Sanctioning Saddam: The Plitics of Intervention in Iraq / Edition 1

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Throughout the 1990s Iraq has been the target not only of military attack but of the most draconian and protracted economic embargo ever imposed by the international community. In the immediate aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War the embargo was accompanied by an effort to provide aid to the Iraqi people and to protect them against human rights abuses, an initiative that seemed to break new ground in providing protection for civilians in a situation of conflict. Yet the outcome of the international community’s efforts has fallen short of the promise. Why has there been such a large gap between the rhetoric and reality? How exactly have the combination of economic sanctions, international humanitarian aid and limited protection of civilians affected Iraq? And what lessons can be drawn from the experience? This is the most carefully documented, comprehensive account to be published on the consequences of intervention in Iraq during the 1990s. It examines not only the record of intervention, but also the complicated political context which has shaped international policy and the Iraqi response to it.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Excellent chapters on economic sanctions and the Iraqi Kurds....” —Foreign Affairs

“Graham leaves you with the unmistakable conclusion that narrowly defined state interests continue to prevail over the interests of human beings in the post-Cold War era.” —Washington Post Book World

Library Journal
Graham-Brown, who worked as the coordinator of the Gulf Information Project with the Refugee Council in London, examines the current sanction strategies against Iraq, how they developed, and what problems they pose. Attempting to explain the dynamic and complex relations at the international, regional, and local levels, she has arranged the book into three main sections: how governments and the UN formulated policy and what the Iraqi reactions were; the situation within Iraq; and the efforts of the UN and other international governmental organizations to provide humanitarian aid efforts (the author's real interest). Well-documented chapter endnotes are included, with references to many interviews and publications from governments and international organizations. The bibliography is confusing, however, as it is divided into large sections, and the last name is not at the beginning of the citation. This book complements Geoffrey L. Simons's The Sourging of Iraq: Sanctions, Law, and National Justice (St. Martin's, 1998). Recommended for both public and academic libraries.--Daniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Having written extensively on the Middle East and been involved with British aid agencies in the region, Graham-Brown details a number of aspects of the sanctions and military attacks that western governments have imposed on Iraq throughout the 1990s. She examines events in the 1970s and 1980s, the intervention, western policies and politics behind them, the embargo, and British and US air attacks up to early 1999. She says some of the underlying issues explain some of the seemingly unpredictable surface events. US distribution is by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
By far the most impressive work on the Iraq sanctions...It is a thorough and scholarly work with meticulous documentationof the impact and operations of sanctions...
Kirkus Reviews
Detailed study of military, economic, and humanitarian intervention in Iraq by the international community since 1991. In that year, a coalition of forces defeated Iraq and forced its retreat from Kuwait. Since that time, economic sanctions have been imposed on Iraq to disarm and demilitarize that state. A further goal, at least in the eyes of the US, has been to force Saddam Hussein from power. Eight years later, despite enormous suffering among the Iraqi people, Graham-Brown (Images of Women: The Portrayal of Women in Photography in the Middle East 1860–1950, not reviewed) concludes that the success of economic sanctions is far from clear and that the use of sanctions as a general instrument of international power is of dubious efficacy. While Graham-Brown spends considerable time discussing the breakdown of the Gulf War coalition and the circumstances within Iraq that have lead to Saddam's continued rule, her particular focus is on international aid to the Iraqi population. She terms such aid humanitarian "intervention" as it has been imposed on Iraq by outside forces and thus calls into question rights of national sovereignty. Does the international community have the right to help a state that doesn't want it? Humanitarian aid has been difficult in the case of Iraq as it has been buffeted on all sides by politics. Aid agencies have been plagued by lukewarm support from donor states and by political manipulation by Saddam and by the separatist Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, who would attempt to use such aid to their political advantage. Further, aid organizations have been, willingly or not, implicated in the morally questionable imposition of sanctions, as their work hasbeen used to blunt criticism of these sanctions. This is, however, an overly ambitious work, repetitive at times and detailed to the point of confusion. Too much time is spent on all aspects of intervention in Iraq, too little on the humanitarian aspect. Useful perhaps for experts, but not for the general reader.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781860644733
  • Publisher: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Graham Brown has written several books on the Middle East, including the highly successful Images of Women: The Portrayal of Women in Photography in the Middle East 1860-1950 .
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