THE IRAQ WAR READER: A History of War Crimes and Genocide. The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism


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GR I-BOOK No.  5

A History of War Crimes and Genocide | The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism

Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham (Editors)

May 2012 



The adage that “it is the victors who write history” in matters relating particularly to war and conflict is something of a euphemism when applied to recent military campaigns conducted by America and its NATO allies. For what is disputable – no, let us say repugnant – about the official accounts of these events is not merely a difference in emphasis or nuance on the matter, which the adage may infer. It is rather that the victors’ version of history is a wholesale fabrication, an obscene travesty of actual events. It is not a case of victors writing history, more one of victors “violating history”.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and what is unfolding covertly in Syria and Iran stand out as egregious examples of how the dominant Western powers are not just writing history with a certain self-reflecting vainglorious bias. They are instead concocting events in such a way as to completely distort the facts of history. It is fair to say that in many ways what is taking place is an inversion of realities and language.

“Peace-keeping” really means “war-making”; “protecting human rights” really means “bombing civilian centers”; “upholding international law” really means “committing crimes against humanity”.  Accusations of “tyrants”, “miscreants”, “rogues” and “renegades” are hurled likes bricks in a glasshouse by perpetrators who arrogate the privilege to call themselves “civilized, democratic, law-abiding governments”. What needs to be contested, therefore, is not some kind of half-baked history, pitted here and there with flaws and hubris, but rather what needs to be challenged is out-and-out willful propaganda purporting as history.

In this new Interactive Book No 5, Iraq: A History of War Crimes and Genocide, we show how the policy of successive US governments and their Western allies towards Iraq illustrates this grand criminal deception; we also show how such unaccounted-for gargantuan crimes against humanity have not just decimated the social conditions for millions of Iraqis, but have also poisoned international law and are having far-reaching impacts on the democratic rights of citizens globally.  We contend that it is not just imperative to bring Western political and military leaders to account through legal prosecutions for the purpose of restitution for the people of Iraq; it is imperative that we do so for the sake of ending an ongoing global war agenda conducted by these same Western powers, and for the restitution of democratic rights for all citizens in all countries.

The devastation of Iraq and the unfettered aggression by Western capitalist powers towards other countries is very much an integral part of the unfolding devastation of social conditions in North America and Europe under the diktat of a class war by a global elite. Understanding what really happened in Iraq, and why, is a vital part of understanding how and why the mass of people need to fight for democracy in the US, Europe and elsewhere. These far-reaching issues including an examination of the evolving Orwellian Police State apparatus in Western countries will be the object of a separate forthcoming I-Book.

Concealing Genocide As War

Take the most basic of words used in common parlance with reference to modern Iraq – the “Iraq War”. The word “war” normally refers to combat between two comparable adversaries contesting over competing claims. But in the case of Iraq that country was invaded without provocation on the basis of knowingly falsified allegations by an overwhelmingly superior military machine  – a multiple war crime. The “shock and awe” aerial bombardment that proceeded against a civilian population is another multiple war crime. The US-led NATO military campaign from 2003 until 2012 in which at least 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians, men, women and children, were killed compared with 4,500 US troops cannot be referred to in any meaningful way as a “war”. To do so is to employ an obscene Orwellian euphemism to describe what really happened – that is, genocide.

However, search the annals of Western mainstream media and no such simple truths can be found. Reams of newspaper copy and video footage refer endlessly to the Iraq War and they reiterate, with gullible respect, the disingenuous premises pronounced by Western governments and military, thus giving the whole nefarious enterprise a veneer of legitimacy and credibility. At the furthest range of criticism in such media, we might read about how the “Iraq War” was “misplaced”, a “waste” or a “tragedy”. But we will not read that it was genocide perpetrated by war criminals in Washington, London or other Western capitals based on conscious lies and willful fabrications. Truth is censored.

In this new Interactive Book we draw on Global Research’s extensive archive to give an accurate account of the origins of the invasion and genocidal occupation. The US-led criminal aggression towards Iraq involves four US presidents: George Herbert Walker Bush Senior, William Jefferson Clinton, George W Bush Junior and Barack Hussein Obama over more than two decades. We examine how a once-staunch Western client state became an object for obliteration.

