Why did the invasion of Iraq result in cultural destruction and killings 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' willful 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 important work lays to rest claims that the invasion aimed to free an educated population to develop its own culture of democracy.
Raymond William Baker is Professor of International Politics, Trinity College, USA, and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo. His most recent book is Islam Without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists. Shereen T. Ismael is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and MSW Field Coordinator in the School of Social Work, Carleton University. In addition to her book Child Poverty and the Canadian Welfare State: from Entitlement to Charity (2006), she is the editor of Globalization: Policies, Challenges and Responses (1999). Tareq Y. Ismael is a professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, Canada & President of the International Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies at eastern Mediterranean University. His most recent works include Middle East Politics Today (2001), Turkey's Foreign Policy in the 21st Century (2003), & Iraq: The Human Cost of History (2003).