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Inside Saddam's Iraq

U.N. Weapons Inspections

Iraq and Terrorism

The U.S. and Iraq

Analyzing the Bush Doctrine

The Future of the Middle East

Testing the Alliance: The U.S.-Europe Divide

Inside Saddam's Iraq

Explaining Saddam
This psychological profile of Saddam Hussein evaluating his personality and political behavior was prepared by Jerrold M. Post, a professor of psychiatry, political psychology and international affairs. Post presented this analysis to the House Armed Services Committee in December 1990, on the brink of the U.S. going to war with Iraq.
Plan of Action -- A Top Secret Internal Memo
To understand how Saddam has remained for 20 years firmly entrenched as Iraq's leader despite wars, sanctions, coup and assassination attempts, read this government memo issued in 1992. It details ways for Saddam's security apparatus to tighten control of the population and crush opposition. Offering a clear view into Saddam's Orwellian police state, it also shows how in many ways his regime parallels the Soviet police state of Joseph Stalin, the leader Saddam most admires.
Principality of Stones
This excerpt from Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge by Said K. Aburish chronicles how, after the Gulf War ended, Saddam methodically and brutally set about imposing greater control on the army and security apparatus, as well as his own personal protection system, in order to thwart coup attempts.
The Kurds' Story
Read FRONTLINE's interviews with key Kurdish leaders and senior American officials who discuss the long, bitter relationship between the U.S. and the Kurds of northern Iraq. Also view a chronology of U.S.-Kurdish relations.
Indeed, You, The Father of Oudai -- An Iraqi Music Video
Saddam Our Father -- An Iraqi Music Video
Tales of the Tyrant
Mark Bowden's May 2002 cover story in The Atlantic Monthly magazine draws on the extensive literature about Saddam, as well as numerous interviews with Iraqi expatriates who worked close to him, to offer a richly detailed, in-depth portrait of Saddam and what has shaped him.

U.N. Weapons Inspections

U.N. Arms Inspections in Iraq
This is the Web site for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), created to monitor Iraq's disarmament. It contains links to statements and reports on Iraqi compliance by UNMOVIC Chairman Dr. Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei. The site also has summaries of various Security Council meetings about Iraq and chronologies of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC inspections.
Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction
A summary of what international weapons inspections during the 1990s revealed about Iraq's biochemical and nuclear weapons capability. In 1998, Iraq blocked the weapons inspection agencies, UNSCOM and IAEA, from conducting further UN-mandated inspections.
Concealment Techniques
The August 1995 defection of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel enabled UNSCOM and the IAEA to discover Iraq's concealment activities at Al Atheer, a plant dedicated to the design and manufacture of nuclear weapons. This report is from the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies collection of material on Iraq.
The West's Contribution to Iraq's Arsenal
This document tracks how Western countries provided Iraq with material for chemical and biological weapons in the 1980s and 1990s. From the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Iraq and Terrorism

A Map of Salman Pak
This crude drawing is by a former Iraqi army officer and defector, who describes in his FRONTLINE interview how the area of Salman Pak on the outskirts of Baghdad contained a highly secret installation where, he claims, Iraq conducted terrorist training for Islamic militants from other countries.
Overview of State-Sponsored Terrorism
Iraq is one of the seven countries that the U.S. has designated state sponsors of terrorism. This excerpt from the U.S. State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000" report links Iraq to Palestinian and Iranian terrorist organizations, but states that "The regime has not attempted an anti-Western terrorist attack since its failed plot to assassinate former President Bush in 1993 in Kuwait."

