Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq: Living with Terrorism, Insurgency, and New Forms of Tyranny

Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq: Living with Terrorism, Insurgency, and New Forms of Tyranny

Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq: Living with Terrorism, Insurgency, and New Forms of Tyranny

Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq: Living with Terrorism, Insurgency, and New Forms of Tyranny

Synopsis

A revealing study of life after Saddam in Iraq, including the wide-reaching negative effects of US efforts to establish democracy there.

Excerpt

Victoria Fontan has written a gripping account of a fundamental human emotion, humiliation, which contributed terribly to one of the most tragic developments in recent history. Skillfully blending together information gathered from interviews with a wide variety of Iraqis and Americans, perceptive observations in various settings, and relevant literature, she formulates insightful interpretations. Among several patterns of conduct, she graphically reports on the role of humiliation in the disasters of U.S. government policy after the invasion of Iraq, examining how people humiliate other people and analyzing the consequences of being humiliated.

Although often a powerful factor in violent social conflicts, humiliation has received too little attention. People everywhere experience feelings of humiliation, but with varying intensity, under different circumstances, and with diverse reactions. Humiliation played an important role in the recurrent Franco-German wars and Adolf Hitler’s coming to power in Germany; it has greatly contributed to prolonging IsraeliPalestinian antagonism at both the interpersonal and the intersocietal levels, and it was felt by at least some Americans after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Fontan lays bare in revealing detail the particular features of humiliation in Iraqi-American relations following the invasion of Iraq. She reports how American conduct in Iraq sometimes was unwittingly humiliating to Iraqis and in other circumstances was knowingly and willfully humiliating. She analyzes the importance and peculiarities of honor and humiliation in Iraqi society and in similar “shame” societies in which . . .

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