Currently viewing the tag: "Iraq"

During the Iran-Iraq war, the regime pursued the Iran-allied Kurdish rebels with a vengeance, focusing on both towns (arrests, deportations) and countryside (attacks on, then destruction of, villages); targeting insurgents but then also the civilians who – willingly or not – gave them shelter; and using at first conventional weapons (rockets, air-dropped bombs), but then also poison gas. The assault on the Kurds was one long escalation from 1982 (the first turning-point in the war) onward.

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The story of abuse in Iraq is about an extremely weak state with an even more bloated repressive apparatus than Saddam boasted at the height of the Iraq- Iran war; it is about settling of accounts; it is about treating the state that has so abused them as nothing more than a ghanima, a place to steal from as fast as one can because who knows what tomorrow may bring.

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Institutionalized violence as practiced over an extended period of time tends to have form and structure–one might even say it has a history–which it be behooves us to explore and analyze. And the beginning of understanding is to be able to describe in detail what it is one wants to understand. And so I will attempt to list in roughly chronological order the many different forms of violence and abuse inflicted on Iraqi civilians from 1968 to today. Describing these, and thinking about the connections between different forms, is, I suspect, the first step to reducing it and in the long run diminishing it.

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