• Book Review: Voices from Iraq

    October 7, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Iraq, Other Ideas

    While there are a lot of books about the most recent Iraq war, there are very few books that try and show the civilian side of the conflict. We all know the rough outline of the narrative—US invades, society breaks down, sectarian violence spins off into civil war, followed by a low hum of more targeted violence and unstableness that now characterizes life in “free” Iraq. Broad strokes; but what was history like for the average Iraq? Until now, few have told us their stories.

    Voices from Iraq: A People’s History, 2003-2009 is an imperfect book, much as could be expected from a first oral history of the civilian side of the war. Author Mark Kukis interviewed those he could reach, restrained by the continuing violence in Iraq that threatened both him and his subjects. Consequently, more than a few of the subjects are Iraqis who worked for Western media outlets or who otherwise interacted with the Americans.

    However, Kukis, through friends of friends, did gain access to a number of more ordinary people, and it is in these interviews that the book shines. Tale after tale accumulates around you, like snow piling up: a son killed, a child murdered, a father kidnapped, a bombing, an assassination, a life ruined by torture. Before you realize it, you are drawn deeply into the horrific world the US created in Iraq post-2003, forced to acknowledge America’s complicity by the simple tone of the stories, the tellers too tired to embellish and too plain in their suffering to politicize what happened to them.

    If journalism is the first draft of history, this is version 1.5. Readers interested in a 360 degree view of events in Iraq 2003-2009 should listen to these Voices.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Jhoover said...


      from here I would ask those “geniuses” American who mad you to believe their stupide lies that Iraqis are Sunni, Shiites and Kurd?
      The Shiites are majority!
      Di any one asked what the Kurds believe in?
      They are Muslims and they having Sunni and Shiites also, what if count Sunni and Shiites all together ;living in Iraq for centuries any one though in his own mind what the figures are? what the differences in the number?
      Iraq War and invasion presents the detailed drama of the American-British campaign, running the complex tribal, religious, and ethnic components of this varied country
      In the 1980s the workings of balance-of-power diplomacy and Saddam
      Hussein’s weakness led to his curious enmeshment with the superpowers and
      his role as an instrument for the containment of the Iranian revolution. (p.216)
      It is true that the top of the present power structure rests to an important
      degree on solidarities based on region and kinship. It is also true that the
      distance between the Kurdish minority and the regime has widened. Saddam
      Hussein has, however, associated the Shi’is more meaningfully with his
      regime and extended economic benefits to their areas. (pp. 221-22)

      Peter Sluglett pdf doc.
      بعد ثلاثة عقود من تأسيس الدولة العراقية الحديثة توحد الكثير من عرب العراق الى درجة العمل معا داخل احزاب عبرطائفية.. بعد سبعة عقود من تأسيس الدولة العراقية اصبح ثلث العوائل العراقية متزاوجة طائفيا..كل ذلك حصل تدريجيا بفضل قيام الدولة التي تأسست عام ١٩٢١..والمدارس ومناهج التعليم الحديثة والجيش هي كانت ادوات هذا الصهر الاجتماعي والسياسي..ورجال الدين الشيعة حاربوا كل هذه المؤسسات..هذه الدولة التي اخرجت العراق من الغيتوهات الطائفية اتهمها حسن العلوي بمنهجة النزعة الطائفية!! الفترة الوحيدة التي عاش فيها عرب العراق خارج الغيتوهات المذهبية نعتها حسن العلوي بالطائفية..الفترة الوحيدة التي اصبح فيها الزواج العبرطائفي شائعا..وهذا هو المعيار الذي يستند عليه علماء الانثروبولوجيا في تعريف عملية الانفتاح والتعايش بين مجموعتين..هذه الفترة الفريدة في كل تاريخ العراق نعتها حسن العلوي بالاقصائية فقط لان الحاكم كان من عائلة سنية..واليوم فقط يتسائل العلوي وباستهبال : لماذا عرب العراق منقسمين الى شيعة وسنة!!
      ما قالته اعقاب السجائر عن الحريق

      10/7/12 8:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      قاسم سليماني صاحب السلطة في العراق

      وزير الدفاع الإيراني “سعيد” بحضوره إلى البرلمان

      نواب: قرارنا بيد طهران التي تصدّر أزماتها إلينا

      10/8/12 5:52 AM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      During Iraq/Iran ware the tyrant ordered to have in the end of the week (Friday morning in Iraq) in all Iraqi schools, a gathering first thing in the morning to song the national anthem followed by firing life ammunition by school officials, also Iraqi TV each day will showing horrifying footage of Iraq Iran dead bodies and all sort of war zone.
      At that time the government hired US specialist to visit Iraqis schools and kindergartens and make her study about the statues of Iraq early education.

