Cultural Cleansing in Iraq

Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered

Edited by Raymond W. Baker, Shereen T. Ismael, Tareq Y. Ismael

Ebook (VitalSource) - £90.00

Publication date:

06 November 2009

Length of book:

312 pages


Pluto Press

ISBN-13: 9781849643993

Why did the invasion of Iraq result in the destruction of culture and murder of intellectuals? Convention sees accidents of war and poor planning in a campaign to liberate Iraqis. The authors argue instead that the invasion aimed to dismantle the Iraqi state to remake it as a client regime.

Post-invasion chaos created conditions under which the cultural foundations of the state could be undermined. The authors painstakingly document the consequences of the occupiers' wilful inaction and worse, which led to the ravaging of one of the world's oldest recorded cultures. Targeted assassination of over 400 academics, kidnapping and the forced flight of thousands of doctors, lawyers, artists and other intellectuals add up to cultural cleansing.

This book lays to rest claims that the invasion aimed to free an educated population to develop its own culture of democracy.
'If you are looking for a textbook that provides a view of Middle East politics free of colonial bias, [this] book plainly fulfil this fundamental requirement'