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Iraq: A Report from the Inside [Paperback]

Dilip Hiro
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

6 Mar 2003
George W. Bush could succeed where Osama bin Laden failed in provoking a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West by launching a "pre-emptive" attack on Iraq. This is one of the disturbing conclusions to "Iraq: A Report from the Inside", a wide-ranging and thought provoking book by Middle East expert Dilip Hiro. Hiro looks beyond the spin of the Bush administration and Saddam's Baathist regime to explore Iraq in all its complexity - from the daily life of its people to its turbulent history and complex regional relations. Dilip Hiro provides an objective account of the performance of the UN inspectors and emphasises the importance of the Gulf War of 1991 and the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, and the duplicitous role of the United States, revealing how a toxic combination of US oil interests and Bush administration hawks are fuelling the drive to invade Iraq.

Product details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; 1st UK Paperback Edition edition (6 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862076278
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862076273
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,828,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

Dilip Hiro is a political analyst, veteran journalist and author of over 20 books on Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Islamic affairs. His latest book Iraq: A View from the Inside provides a short yet detailed and highly readable account of the events leading up to the 2003 war on Iraq.

The book opens with a description of the daily lives of Iraqis in the wake of sanctions that affect every aspect of their lives, from electricity to drinking water to car repairs to textbooks to medicine. It also explains why the hoped-for effect of sanctions—-that the Iraqi people would blame Saddam for their suffering—-has not materialised. Subsequent chapters deal with the history of Iraq, the Ba'ath Party and the rise of Saddam, the official opposition, the relations between Iraq and its neighbours, the intelligence activities of the relevant players and the crucial role played by oil in the history and politics of the region.

The book ends with, and leads up to, a list of comments and questions divided into three sections. The first deals with the frequent questions and comments that form the basis of the British/US case for war against Iraq--including the familiar description of Saddam himself as a terrorist, a harbourer of Al Queda, a threat to his neighbouring countries, a murderer of his own people and a gross violator of human rights. This first section is followed by a list of less frequently asked questions and comments that seriously question the legal and moral authority of Britain and the United States in embarking upon war. For instance, did American inspectors and other staff working for Unscom spy for their government? Is it really reasonable to expect a sovereign power to fully cooperate with a supposedly neutral UN inspections team when they know for certain that it is largely composed of American spies and that the information will be used for the accurate bombing of that country? Is it true that as Iraq's disarmament progressed, the US kept shifting the goalposts, forcing Saddam to conclude that no matter what he did, Washington would never allow the sanctions to be lifted? What are the implications of the US unilaterally adopting the doctrine of pre-emption in the international arena? The book closes with a set of questions submitted by Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on March 7, 2002-–questions that never received answers but which the reader is now in a position to answer for themselves.

If you're looking for an education on the historical background to the recent war then this succinct, accessible and highly informative book is for you. --Larry Brown


'A book for everyone trying to make sense of the contradictory messages on the airwaves...well judged, balanced, analytically astute and readable’ -- Irish Times

'Hiro is a model political analyst. His approach is as incorrigibly non-partisan as it is methodical' -- Sunday Times

'One of the clearest accounts of recent developments in Iraq...He knows more than most about the threat posed by Saddam’ -- Observer

‘ a model political analyst. His approach is as incorrigibly nonpartisan as it is methodical’ -- Sunday Times

‘Thorough and objective...Americans should hope that US military leaders have studied Iraq as closely as author Dilip Hiro has’ -- The Washington Post

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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Dilop Hiro has written a comprehensive, balanced and detailed account of events leading to the recent invasion of Iraq. The book was published shortly before war commenced and so the last chapter of the book now seems a little dated or academic. However, the remainder of the book provides an essential understanding of the reasons for and current consequences of the war. In spite of the detail, the pace of the narrative never slackens and makes for a riveting read.
The book begins with a description of the effects of economic sanctions on Iraq, describes how the Baath party came to power, the Iraqi motivations for the invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi opposition and its links to foreign powers, the UN negotiations, the influence of oil and the repercussions of the WTC attacks. In the final chapter, the author forecasts the aftermath and consequences of a war against Iraq.
His account is convincing, well researched and reveals fascinating details that were (and remain) under reported by the main stream media. The book is particularly strong when describing the strategic manoeuvrings by each of the UN Security Council members (and their underlying motivations). Also, here we see (possibly for the first time) a detailed description of the Iraqi input to the negotiations and Iraqi attempts to reach a diplomatic settlement. The author presents evidence that the ‘goal posts’ were repeatedly moved with the consequence of prolonging sanctions against Iraq. This is balanced by clear evidence of Iraq’s repeated concealment of its weapons development programmes.
The author reveals the connections between the Iraqi opposition groups, their foreign sponsors and the long gestation of the INC (and current interim Iraq government).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A small book - good start for a longer journey 10 Mar 2004
By "glif" - Published on
This is a kind of a summary of books Hiro wrote on this subject.
At the time of its publishing this book was up-to-date, had a few good maps taken from the larger works and summed up in a short form a lot of topics that Washington was supposed to study before going to war.
But this still is a VERY short summary of a number of themes, good only if you dont need detailed knowledge or you really want to check what Dilip Hiro was thinking at the eve of the recent American war.
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