The U.S. and Iraq

Assassination Attempts
Over the past decade both the U.S. and Iraq have personalized their confrontation through assassination plots. Here's a summary of three known attempts.
Speaking of Iraq
In January 1998, the Project for the New American Century, chaired by William Kristol, sent a letter to President Clinton that argued the removal of Saddam Hussein from power "needs to become the aim of American foreign policy." The letter, sent to Clinton just before he was to give his annual State of the Union Address, was signed by many current Bush administration officials, including, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton. Richard Perle and R. James Woolsey also signed the letter.
Confronting Iraq: U.S. Policy and Use of Force Since the Gulf War
This RAND analysis of U.S.-Iraq confrontation since the Gulf War reveals that although post-Gulf War U.S. policy toward Iraq is widely viewed as a failure, a closer study shows success when U.S. actions threatened Saddam's relationship with his power base. The authors argue that in dealing with Iraq, policymakers must take into account an understanding of which changes they cannot affect through coercive tactics, as well as how to integrate coercive actions into a long-term strategy.
Our Interests in the Gulf
This flashback from The Atlantic Monthly contains two opposing essays on whether fighting Iraq in the Gulf War was in the U.S. national interest. Christopher Layne argues that "Since the end of the Second World War, most recently in the Gulf, the United States has chosen to exaggerate minor threats to its security ... and to equate its safety with the maintenance of world order." However, Joseph Nye counters this argument by writing, "In a world of interdependence Americans cannot afford to define the national interest in domestic or international terms alone."
America's Iraq Policy: How Did it Come to This?
Journalist Robin Wright's 1998 analysis of the history of flawed assumptions, lost opportunities, ineptitude and mistakes which since the end of the Gulf War has characterized the U.S. strategy in dealing with Saddam Hussein.

Analyzing the Bush Doctrine

A Grand Strategy of Transformation
The Bush administration's National Security Strategy, says historian John Lewis Gaddis, "comes across as more forceful, more carefully crafted and -- unexpectedly -- more multilateral than its immediate predecessor. It's a tip-off that there [are] interesting things going on here." He also addresses what the NSS doesn't explicitly state: that the war in Afghanistan proved U.S. values "were transportable, even to the remotest and most alien parts of the earth," and he suggests that "Iraq is the most feasible place where we can strike the next blow." [Foreign Policy, November/December 2002]
The Next World Order
The New Yorker's Nicholas Lemann examines the roots of a national security strategy of preemption in the Bush administration and how Sept. 11 served as "a transformative moment" for some members of George W. Bush's foreign policy team. "Some questions," he writes, "that don't appear to be settled yet, but are obviously being asked, are how much the United States is willing to operate alone in foreign affairs, and how much change it is willing to try to engender inside other countires -- and to what end and with what means." [The New Yorker, April 1, 2002]
The War on What?
Nicholas Lemann looks at the debates both within and outside of the Bush administration over how the U.S. should continue the war on terror after the fall of the Taliban. "To the extent that the supremely confident hawks take seriously anyone who disagrees with them," he writes, "it wouldn't be the multilateralists, whom they regard as sentimental and na‘ve, but old-fashioned foreign-policy realists, people who think of themselves as being hardheaded enough to conduct their discussion of American foreign policy on the ground of practical matters like national interest and balance of power." [The New Yorker, Sept. 16, 2002]
George Bush & the World
Frances FitzGerald critiques the Bush administration's foreign policy in The New York Review of Books, citing its break with "the internationalist premises that have been accepted by every other administration since World War II -- with the exception of Reagan's first." She writes that the "lack of debate over foreign policy since September 11 has obscured the rift, but to recall Bush senior's approach to foreign policy is to see just how radical the change is -- and to raise the question of how it came about only eight years later." [The New York Review of Books, Sept. 26, 2002]
The Obsolescence of Deterrence
Charles Krauthammer responds to critics of the Bush preemption strategy in The Weekly Standard. "Yes, deterrence worked in the past," he writes. "But in the past it was a play with very few actors. And even under those circumstances, the best of circumstances, deterrence was psychologically debilitating, inherently unstable, and highly dangerous. To voluntarily choose it as the principle on which to rest our safety in this age of weapons of mass destruction is sheer folly." [The Weekly Standard, Dec. 9, 2002]
The High and Mighty
Describing what he calls America's "new exceptionalism" in foreign policy, Harvard professor Stanley Hoffmann writes, "A discerning reader might object that many of my new exceptionalists are no more than realists drunk with America's new might as the only superpower. This is true, but that headiness makes all the difference. Whereas the hallmark of past realists -- theorists and diplomats such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Hans Morgenthau, George Kennan, even Henry Kissinger -- was the kind of discerning prudence and moderation that Thucydides once praised, the new voices are nothing if not excessive and triumphalist." [The American Prospect, Jan. 13, 2003]

