This highly controversial and topical book provides the first full, balanced account of how Iraq cheated the UN inspectors on disarmament and how the US manipulated and infiltrated the UN inspection teams and other staff to gather intelligence on Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Aimed at the general reader, it follows and assesses the role of Saddam Hussein who became president of Iraq in 1979. Dilip Hiro, an experienced journalist who has written extensively on the region, provides a historical and accessible perspective to the relationship between Iraq and Iran and examines the consequences of internationally significant events such as the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran a year after the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein. Providing a full account and analysis of events in Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War, he contrasts the long totalitarianism under Hussein with the evolution of the political-religious system in Iran and the development of its internal politics.
This is an essential overview to the conflicts in the Gulf, and should be read by anyone with an interest in the region, its politics and its interactions with the US and UN.
Buy Neighbors, Not Friends book by Dilip Hiro from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 156mm x 20mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A blow-by-blow account of how two wars have affected the fortunes of two nations. Drawing on myriad sources, from newspapers to interviews, Hiro ("Desert Shield to Desert Storm", not reviewed) presents a good primer on contemporary Iraqi and Iranian history. Both Gulf Wars-the first (1980-88) between Iraq and Iran, the second (1991) between Iraq and a coalition of forces headed by the US-led to divergent consolidations of power. In Iraq, after both wars, Saddam Hussein tightened his control. In Iran, the first war solidified the Islamic revolution in giving the Iranian people a common enemy, while the second provided oxygen to a moderate movement that led to the election of current President Muhammad Khatami in 1997. The author devotes much time to Hussein's takeover of the Baath party apparatus, his build-up of the Republican Guard, and his control of the intelligence and security services, which have enabled him to keep a thumb on his would-be challengers and US spies. He gives a pretty clear diagram of Iran's numerous religious and non-religious government bodies (which are currently wrestling with each other over social and economic reforms), and documents how the US (under Presidents Bush and Clinton) sought to isolate both Iraq and Iran economically and diplomatically-despite significant differences between the police-state government of the former and the vibrant, partially democratic culture of the latter. He argues that Bush chose to leave Hussein in power so as not to allow Iran to profit from his demise, and that Clinton cynically bombed Iraq to halt impeachment proceedings then being raised against him in Congress. Unfortunately, Hiro never directly synthesizes this material, and his account is divided in half-with each country dealt with separately in its own section. Indeed, each section could have been its own historical monograph. Necessary, if painstaking, reading for anyone interested in the contemporary history of two "rogue" states. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Dilip Hiro
Dilip Hiro is a full-time writer and journalist, and a frequent commentator on Middle Eastern, Gulf and Islamic affairs in radio and telelvision. He is the author of The Longest War, The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict, Holy Wars:The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism and Iran Under the Ayatollahs among other books. His articles on the Middle East and allied subjects have appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, Guardian, Toronto Star and International Herald Tribune.