The latter phase of American aggression conducted during more than nine years of US-led NATO occupation involved the most heinous crimes against humanity in a no-holds-barred effort to crush an ancient civilization. This Interactive Book looks at the aftermath of such barbarity and lawlessness, not just for Iraqis and ordinary Americans, but for the Middle East region and beyond.

Our bias is to expose official Western claims and accounts of what happened in Iraq, how and why, with uncompromising criticism. Our bias is to record the experiences and suffering of people in the real world, not what governments and military officials purport to have taken place. We are confident that our analysis presents the real story of Iraq, not only what happened and why, but its far-reaching wider significance for international relations. Today’s increasingly militarist foreign policy of the US, its NATO allies and proxy states across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa can be traced to the awful precedent that is Iraq.

Australian author and media commentator John Pilger once noted that journalists could be thought of as being tasked with writing the “first draft of history”. Their reports and analyses of events will one day provide research material for historians. This has rather disturbing implications for future retrospective historical accounts of Iraq. That is because the prominent newspapers of North America and Europe and other mainstream media have, by and large, amply recorded verbatim the official narratives on Iraq that emanate from their governments. In other words, when future historians of modern Iraq draw on the archives in the likes of The New York Times, The Financial Times and Le Monde, they will be drawing on a first draft of history that is falsified, propagandized, and indeed calumnious.

Fortunately, the burgeoning of independent media over the past decade has afforded an alternative account of history on Iraq, versions that arguably accord more accurately with actual events. We at Global Research proudly present this volume of wide-ranging articles on Iraq as an antidote of truth to the “victors’ history”.

Structure of this I-Book

The Iraq War Reader is the fifth in a new series of Interactive Books from Global Research. In Iraq: A History of War Crimes and Genocide, we have selected over 60 articles from hundreds in our 10-year-old archive that cover the background, prosecution and aftermath of the US-led aggression in Iraq. We have also included a review of key intelligence and policy documents, estimates of mortality resulting from the US led occupation (Lancet Report), key videos, photographic evidence and scientific reports pertaining to war crimes.

The book is structured in Ten Parts, these together with highlighted chapters include an analysis of the historical background of the 1991 Gulf War, the atrocities committed during the “sanctions regime” (1991-2003), the extensive crimes committed against the Iraqi people during nine years of military occupation. The latter include the carpet bombing of urban areas, the planned devastation of the Iraqi economy including the confiscation of the country’s extensive oil reserves, the programmed demise of State institutions including public health and education, the targeted and systematic assassination of the country’s scientists, engineers and intellectuals, the ruin of Iraq’s research and academic institutions, the pillage and theft of Iraq’s archeological heritage.

The unspoken agenda was to destroy Iraq as a Nation State, establish a US proxy regime and, quite deliberately, impoverish the people of Iraq under the banner of “democratization” and “post-war reconstruction”.

The book also addresses the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign, its various PR Psy Ops, which portray Iraq, in the eyes of Western public opinion, as an outright evil “rogue state” supportive of Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman and alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.

Fiction becomes Truth. “Evil folks are lurking”. Al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden is supported by Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein. Iraq is portrayed as a “State sponsor of terrorism”.  WMD and Al Qaeda related concepts and images are routinely funnelled into the Western news chain and on network TV, with a view to affecting the human mindset of millions of people.

War becomes peace. The threat of WMD by the avowed enemies of the Western World, repeated ad nauseam, is intended to create confusion, namely to prevent people from comprehending the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.

This Iraq War Reader also reveals the sinister machinations of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s inner political circle to churn out fake yet “reliable” intelligence documents on Iraq’s WMD program.

These fake intelligence dossiers are then candidly presented by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council (February 2003) as a means to acquiring the UN “green light” for an invasion of Iraq.

Part I  is entitled Historical Background: Regional Hegemony and The Battle for Oil. As brought out in Felicity Arbuthnot’s essay, the systematic campaign of US-NATO aggression towards Iraq involved the participation of no less than four White House oresidents and five British prime ministers over a 21-year span. In a wide-ranging historical essay, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya shows how the conquest of Iraq was a key part of a long-term roadmap for Washington’s hegemony in the oil-rich Middle East region.

