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The Iraq War: Origins and Consequences

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Exploring the key historical, political, and social underpinnings, James DeFronzo analyzes the impact of this defining war in the Middle East. The Iraq War explains the compelling and interrelated sociological and political forces that led to war, accounting for important aspects of the occupation, the development of the resistance, and the conflict’s influence on other na Exploring the key historical, political, and social underpinnings, James DeFronzo analyzes the impact of this defining war in the Middle East. The Iraq War explains the compelling and interrelated sociological and political forces that led to war, accounting for important aspects of the occupation, the development of the resistance, and the conflict’s influence on other nations. Beyond a systematic study of the invasion, occupation, and the future of the U.S.–Iraq relationship, DeFronzo also covers the early history of Iraq, the British mandate, the antimonarchy revolution, and the influence of the Saddam Hussein regime and its wars—the Iran–Iraq War, the invasion of Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf War. The Iraq War provides a probing analysis of the underlying factors that devastated Iraq, shook the American political system, and helped shape political developments around the world.


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Exploring the key historical, political, and social underpinnings, James DeFronzo analyzes the impact of this defining war in the Middle East. The Iraq War explains the compelling and interrelated sociological and political forces that led to war, accounting for important aspects of the occupation, the development of the resistance, and the conflict’s influence on other na Exploring the key historical, political, and social underpinnings, James DeFronzo analyzes the impact of this defining war in the Middle East. The Iraq War explains the compelling and interrelated sociological and political forces that led to war, accounting for important aspects of the occupation, the development of the resistance, and the conflict’s influence on other nations. Beyond a systematic study of the invasion, occupation, and the future of the U.S.–Iraq relationship, DeFronzo also covers the early history of Iraq, the British mandate, the antimonarchy revolution, and the influence of the Saddam Hussein regime and its wars—the Iran–Iraq War, the invasion of Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf War. The Iraq War provides a probing analysis of the underlying factors that devastated Iraq, shook the American political system, and helped shape political developments around the world.

