Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Sanctioning Saddam

The Politics of Intervention in Iraq

Sarah Graham-Brown

St. Martin's Press (1999)

Throughout the 1990s Iraq has been the target not only of military attack but of the most draconian and protracted economic embargo ever imposed by the international community. In the immediate aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War the embargo was accompanied by an effort to provide aid to the Iraqi people and to protect them against human rights abuses, an initiative that seemed to break new ground in providing protection for civilians in a situation of conflict. Yet the outcome of the international community’s efforts has fallen short of the promise. Why has there been such a large gap between the rhetoric and reality? How exactly have the combination of economic sanctions, international humanitarian aid and limited protection of civilians affected Iraq? And what lessons can be drawn from the experience? This is the most carefully documented, comprehensive account to be published on the consequences of intervention in Iraq during the 1990s. It examines not only the record of intervention, but also the complicated political context which has shaped international policy and the Iraqi response to it.

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