Professor Eric Waddell’s 2002 geopolitical essay brings to the forefront the “real intent” of the US led war on Iraq, namely the Battle for Oil.  According to Waddell: “What is ultimately at stake in Iraq is the intention on the part of the U.S. and its indefectible British ally to establish control over one of the world’s largest, cheapest and most easily accessible oil reserves.”  

© Map by Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, Global Research, 2003.  (click map to enlarge)

The Structure of the US and Coalition Military Occupation

Part II: Atrocities of the Gulf War and the Sanctions Regime (1991-2003) includes two important essays, Joyce Chediac’s analysis of the Massacre of Withdrawing Iraqi Soldiers on “The Highway of Death” and Professor Thomas Nagy’s award winning 2002 investigation on how the US deliberately destroyed Iraq’s Water Supply. Confirmed by documents of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), “the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.”

Part III on The Pretext to Wage War brings forth the issue of the fake intelligence documents used to justify the invasion, with contributions by professors Michel Chossudovsky and Glen Rangwala.

Part IV From “Shock and Awe” to Occupation and  Resistance focusses on the contours of what author Chris Floyd calls The Anglo-American Dirty War. 

Part V on the Role of the United Nations includes the contribution of former Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, focussing on how the United Nations, in the wake of the invasion, paid lip service to the illegal occupation of Iraq in blatant violation of international law and the United Nations Charter.

Part VI, with contributions by Michel Chossudovsky, Max Fuller and Ghali Hassan, focusses on the heinous legacy of the clandestine unleashing of sectarian death squads by America and Britain on the populace, which served to divide and rule and also to justify the illegal occupation of a sovereign country.

Modelled on US covert ops in Central America, the Pentagon’s “Salvador Option for Iraq” was carried out under the helm of the US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte (2004-2005), who served as US ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s.

This “terrorist model” of mass killings by US sponsored death squads had been applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.

The “Salvador Option in Iraq” consisted in the use of death squads “to fight against the rebels”, namely the Iraqi resistance.

In 2011, “The Salvador Option: was applied in Syria. The US Ambassador to Syria (appointed in January 2011), Robert Stephen Ford was part of Negroponte’s team at the US Embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005).

Civilian casualties in Iraq were triggered by daily terrorist attacks and suicide bombings of a sectarian nature. The media in chorus presented  “Al Qaeda in Iraq” headed by (the late) Abu Musab Al Zarqawi as responsible for the suicide bombings, without acknowledging that Al Qaeda was a creation of the US intelligence apparatus. In Iraq, Al Zarqawi was described as the bogeyman, intent upon “igniting a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites”. But is that not precisely what US intelligence was aiming at ( “divide and rule”) as confirmed by several analysts of the US led war? Pitting one group against the other with a view to weakening and destroying the resistance movement.

Moreover, the evidence confirms that US and allied special forces, including British SAS (disguised as “Arab terrorists”) were directly involved in the staging of the terror events. (See British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car “They refused to say what their mission was.” – by Michel Chossudovsky )

John Negroponte, architect of “the Salvador Option in Iraq”, US Ambassador to Iraq (2004-2005)

US–sponsored death squads carrying out their brutal work in El Salvador

Al Zarqawi, alleged Al Qaeda in Iraq Leader, US “intelligence asset”

Part VII of the Iraq War Reader exposes the complicity of the Western mainstream media in covering up the appalling onslaught of violence against the Iraqi people, from the initial carpet bombing of the country through the following nine years of murderous occupation.

Part VIII entitled War Crimes: The Evidence provides an detailed dossier of evidence and analysis of crimes against humanity including the testimonies of key witnesses and victims of US sponsored war crimes.

This body of evidence and opinion, as outlined by Professor Francis Boyle, Prosecutor in The Kuala War Crimes Tribunal, makes the case that past and present American and British political leaders are liable to stand trial for war crimes in Iraq.

From the outset to its ongoing repercussions, this was a war of aggression comparable to Nuremburg standards. And political and military chiefs should be held accountable as a matter of legal and moral principle. The detailed research of Dirk Adriaensens and Bie Kentane of the BRussells Tribunal, Dahr Jamail, Abdu Rahman, Professor Alfred McCoy, Tom Burghardt, the sworn testimony of Professor Ali Shalal, “The Man Behind the Hood” tortured at Abu Ghraib prison, provide ample evidence of the extensive war crimes committed in the name of the “international Community” by president George W. Bush and his indefectible British cohort, Prime Minister Anthony Blair.