The Future of the Middle East

Iraq and the Arabs' Future
Fouad Ajami argues in Foreign Affairs that beyond the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, U.S. motives should include "modernizing the Arab world." He warns, "Any fallout of war is certain to be dwarfed by the terrible consequences of America's walking right up to the edge of war and then stepping back, letting the Iraqi dictator work out the terms of another reprieve. It is the fate of great powers that provide order to do so against the background of a world that takes the protection while it bemoans the heavy hand of the protector. This new expedition to Mesopotamia would be no exception to that rule." [Foreign Affairs, January/February 2003]
The Burden
Michael Ignatieff writes in The New York Times Magazine, "Radical Islam would never have succeeded in winning adherents if the Muslim countries that won independence from the European empires had been able to convert dreams of self-determination into the reality of competent, rule-abiding states. America has inherited this crisis of self-determination from the empires of the past. Its solution -- to create democracy in Iraq, then hopefully roll out the same happy experiment throughout the Middle East -- is both noble and dangerous: noble because, if successful, it will finally give these peoples the self-determination they vainly fought for against the empires of the past; dangerous because, if it fails, there will be nobody left to blame but the Americans." [The New York Times Magazine, Jan. 5, 2003]
The Struggles of Democracy and Empire
Journalist Mark Danner, in this op-ed from The New York Times, describes the Bush administration's vision of a democratic Iraq that would change the balance of power in the Middle East. He warns, however, that "grand projects have not been treated kindly in the Middle East." Danner argues that before Sept. 11, "the Islamist radicals had been on the run, their project flagging. They had turned their talents on the United States -- the distant power that lay behind the thrones in Riyadh and Cairo -- only after suffering defeat on the primary battlegrounds of Algeria and Egypt and Saudi Arabia. By invading and occupying Iraq and using it as a base to remake the region, the United States risks revitalizing the political project embodied by Osama bin Laden." [The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2002]
After Iraq

The New Yorker's Nicholas Lemann interviews Douglas Feith, under secretary of defense for policy, and Stephen Cambone, a Defense Department official in charge of program analysis and evaluation, in order to better understand the administration's grand strategy for the Middle East. "If we do things right, and if we help the Iraqis, and if the Iraqis show an ability to create a humane representative government for themselves -- will that have beneficial spillover effects on the politics of the whole region?" Feith asks. "The answer, I think, is yes." [The New Yorker, Feb. 17, 2003]

Lemann also discusses the various scenarios for a war in Iraq and its aftermath in a Web-exclusive Q&A on the magazine's Web site. [Feb. 17, 2003]

Testing the Alliance: The U.S.-Europe Divide

For Old Friends, Iraq Bares a Deep Rift
Filing from Brussels on the eve of major antiwar demonstrations across Europe, New York Times correspondent Richard Bernstein writes, "What has become clear to many here is that the Bush administration's preparations for a possible war with Iraq have provoked something far beyond the normal disagreements that sometimes take place among allies. ... With turmoil in NATO, divisions on the Security Council and undiplomatically angry words being shouted across the Atlantic, many here have started to worry about the prospect of permanent damage to the very structures on which European peace and prosperity have been based for the past half century and more." [The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2003; free registration required.]
Power and Weakness
In a widely read and discussed article published last June, Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, bluntly declared, "It is time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world. On the all-important question of power -- the efficacy of power, the morality of power, the desirability of power -- American and European perspectives are diverging." Analyzing what he calls "the psychology of power and weakness," Kagan argues, "Today's transatlantic problem, in short, is not a George Bush problem. It is a power problem." [Policy Review, June 2002]
Anti-Europeanism in America
The British historian Timothy Garton Ash approaches the subject of the U.S.-European rift from the American side of the pond, having recently traveled through the States to get a first-hand look at American anti-Europeanism. "The current stereotype of Europeans is easily summarized. Europeans are wimps. They are weak, petulant, hypocritical, disunited, duplicitous, sometimes anti-Semitic and often anti-American appeasers. ... 'They are not serious' was the lapidary verdict on 'the Europeans' delivered to me by George F. Will over a stately breakfast in a Washington hotel. ... Historically, the tables are turned. For what was Charles de Gaulle's verdict on the Americans? 'Ils ne sont pas sérieux.'" [The New York Review of Books, Feb. 13, 2003]
The End of the West
Examining what he calls "the coming clash between the United States and the European Union" as the EU grows increasingly independent and assertive, political scientist Charles Kupchan warns, "Europe will inevitably rise up as America's principal competitor. Should Washington and Brussels begin to recognize the dangers of the growing gulf between them, they may be able to contain their budding rivalry. Should they fail, however, to prepare for life after Pax Americana, they will ensure that the coming clash of civilizations will not be between the West and the rest but within a West divided against itself." [The Atlantic Monthly, November 2002]

 

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