30 review for The Iraq War: Origins and Consequences

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Realpolitik Politics based on practical objectives rather than on ideals…a pragmatic, no-nonsense view and a disregard for ethical considerations. In diplomacy it is often associated with relentless, though realistic, pursuit of the national interest. (Encyclopedia Britannica) The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was realpolitik. To justify the invasion, at first, the US government wondered out loud if Iraq was connected to the 9/11 attacks on the USA. James DeFronzo puts it like this : Suspicion tha Realpolitik Politics based on practical objectives rather than on ideals…a pragmatic, no-nonsense view and a disregard for ethical considerations. In diplomacy it is often associated with relentless, though realistic, pursuit of the national interest. (Encyclopedia Britannica) The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was realpolitik. To justify the invasion, at first, the US government wondered out loud if Iraq was connected to the 9/11 attacks on the USA. James DeFronzo puts it like this : Suspicion that Saddam was involved in 9/11 was also used to justify attacking Iraq. Some asserted that the 9/11 operation was too well co-ordinated to be carried out by Al-Qaeda alone, that Iraq’s intelligence service must have been involved, and that no one had a stronger motive that the Iraqis to launch such a vicious attack on the United States. But the main reason given by Bush was all about the WMD (weapons of mass destruction, meaning chemical weapons) – Iraq was supposed to have stockpiled tons of the stuff. They therefore had to be disarmed, and Saddam wasn’t playing ball. As the invasion became the occupation, both these reasons turned out to be entirely wrong. The Bush regime shrugged and said oh well, mistakes can happen, nobody’s perfect. They then made a sharp right-turn in their speechifying and said well, look, we removed a real bad dictator and we are bringing the glories of democracy to Iraq, what’s not to like. And yes, Saddam was a terrible dictator, but so were about twenty others in various countries in 2003. The real reason for the invasion was never admitted. It was to remove a hostile government and replace it with a friendly government, because Iraq has the 5th largest oil reserves in the world. This was the Western world making sure that the oil continued to flow. The Western lifestyle wouldn’t last five minutes without a steady flow of oil. And unfortunately, most of the oil is in the very politically unstable region of the Middle East. (So, if you live in the West, you should really be grateful that the USA, at least, has your best interests at heart, and will make sure of the oil at whatever cost to anyone who stands in the way.) DID THEY LIE? NOT REALLY But does this mean that politicians like Bush and Blair straightfacedly lied on camera to their voters? At this point I diverge from a lot of opinion by saying no, they didn’t. They were given the ostensible reasons and they found them sufficiently plausible. They really believed in the phantom WMD. Behind them, the Pentagon and MI6 advisors may or may not have believed in the WMD, but they knew the Bushes and Blairs would, and they knew Bush and his political friends wanted to have believable reasons to do something they wanted to do anyway. So that’s where the duplicity lay. And they would say, well, we were just doing our job. If I put a gun into your hand, it's your decision whether to shoot it. And where to point it. This process of removing Saddam’s regime and setting a friendly regime in place was a complete catastrophe, entirely due to a fundamental lack of American understanding of the country or planning for its immediate future, due, I suppose, to massive incompetence and arrogance on the part of the CIA and the Pentagon. They were sort of kind of shocked when the Iraqi people did not strew flowers before the soldiers in grateful appreciation for getting rid of Saddam. So before the Americans’ eyes invasion turned to occupation which turned into a war. EVENTUALLY LEADING TO TRUMP Some Americans, outraged by this horrible turn of events, saw a conspiracy at the immediate point of origin of the war, that is, 9/11. That enormous event now seemed to be too convenient, providing a perfect reason to go to war (first in Afghanistan, then Iraq, the “real target”). They thought of 9/11 as a Reichstag Fire (the event in 1933 that Hitler used to assume dictatorial powers). Either the Bush administration had perpetrated the attacks themselves, or had allowed them to proceed. This was total nonsense, but this radical distrust in the American government by its own citizens has not gone away, and in 2016 turned into the unexpected (by the political classes) surge of support for Trump. BUT ACTUALLY, THERE REALLY WAS A CONNECTION BETWEEN IRAQ AND 9/11 A TANGLED TALE PART ONE : KUWAIT During World War One, the British promised the Arab people that if they helped them fight the Ottoman Empire the British would help them create an independent unified Arab nation after the war. This was all total lies. The British ended up with a mandate over Jordan, Palestine and Mesopotamia. The latter became Iraq but not before the British decided to snap off the southern oil rich part of Basra which became Kuwait. They did this because they needed a tame oil rich state on the Persian Gulf. As well as oil it would provide a useful base for any further invasions of Iraq which may be required in future. You may easily believe the British had no especially strong feelings about the ancient independent rights of the royal family of Kuwait. It was just convenient for Kuwait to exist. If it hadn’t been judged to be convenient, it wouldn’t exist now. During the Iran/Iraq war of 1980-88 Arab nations gave Saddam billions of petrodollars to help him win. When he didn’t, Kuwait, one of the donors, wanted their money back. There were some other beefs too; and anyway from Saddam’s point of view Kuwait was the 19th province of Iraq. So after the ghastly stalemate of the war with Iran he thought he could get a quick popular victory knocking out and reclaiming the little sheikhdom in the south. He thought that if the United Nations objected they wouldn’t do anything about it – look at what happened when the USA invaded Panama and replaced their government in 1989 – nothing happened, that’s what. In this he made a serious miscalculation. A TANGLED TALE PART TWO : ENTER OSAMA So, finally, the connection between Iraq and 9/11 went like this. When Iraq attacked and occupied Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, afraid it would be next (and maybe it would have been too), allowed the USA to set up a military base in the Kingdom. Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi billionaire, back from his part in the victorious jihadi war against the Soviets in Afghanistan (a victory that started the process of the unravelling of the entire USSR, but that’s a whole other story), (this is now sounding like an insane soap opera) was appalled – he saw another Islamic country (his own) being occupied by another imperialist Western power. He protested loudly about it, got kicked out of Saudi, went back to Afghanistan and revitalized & reorientated al-Qaeda. It would now attack America, which it did in 1993 (truck bombing of the World Trade Center), in 1998 (bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania) and in 2000 (bombing of the US ship Cole). After those attacks came 9/11. This was not the connection the Bush administration had in mind. But everything is connected together. The laws of cause and effect work day and night. Just not in the ways we might expect. THIS BOOK An excellent no-nonsense clear account of a very complex story. I try to make sense of the events I have lived through – it’s difficult at times, I’m sure you’d agree. Books like this really help. James DeFronzo joins together British imperial chessboard moves from the 1920s with the hijacked planes of September 11, with Saddam’s reckless attempts to hold an impossible country together and with Western voters’ increasing dismay at their own out of control governments; and along the way, he notes how easily we on every side can be whipped up to support the insupportable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brett Mayfield

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jaycob Izso

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josh Wartenberg

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grant

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A close friend of mine is the author and I am really looking forward to reading it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hieu Tu

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gunther Martens

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Barth

  13. 4 out of 5

    Desmond

  14. 4 out of 5

    KSEIO2984231 2O1U39419DJAE

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  16. 5 out of 5

    Royce Zobell

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jen Davis

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nocturnalux

  20. 5 out of 5

    Goodreads

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susmit Islam

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edgardo Luis

  23. 4 out of 5

    democritusjrjr

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

  29. 5 out of 5

    Celia Saumell

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sprite1989

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