Theology Professor Ali Shalal, “The Man behind the Hood

Finian Cunningham recalls one of many war crimes, the Haditha massacre in 2005 in which 24 civilians, including women and children, were slaughtered in cold blood by US troops. Not one of the soldiers or their commanders involved in this barbaric crime was convicted, as with countless other such crimes in Iraq and elsewhere. Yet in the same week that the Haditha massacre trial in the US closed without a single conviction, Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama had only glowing praise for the heroism of American troops in Iraq in his 2012 State of the Union address.

The extensive dossier on war crimes in Part VIII also includes the results of the Lancet Study on post-invasion mortality, the essay by Professor Souad N. Al-Azzawi on depleted uranium contamination. Several important videos in Global Research’s archives can also be consulted including the controversial Cockpit Video on the Strafing of Civilians in Fallujah. 

Part IX entitled The Criminalization of War. Prosecuting the War Criminals includes essays by Richard Falk, Francis Boyle and Finian Cunningham as well as video interviews with Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Gurdial Ninjar Singh, Denis Halliday and Michel Chossudovsky.

In Part X entitled The Aftermath: The Destruction of Iraqi Society, Felicity Arbuthnot, Hugh Gusterson, Jack A. Smith and former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck provide the reader a harrowing glimpse of the scale of destruction in Iraq by the US, Britain and other NATO powers.

An ancient civilization with its proud traditions in education and culture has been bombed and brutalized with irreparable losses. What we need to understand urgently is that the barbarism inflicted on Iraq continues to be unleashed by the US-led powers in their ongoing campaign of permanent war for global dominance. As Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya points out in cogent analyses: the US has rewritten the constitution of vanquished nations including Iraq and Afghanistan as part of  Washington’s empire-building project.

Unleashing America’s Global Conquest

Crucial to understanding the full impact of the US-led war of aggression on Iraq is the concomitant erosion of civil liberties in America and Europe. The crimes committed in Iraq have ironically served to amplify the spurious “war on terror”. This has in turn rebounded in multiple insidious ways to increase state security powers against citizens and to justify the creation of virtual police states that can spy, detain and assassinate citizens on the basis of secret executive orders. The war on Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the massive expansion in state powers for surveillance against citizens and anti-war protesters in particular, with far-reaching implications for democracy. Incipient fascism has now become the de facto form of government in supposed Western democracies.  The criminalization of resistance in Iraq to illegal occupation goes hand-in-glove with the criminalization of resistance in the US and Europe to war-making.

When US President Barack Obama made an electioneering visit to Afghanistan in May 2012, he declared with typical purple prose: “This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end…We have travelled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. In the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.”

Obama asserted: “The Iraq War is over… We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan”. In this way, the US Commander-in-Chief was stealthily taking credit for ending “a decade of war” as if he had fulfilled in good order his 2008 presidential campaign promises to end America’s foreign wars. He went on to mendaciously conflate these military campaigns as parts of a noble agenda of “War on Terror”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. For a start, the presumptive “peace president” had cynically reneged on pledges to the war-sickened American electorate to promptly withdraw troops upon his election. Obama has in office overseen a dramatic escalation in the American ruling class’s militarism at home and abroad, as well as arrogating executive powers to spy, detain and assassinate citizens and non-citizens alike solely on his command and secret information.

The long-delayed dates marking official troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan belie the fact that both countries will continue to host thousands of American military, Special Forces, secret service agents and private mercenaries for many years to come.

Merely declaring a “war over” does not mean that it is over. Iraq is all too painfully a case in point. The bulk of the US military forces may have departed from Iraq in December 2011, but in terms of daily violence, deprivation, suffering and trauma, the people of Iraq are still very much wracked by foreign aggression. After nine years of occupation, Iraq is not “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” – as Obama claimed on the eve of troop withdrawal.

Daily bombings and shootings claiming hundreds of lives every month mark a country that is riven with bitter sectarian conflicts – conflicts that were cynically inflamed by the NATO occupying forces as a means of subduing the resistance to an illegal occupation. Simmering hostilities between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish provinces threaten to explode into all-out civil war and fragmentation of Iraq.