      When she finished her report she introduced to ministry of education but I heard she was asked to see the tyrant and talk to him direct.
      What I did hear from some who knew that she told the tyrant you will have a generation of killers and criminals if you carry doing what you doing in your schools.

      So after 2003 invasion and distraction inside Iraq with all TV around the world and satellites showing US military life killing destroying human life inside Iraq moreover the continues human humiliations and tortures by US military all that Iraq now full of terrorist, criminals and blood thirsty bad guys.

      Thanks for US.

      العراق: صبي من محافظة الناصرية في الـ12 عاماً ينتحر
      مقلدا المسلسلات

      10/8/12 6:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      10/8/12 6:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Jhoover, so many sad, pathetic ironies in these few articles,including the issue of trauma among the population. Also ironic and plain sad in light of the Iran-Iraq war and our administration of Iraq are Iranian Defense Minister Vahidi’s remarks in one of the links above while visiting the Iraqi parliament. Another conflict in the making. Do you think Iraq and Iran would be able to overcome differences on the Shatt al Arab and border matters? Could there be a time defense agreements might be arranged?

      10/8/12 5:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Hopefully that’s a far-fetched notion

      10/8/12 6:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      Health & Human Rights Consequences of War in Iraq

      “the Iraqi population for more than twelve years have contributed to a sustained
      deterioration of health status. During the past decade, infant mortality more than
      doubled to 107 deaths per 1000 live births per year, and the under-five mortality
      rate also more than doubled to 131/1000 live births per year.1 War will compound
      the precarious nature of the health infrastructure and fragile health of the most
      vulnerable within the population.
      • Preventative public health and curative medical services in Iraq are inadequate for
      the health and medical emergencies that are likely to result in the event of armed
      conflict. The number of primary health care (PHC) and maternal and child clinics,
      the principal providers of basic health care in Iraq, have declined by nearly half
      since the Gulf War in 1991 — according to UNICEF, there are 929 PHC centers
      remaining out of a pre-Gulf War network of 1,800. Most of the health facilities
      are in poor physical condition. They often lack water and electricity and, hence,
      severely limit the quality of patient care.
      • The water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructures in Iraq have not recovered
      from the previous war. This is in part due to sanctions, which have denied
      parts for much of the machinery used in these infrastructures as well as
      denial until recently of chemicals necessary for water treatment such as
      chlorine and aluminum sulfate. It is also clear that government of Iraq has not
      invested any significant resources in these sectors.
      • Water treatment plants and sanitation facilities such as wastewater treatment
      and pumping stations operate at anywhere from 25 to 50% of design capacity.
      Capacity has been sacrificed due to cannibalization as well as steady
      deterioration that occurs when there is insufficient maintenance and no spare
      parts. UNICEF and the United Nations Development Program report that 40% of
      water samples fail tests eithe”

      Kyzl Orda<
      Your comment far from the subject, but what my concerns is 33 countries have destroyed a state of Iraq and they have the responsibilities to put back and independent state that can stand to the international laws by themself also the neighbouring countries with all respect of commitment’s between nations in the region.

      This not in hand of Iraqi as such but US and other 32 nations they have the obligation to save Iraq and Iraqis due to their commitment that they said before 2003.
      Thanks you

      10/8/12 11:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      اقليم كوردستان يستقبل آلاف المرضى المصابين بالسرطان من كافة أنحاء العراق

      ويقول طالب توفيق مدير مستشفى (هيوا): اننا نستقبل” يوميا مئات الحالات من المصابين بامراض السرطان من محافظات الوسط والجنوب ونحن نقوم بتوفير العلاج المجاني دون فرق ان يكون المريض من اقليم كوردستان او من بقية المحافظات فنحن نوفر كوادر طبية متقدمة لعلاج الحالات كما ان حكومة الاقليم تقوم بشراء ادوية السرطان ذات الكلفة المرتفعة حيث يصل العلاج الكيمياوي للمريض الواحد الى 5000 دولار بينما توفره للمرضى مجانا. مضيفا ان “عدد المرضى حاليا وصل الى 8500 مريض 5000 منهم من اقليم كوردستان والباقي يتوزع على مناطق العراق المختلفة ”

      Any of you care about cancer spreading inside Iraq like an infectious disease because of the use of DU weaponry and other materials God knows what US and other militaries tested over Iraq,

      10/9/12 8:33 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      There was a spike in cancer following the types of weaponry used in the former Yugoslavia too. People are aware of that and there was a controversy over the types of weapons but thanks to a very compliant media, coverage is thin on this and so many topics.

      There was alot of information in the links provided, and so I asked what I asked out of curiosity. Your concern is a valid one and it’s going to be like nailing jello to a wall to get a proper response and that should be something posed to our elected officials, but it has to be asked all the same

      10/9/12 9:54 AM | Comment Link

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