Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda

By Duelfer, Charles | The Middle East Journal, Autumn 2001 | Go to article overview

Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda


Duelfer, Charles, The Middle East Journal


Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda, by Khidhir Hamza with Jeff Stein. New York: Scribner, 2000. 337 pages. Index to 352. $26.

Reviewed by Charles Duelfer

In Saddam's Bombmaker, Dr. Khidhir Hamza and Mr. Jeff Stein have provided a personal account of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program that is interesting to read and that illuminates some key aspects of the regime's energetic quest for the most destructive weapons possible. Three elements of Dr. Hamza's narrative stand out. First, the book contains, of course, descriptions of key parts of the nuclear and, to a lesser extent, the biological and chemical weapons programs. Second, and, in some ways more interestingly, this account describes the methods and individuals charged with carrying out the grandiose objectives of Saddam Husayn. Third, Dr. Hamza discusses the pressures and dilemmas faced by Iraq's most talented individuals. This discussion is, in some ways, the most interesting and compelling element of the book.

The history of the Iraqi nuclear program presented here is not comprehensive, but that does not appear to be the objective. The general elements of, and major technical impediments (i.e., uranium enrichment) to Iraq's development of nuclear weapons are described. However, the strength of Dr. Hamza's work is that it reveals the role of certain key personalities (most of whom are still active in Iraq) and procedures (e.g., clandestine overseas procurement). It gives a first-hand look at the evolution of the program, particularly after the bombing by Israel of the Osirik reactor in 1981. This picture shows Saddam Husayn's sustained pursuit during the past quarter century of a nuclear weapon. Some of the details offered may be off the mark (e.g., a building described as being 20 stories tall is no more than ten). Additionally, some statements are made that, while tantalizing, lack supporting evidence (e.g., that the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 1991 Gulf War caused Gulf War Syndrome). However, the value of this book is the unique viewpoint provided by an insider.

Dr. Hamza reminds the reader that nuclear weapons are built by people possessing extraordinary scientific and engineering expertise. These individuals are not necessarily political creatures, nor are they necessarily enthusiastic regime supporters. They were brought into the program through various routes and then motivated through the ruthless application of both extreme punishment and reward. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.