Infrastructure and basic utilities have been destroyed by years of NATO aerial bombardment and previous years of crippling economic sanctions. Millions of families remain homeless and displaced. One in three Iraqi children have been made orphans. Unemployment, poverty and malnutrition are rampant.

The same prognosis of violence and misery can be made for Libya and Afghanistan when US-led NATO forces are due to withdraw from the latter country in 2014 – bequeathing again a shadow army of militias, military trainers, contractors and Special Forces amid a country reduced to rumble.

A Harbinger of Wars of Aggression Without End

What we are witnessing is not presumed episodic war, with a discrete beginning and end, for some noble purpose, as claimed. But rather, we are witnessing the violent conquest of sovereign countries by Washington and its Western allies, the installation of pliable corrupt regimes that serve Western interests, and the ongoing low-level military occupation of these countries to ensure subjugated status. Iraq is a harbinger of the new militarism – wars of aggression without end in which devastation in targeted countries becomes the status quo. The same nefarious process can be seen for Afghanistan, Libya and any other country – currently Syria and Iran – that befalls the imperialist attentions of the US-led Western powers.

For further details on the Global War agenda, see:

The Globalization of War: The “Military Roadmap” to World War III

– by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham – 2012-07-14

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

This is a thoroughly criminal process involving international aggression, crimes against humanity, and plunder and theft of sovereign resources. Iraq’s estimated hydrocarbon reserves of 112-115 billion barrels of oil – the earth’s second-largest known reserves after Saudi Arabia’s – were the main prize, incredibly downplayed or overlooked by the Western mainstream media. Having previously enjoyed a high standard of living, the majority of Iraq’s people are now struggling in poverty with power and fuel shortages, while Western oil giants Exxon, Chevron, British Petroleum and Total are tapping the country’s vast natural wealth, paying off local elites for the privilege.

The same agenda of hegemony over energy resources applies to Afghanistan, Libya and Iran. Syria is not a leading oil producer, but it is a crucial staging post towards Western regime change in oil-abundant Iran. This dynamic for rolling conquest will not stop with these countries. Recall that former US General Wesley Clark disclosed a Pentagon war plan from 2001 that included the above and additional countries for conquest – Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia. In effect, this is a global war agenda that the US-led capitalist powers are inextricably pursuing in line with their deteriorating economic status. The desperate drive for control by the US and other Western powers over the oil and gas lifeblood of the waning capitalist world economy will inevitably bring these powers into confrontation with other countries, Russia and China in particular. The seeming insanity of this seemingly wanton global militarism is dictated by the cold logic of capitalism. Understanding this underlying driving force is key to understanding, and ultimately challenging, American-led global militarism.

Such naked imperialism cannot be conducted openly in the eyes of the world; it has to be covered up with a wall of lies, the particular lie or pretext to be emphasised at any given time depending on the target country in question.

Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction that could be launched within 45 seconds” we were told by American and British leaders George W Bush and Anthony Blair, who based their claims on concocted fantasy.

Indicted War Criminals George W. Bush and Tony Blair

Iraq was also linked to Al Qaeda, the murky global terror network created by the CIA and MI6 that allegedly carried out the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. When that lie wore thin, we were then told that Iraqis needed to be liberated from a Hitler-like dictator Saddam Hussein, who notwithstanding was formerly a favoured Western client until he blundered over the boundaries of Western oil geopolitics. Latterly, after these pretexts could no longer be sustained, Bush’s successor Barack Obama would assure the public that the American-led occupying forces were “consolidating democracy and sovereignty” – albeit in a country that was torn apart by US-induced sectarian fratricide and subordinated to foreign oil companies.

All these baseless claims, pretexts and allegations have been faithfully parroted by the mainstream media. And so the Western war and lie machine trundles on, conjuring new pretexts for smashing its way into the next countries to commit yet more atrocities and crimes against humanity in its conquest of natural resources.

