New Book Documents, Condemns Iraqi Sanctions

Kim Jensen

Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War
Edited by Anthony Arnove
South End Press, 2000
“Iraq Under Siege” is a wide-ranging collection of personal essays, first-hand accounts and analyses of the effect of the war and sanctions on Iraq, raising its many voices to rail against the U.S. policy that many feel has reached near-genocidal proportions.      
This collection, not the first of its kind (see “The Children are Dying,”1996; and “Metal of Dishonor,” 1997), is perhaps the most comprehensive documentation of the ongoing suffering of the people of Iraq.  The latest book by South End Press brings together such well-known sanctions critics as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Denis Halliday, Phyllis Bennis, Robert Fisk, Rania Masri, Kathy Kelly and John Pilger, as well as many others.
An excellent source book for background material on this subject, and as useful for an academic as for an activist, “Iraq Under Siege”  is well-organized and well documented. Although it certainly does not condone the brutality of Saddam Hussein, it makes it clear that the overwhelming destruction of the society is now largely due to the economic embargo, enforced by the U.S. The issue of the effects of depleted uranium, which was used in southern Iraq in 1991, is also dealt with.
“Iraq Under Siege”  would make an ideal text for college courses in Middle East studies, political science, or even contemporary ethics classes. The book is also geared to generating activists and encourages a stronger movement to end the sanctions.  
This review appeared in Al Jadid Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 31, Spring 2000.
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