Behind the War on Terror
Review of the new book by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
'As the United States serves notice that it plans to dominate world affairs by force, this finely researched book offers a timely and powerful warning to us all.'
- John Pilger, author of The New Rulers of the World
Following the US declaration of a 'war on terror', Washington hawks were quick to label Iraq part of an 'axis of evil'. After a tense build-up, in March 2003 the United States and Britain invaded Iraq, purportedly to protect Western publics from weapons of mass destruction (WMD). But was this the real reason, or simply a convenient pretext to veil a covert agenda?
Using official sources, Ahmed investigates US and British claims about Iraq's WMD programmes, and in the process reveals the hidden motives behind the 2003 invasion and the grand strategy of which it is a part. He shows that the true goals of US-British policy in the Middle East are camouflaged by spin, PR declarations, and seemingly noble words. The reality can only be comprehended through knowledge of the history of Western intervention in the region. Ahmed demonstrates that such intervention has been dictated ruthlessly by economic and political interests, with little regard for human rights. He traces events of the past decades, beginning with the West's support for the highly-repressive Shah of Iran, his subsequent usurpation by the Ayatollah's Islamist regime, and the West's resultant backing of Saddam Hussein. The sponsorship of Saddam's tyranny - a self-serving tactic intended to strategically counterbalance Iran - included the supply of technology to build WMD as well as tacit complicity in their use against Iranians and Kurds.
Ahmed's meticulous research into the secret history of Western manoeuvrings in the Middle East since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, reveals the actual causes of the first Gulf War, the humanitarian catastrophe created by the twelve-year sanctions policy against Iraq, and the consistent obstructions of the 'Oil for Food' programme. He also provides information on the West's own widespread use of WMD, and the likely culprits of the 2001 anthrax attacks in the US.
NAFEEZ MOSADDEQ AHMED is an author, human rights activist, and political analyst specializing in the study of conflicts. Born in London, England in 1978 of Bangladeshi parents, he is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, an independent, interdisciplinary think-tank (www.globalresearch.org). Ahmed was a researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a UN-affiliated NGO. He was also an IHRC delegate to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in 2001, where he delivered a paper on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is the author of a variety of reports on human rights practices, as well as a best-selling book, The War on Freedom, published in English, German and Italian.
Ahmed's work on the history and development of conflict in Afghanistan has been recommended as a resource by leading universities, including Harvard and California State. He was recently named a Global Expert on War, Peace and International Affairs by the Freedom Network of the Henry Hazlitt Foundation in Chicago, and is a member of TRANSCEND, the international network of scholars specializing in peace and conflict resolution. His archive of political analyses, published on the Web by the Media Monitors Network, has been nominated a Cool Site on the Netscape Open Directory Project. Ahmed appears regularly on radio shows in the U.S. as an expert on US foreign policy. He lives in Brighton, England, with his wife and daughter.
June 2003; 352pp; 21.5 x 13.5 cm; paperback; £11.95; ISBN: 1 902636 44 9
Last updated 03/06/2003