The significance of Iraq is the heinous precedent that it set. Here, Washington and its Western allies transgressed international law in the most blatant, criminal manner to commit genocide. Yet not only Western mainstream journalism, but also academia, the legal profession and other sectors of civic society gave cover to such crime, or at best failed to hold the perpetrators to account. And, as criminologists will testify, when a criminal gets away with crime, then there is nothing to hold him from committing further crime. The ongoing criminal US-led occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the murderous mass bombing of Libya by NATO, the clandestine Western-backed terrorism against Syria, America’s drone assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere in Africa, and Washington’s swivel-eyed threats towards China and Russia are all proof that America’s global war of aggression has become the perverse new normal. Western mainstream media has indeed much to answer for in its complicity in global militarism and concomitant crimes.

The reality check of how criminally deranged the US-led Western powers have become is their ongoing aggression towards Iran. Less than a decade after launching genocide on Iraq based on an outrageous fabrication of weapons of mass destruction, the same criminal powers are repeating the same calumnies against Iran with “no options off the table” threats that allude to pre-emptive nuclear attack. And the Western mainstream media that aided and abetted the genocide in Iraq are once again giving credence to the calumny over Iran.

This is the descent into barbarism that happens when victors violate history and are not held to account. We are then condemned to repeat history, no matter how barbaric and crass that repetition is.

This Interactive Book from Global Research is an attempt to set the historical record straight with a truthful perspective. By arming people with the truth, we may then stop the criminal repetition of history because, armed with the truth, we hope that Western publics in particular will begin to hold their war-mongering governments to account in the most rigorous way.

Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham,  May 26, 2012


The Editors are indebted to the Following Global Research Authors who contributed to the Iraq War Reader:

Dirk Adriaensens, Felicity Arbuthnot, Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, John M. Blair, Nile Bowie, William Bowles, Prof. Francis A. Boyle, Tom Burghardt, Dr. Chris Busby, Joyce Chediac, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Michel Collon, Finian Cunningham, Jason Ditz, Eric Draitser, Gregory Elich, Prof. Richard Falk, Max Fuller, Hugh Gusterson, Denis Halliday, Ghali Hassan, Dahr Jamail,  Bie Kentane, Prof. Alfred W. McCoy, Steven H. Miles, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prof. Thomas J. Nagy, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Abdu Rahman, Prof. Glen Rangwala, Prof. Ali Shalal, Jack A. Smith, Hans von Sponeck, Prof. Gurdial Nijar Singh, Prof. Eric Waddell, Raymond Whitaker,  Kevin Zeese.  Thanks to James Blunt and Billy Pilgrim, Lyrics, US-UK War Crimes

About the Editors

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the  website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. He has acted as adviser to governments of developing countries and as consultant to the several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and a member of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC). He is recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

Finian Cunningham is currently Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa Correspondent. He has written extensively on international affairs. Previously, he was based in Bahrain and witnessed the upheavals in the Persian Gulf kingdom during 2011 as well as the subsequent Saudi-led brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests. He is now based in East Africa. Finian Cunningham’s forthcoming book is: Bahrain and the “Arab Spring”.

This I-Book is dedicated to Tun. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,  the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-2003), who over the last six years has relentlessly and skilfully steered the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalize War, leading to a historic and unanimous “guilty verdict” by The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (May 2012) against former US president George W. Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors. In this historic judgment, George W Bush and associates “were convicted of war crimes for their authorization of torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Convention on torture 1949, the Convention against Torture 1984, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Charter, and the US Constitution.”

Editors’ Note:

Due to formatting issues pertaining to diverse archives extending over ten years, a number of unresolved glitches have emerged in font size and style which have affected titles and authors’ names.




Historical Background: Regional Hegemony and The Battle for Oil

The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting….

by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-08-06
Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. He had walked into possibly the biggest trap in modern history

Media Lies on Saddam: Test Your Knowledge
-by Michel Collon, 2003-03-01

Glaspie US Embassy Memo Leaked: US Dealings With Iraq Ahead of 1990 Invasion of Kuwait Detailed
– by Jason Ditz – 2011-01-03

GULF WAR DOCUMENTS: Meeting between Saddam Hussein and Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie

July 25, 1990. Eight days before the August 2, 1990 Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait
– 2012-05-30

Iraq and the Battle for Oil. A Historical Insight
Excerpt from The Control of Oil.
– by John M. Blair – 2011-05-17

The Battle for Oil
– by Prof. Eric Waddell – 2004-12-14

What is ultimately at stake in Iraq is the intention on the part of the U.S. and its indefectible British ally to establish control over one of the world’s largest, cheapest and most easily accessible oil reserves.

