanctions are visiting upon the people, in particular the children, of Iraq."—Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things


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This updated edition examines the current drive to invade Iraq as part of George Bush’s global "war on terrorism," even though no evidence exists that ties Iraq to the tragic events of September 11.In this critically acclaimed col-lection, leading voices against the sanctions document the human, environmental, and social toll of the United States-led war against Iraq. Care This updated edition examines the current drive to invade Iraq as part of George Bush’s global "war on terrorism," even though no evidence exists that ties Iraq to the tragic events of September 11.In this critically acclaimed col-lection, leading voices against the sanctions document the human, environmental, and social toll of the United States-led war against Iraq. Carefully documented, thoroughly researched, and written in clear language, Iraq Under Siege is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand the roots of US policy in Iraq and the Middle East."Here is a brilliantly collated body of unrelenting, undeniable evidence of the horrors that the U.S government sanctions are visiting upon the people, in particular the children, of Iraq."—Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things

50 review for Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Kosoris

    Iraq Under Siege is a collection of articles, essays, and interview transcripts documenting the deleterious effects of UN-imposed, US- and UK-backed economic sanctions placed on Iraq through the entirety of the ’90s. Written pre-9/11, the pieces portray the widespread suffering that befell the average Iraqi during the period while leaving members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime untouched––arguing that initiatives that were thought at the time to come with less “collateral damage” than direc Iraq Under Siege is a collection of articles, essays, and interview transcripts documenting the deleterious effects of UN-imposed, US- and UK-backed economic sanctions placed on Iraq through the entirety of the ’90s. Written pre-9/11, the pieces portray the widespread suffering that befell the average Iraqi during the period while leaving members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime untouched––arguing that initiatives that were thought at the time to come with less “collateral damage” than direct military confrontation were not only amoral, but also ineffective. There’s a wide range of writing styles and abilities throughout Iraq Under Siege, and not all pieces are created equal here. While a call to action from a prominent member of Voices in the Wilderness––an organization committed to ending the sanctions against Iraq––was heartfelt and informative, it couldn’t stack up in my mind against articles written by prominent scholars and journalists, like Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk. (This was actually my introduction to the writing of the latter, and I’ll most definitely be reading more of his work.) The collection also becomes a bit repetitive as we go, with numerous writers using the similar quotes, stats, and general arguments. This makes me think that seeing the work apart from the book would have strengthened each piece, but, as it stands, it makes the read more and more tedious as it goes on. Nonetheless, I came away from the book greatly affected by the arguments that were presented. I honestly knew very little about the US-Iraq relationship before the 2003 invasion––likely because I was still in high school in the early 2000s and only starting to take interest in global affairs. Of course, I’d heard superficially about the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and the subsequent expulsion of their forces by the US and UK in the early ’90s, but I had little to no idea of anything that happened in between. Having read Iraq Under Siege, Western policy and action in the Middle East makes a lot more sense to me now. I’m especially left with a sense of understanding of the US approach to foreign affairs through the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, in a way that kind of frightens me. Even with the negatives, I’d highly recommend giving this book a read if, like me, you don’t know a lot about what was happening in pre-9/11 Iraq, or if you emerged from the period feeling that Saddam was solely to blame for starving his people.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Stieb

    A very mixed bag of essays criticizing sanctions and US bombing campaigns against Iraq in the 1990's. Most of the essays draw moral equivalence between the US and Saddam Hussein, fail to acknowledge Saddam's culpability for failing to distribute resources and fix key infrastructure even though we know he had the funds (he was intentionally depriving disloyal regions), and put forward an incredibly simplistic view of USFP. I don't know how many times the writers in here accused the US simply of w A very mixed bag of essays criticizing sanctions and US bombing campaigns against Iraq in the 1990's. Most of the essays draw moral equivalence between the US and Saddam Hussein, fail to acknowledge Saddam's culpability for failing to distribute resources and fix key infrastructure even though we know he had the funds (he was intentionally depriving disloyal regions), and put forward an incredibly simplistic view of USFP. I don't know how many times the writers in here accused the US simply of wanting to dominate the Middle East to get oil and using 9/11 as a pretext. This volume also doesn't put forth a realistic alternative either to the Gulf War or to some kind of cage for Saddam. The moral earnestness expressed in these essays is admirable at times. Some of these activists travelled to Iraq at great risk to provide medicine and other necessities, and this can only be admired and praised even though it was technically illegal. This book's claims about 500,000 excess childhood deaths in the 1990's has been thrown into question by two British demographers in a recent article in the BMJ of Global Health. They show the flaws in the UNICEF studies upon which those claims were made through post 2003 health surveys that showed no major uptick in childhood mortality. They present evidence of GOI manipulation of data and UNICEF studies, which fits logically into Iraq's strategy to use the suffering of their people to undermine public support for sanctions. Of course, this would not be the first time that left wing activists, who really see no limit to America's ability to do evil, would be suckered by authoritarian propaganda. This doesn't mean that there wasn't real suffering in IQ related to the sanctions. However, this book doesn't probe the toughest ethical dilemma behind sanctions. If A. sanctions contribute to Iraqi civilian suffering and B. Saddam could alleviate that suffering through accepting O4F, complying with UN inspections, or just supplying enough aid and infrastructural repairs to help his own people but C. Saddam won't do that, because he doesn't care and can use this humanitarian suffering to further his own rule then D. Can the US rightfully persist with a comprehensive sanctions policy and blame the suffering on Saddam when there's no realistic chance of him changing his actions? This is not an easy one, and yet in their fervor to denounce the US and excuse Saddam the authors of this book overlook it completely. Now that many of the stats that underlie this book are being called into question, it really only has value for understanding left-wing critics of USFP. It was simplistic, self-righteous, and frankly annoying.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Lewis

    A good if somewhat repetitive collection of essays documenting the 500+ thousands deaths on civilians inflicted by US and UN sanctions. Noam Chomsky's analysis of why exactly the US wanted to destroy Iraq (to destroy Arab nationalism that could conflict with it's economic interests), and the courageous tales from Voices in the Wilderness of being fined 160k for delivering life-saving medical supplies to Iraq were highlights. A good if somewhat repetitive collection of essays documenting the 500+ thousands deaths on civilians inflicted by US and UN sanctions. Noam Chomsky's analysis of why exactly the US wanted to destroy Iraq (to destroy Arab nationalism that could conflict with it's economic interests), and the courageous tales from Voices in the Wilderness of being fined 160k for delivering life-saving medical supplies to Iraq were highlights.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sham Al-Ghazali

    Quite a good read of attitudes towards Iraq during sanction era, brilliantly informing and also utterly heartbreaking (chapter targets - not victims in particular). Considering that this was written in 2000 and a lot of the issues still arise is an important subject matter too.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yonis Gure

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs of the jury. Feast your eyes at these wicked tangle of thorns.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Timothy R.

    The essays were hit or miss. Some were convincing and well documented, others not so much.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dimitrios

  8. 5 out of 5

    Çağrı Sarımehmetoğlu

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed Lotfy

  10. 4 out of 5

    Americanenglishexper

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rrr

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    Daniel Neighbour

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric

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    Muhammad Ahmad

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    Simon Wood

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    BookDB

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    Rafael

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    Eric G.

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  42. 4 out of 5

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    Waqas Mirza

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    Luc Castelein

  49. 4 out of 5

    T.J. Jourian

  50. 4 out of 5

    James

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