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War Without End: The Iraq War in Contextby Michael Schwartz
Synopses & Reviews
In this razor-sharp analysis, TomDispatch.com commentator Michael Schwartz turns every mainstream conclusion about Iraq on its head. He shows how US occupation is fueling civil war in Iraq and beyond, and how US officials dismantled the Iraqi state and economy, helping to destroy rather than rebuild the country.
In a popular style reminiscent of the best writing against the Vietnam War, he punctures the myths used to sell the US public the idea of an endless “war on terror” centered in Iraq. Schwartz shows how the real US interests in Iraq were rooted in the geopolitics of oil and the expansion of a neoliberal economic model in the Middle East—and around the globe—at gunpoint.
War Without End also reveals how the failure of the United States in Iraq has forced US planners to fundamentally rethink the imperial dreams driving recent foreign policy.
This book is the third in a series of very successful books published in cooperation with TomDispatch.com, including the New York Times bestseller United States v. George W. Bush et al. by Elizabeth de la Vega (Seven Stories Press).
Michael Schwartz, professor of sociology and faculty director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University, has written extensively on the war in Iraq at websites including TomDispatch, ZNet, Asia Times, and Mother Jones, and in numerous magazines, including Contexts, Against the Current, and Z Magazine.
Book News Annotation:
This contribution of Schwartz (sociology, Stony Brook U.) to the literature on the American invasion and occupation of Iraq goes beyond the rather narrow military focus of many other books, widening the lens to take in the major political, economic, and social aspects of the war. He begins by analyzing the goals of the war, beginning, naturally enough, with the role of oil in the geopolitics of American involvement in the Middle East from the Carter Doctrine on forward, but also addressing US wishes to establish a pro-American, economically-neoliberal beachhead in the region. In terms of military issues, he brings up such rarely mentioned topics as collective punishment, torture, the establishment of death squads, and the destruction of Iraqi cities, the latter topic leading logically into an examination of the confluence of factors that have resulted in the deconstruction, not reconstruction, of Iraqi society, including the degradation of electricity and water infrastructures, the massive refugee crisis, the gutting of the educational and medical systems, and the decline of the oil industry. Finally, he addresses the national politics of the occupation, examining the chimera of sovereignty, the creation of Shia city-states, semisovereign Kurdistan, rebellious Sunni states and the Anbar "Awakening," and the ethno-political fracturing of Baghdad, concluding with an analysis of how the American project in Iraq has foundered, routine proclamations of the "success of the surge" notwithstanding. Throughout, Schwartz focuses on the impact of all these issues on those most affected by the occupation, the Iraqi people. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Michael Schwartz gets behind the headlines, revealing the real dynamics of the Iraq debacle and its legacy.
About the Author
Michael Schwartz, Professor of Sociology and Faculty Director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University has written extensively on the war in Iraq at sites including TomDispatch, ZNet; Asia Times and Mother Jones, and in many print outlets, including Contexts, Against the Current, and Z Magazine.
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History and Social Science » Middle East » Iraq