  PART II   

Atrocities of the Gulf War and the Sanctions Regime (1991-2003)

 Remember the 1991 Gulf War: The Massacre of Withdrawing Iraqi Soldiers on “The Highway of Death”
– by Joyce Chediac – 2004-07-08  

How the US Deliberately Destroyed Iraq’s Water Supply
by Prof. Thomas J. Nagy – 2012-05-23


Fake Intelligence, War Propaganda  and The Pretext to Wage War  

War Propaganda
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2003-01-16

The blatant distortion of the truth and the systematic manipulation of all sources of information is an integral part of war planning. In the wake of 9/11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or “Office of Disinformation” as it was labeled by its critics.

Who is behind the “Terrorist Network” in Northern Iraq
-by Michel Chossudovsky -2003-02-15
Colin Powell’s Accusations at the United Nations Security Council. Who is behind
the “Terrorist Network” in Northern Iraq, Baghdad or Washington?

Ritter dismisses Powell report
Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter dismissed Secretary of State Colin Powell’s allegation before the U.N. Security Council that Iraq possesses WMD.. 2003-02-10

Plagiarism: British Intelligence Iraq Dossier Relied on Recycled Academic Articles
Downing Street Memo is but the Tip of the Iceberg
– by Prof. Glen Rangwala – 2005-06-25

A close textual analysis suggests that the UK authors had little access to first-hand intelligence sources and instead based their work on academic papers, which they selectively distorted.

Twenty Lies About the War– by Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker, 2007-03-15

The Downing Street Memo
Secret UK Government Memo Reveals that “the Intelligence and Facts were Fixed around the Policy”, 2005-05-08

How Much Proof Needed Before the Truth Comes Out?
Now Seven Leaked British Documents Raise Iraq War Questions
– by Kevin Zeese – 2005-06-14

Fabricating Intelligence as a Justification for War “The Intelligence and Facts were fixed around the Policy”
 Michel Chossudovsky, 2005-05-01 



From “Shock and Awe” to Occupation and  Resistance 

Ulster on the Euphrates: The Anglo-American Dirty War in Iraq

– by Chris Floyd – 2007-02-16
The same British forces used to create divisions amongst Irish Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland have been working in Iraq to create divisions.

The Nightmare: The Iraq Invasion’s Atrocities, Unearthing the Unthinkable
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-10-09

They promised that the invasion of Iraq would be without a bloodbath…
Fallujah: The Story the Mainstream Media won’t tell you
– by William Bowles – 2005-11-08


International Law and the Role of the United Nations  

VIDEO: The United Nations’ Role in Peace and War.
“The UN of the arms dealers – the most disreputable and yet profitable business on earth.”
– by Denis Halliday – 2009-12-04


NGOs Demand UN Security Council to Review Violations of International Law in Iraq
Crimes committed by US-UK Forces- 2006-05-22

The United Nations and its Conduct during the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
Testimony to the World Tribunal on Iraq
– by Denis Halliday – 2012-05-23

Whereas the invasion was in breech of international law, although eased by the acquiescence of the UN, and was globally condemned, the occupation was on the other hand more readily accepted as a new, if unlawful, reality.



US Sponsored Death Squads, Al Qaeda and  the “War on Terrorism 

Bush appoints a Terrorist as US Ambassador to Iraq, Who is John Negroponte?
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2004-04-24  

For Iraq, “The Salvador Option” Becomes Reality,
-by Max Fuller- 2005-06-02

FLASH MOVIE: Who is behind the Death Squads in Iraq?
by Max Fuller

Occupation and Sectarianism
– by Ghali Hassan – 2006-02-23
The Occupation-orchestrated violence between Iraqis was meant to provide a pretext for the long-term occupation of Iraq, and direct Iraqis anger away from the brutality of the Occupation.

Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi?

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2004-06-11
The US intelligence apparatus has created it own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created.

Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Resistance Movement,
by Michel Chossudovsky – 2005-09-18
The media in chorus presents “Al Qaeda in Iraq” headed by Al Zarqawi as responsible for the recent suicide bombings, without ever mentioning that Al Qaeda is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus

 British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car
“They refused to say what their mission was.”
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2005-09-20

British Chief Police Investigator in Basra dies under mysterious circumstances
He was responsible for the investigation into the two Elite SAS men disguised as Arab “terrorists”
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2005-10-17


Western Media Complicity in War Crimes

Media Cover-up of US War Crimes in Iraq
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2004-11-17

Media Disinformation and the Nature of the Iraqi Resistance
– by Ghali Hassan – 2005-05-15
Western journalists and pundits are the main agents of this distorted propaganda. The aims are to portray the Iraqi Resistance as violent “religious fanatics” isolated from the rest of the population. 

Murder of Iraqi Journalists
The betrayal of Iraq ’s media professionals,
-by Dirk Adriaensens – 2007-09-29 

Killing the Messenger: The Silencing of Journalism in Iraq
– by Ghali Hassan – 2006-01-25

The pulling down of the Statue was a staged media event
– 2003-04-11

Analysis and Video Broadcast from Abu Dhabi TV

 Killing the “Unembedded Truth”
by Michel Chossudovsky -2003-04-11
How best to disarm the anti-war movement? Kill the independent media and convey the illusion that “the War is over”

Toppling a Country: from Statue to Legality
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-10-21

Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?”
What the Media has Deliberately Concealed
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2007-01-31
The barbaric lynching of Saddam Hussein was a carefully staged U.S. sponsored PSYOP, with a view to triggering social divisions and fomenting sectarian violence.

The Show Trial of the Century
Trial of Saddam diverts attention from US-UK war crimes
– by Ghali Hassan – 2005-10-20
The Saddam trial is a theatre. It is a Hollywood show to divert attention from the destruction of Iraq and the massive war crimes committed against the Iraqi people.


War Crimes: The Evidence

8.1 Torture and Extrajudicial Killings

The Hidden History of CIA Torture: America’s Road to Abu Ghraib
– by Alfred W. McCoy – 2004-09-20

Torture and Extrajudicial Killings in Iraq
– by Max Fuller – 2005-11-24  

Denial, Selective Perception and Military Atrocities.
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-09-22

TORTURE AND WAR CRIMES: Complete Report: Abu Ghraib: its legacy for military medicine
– by Steven H. Miles – 2004-08-21

US Complicity and Cover-Up of Iraq Torture Exposed
– by Tom Burghardt – 2010-10-24

BUSH WAR CRIMES: Tortured at Abu Ghraib for being anti-Zionist: “The Man Behind the Hood”
Full Transcript of Ali Shalal’s Testimony
– by Prof. Ali Shalal – 2012-05-23

 8.2 Strafing, Indiscriminate Killings and Enforced Disappearances 

Enforced Disappearance: The Missing Persons of Iraq.
Always Someone’s Mother or Father, Always Someone’s Child.
– by Dirk Adriaensens – 2010-11-29

VIDEO: US Apache Helicopter killing Iraqi civilians

VIDEO: Controversial Cockpit Video on the Strafing of Civilians in Fallujah: Pentagon Investigating its own War Crimes

– 2004-10-10

Haditha: Another Small Massacre – No One Guilty
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2012-02-04

VIDEO: British Mercenary Company Kills Iraqi Civilians 

AUDIO: 60,000 Iraqis ‘Disappeared’ into US Camps
– by Dahr Jamail – 2005-06-10

The number of Iraqis detained by occupation forces is now well over 60,000 -far in excess of the commonly quoted official figure of 17,000.

VIDEO: Take No Prisoners, US Marines execute wounded Iraqi to the cheers of fellow marines,

On the Strafing of Civilians – 2005-07-23

8.3 Mortality Data

THE DATA: Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey
Study by Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi and Gilbert Burnham
– by Lancet – 2004-10-29

The Mysterious Death of Marla Ruzicka:
The US Military has Detailed Statistics on Civilian Casualties
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2005-04-24
Marla demonstrated that an individual can make a profound difference in this world. Her life was dedicated to innocent victims of conflict.

8.4 Obliterating Fallujah

A War Crime in Real Time: Obliterating Fallujah
– by Francis A. Boyle – 2004-11-15

VIDEO: CENSORED: Fallujah: A Lost Generation?
Watch this important and widely censored documentary on GRTV
– by Dr. Chris Busby – 2012-03-22

 8.5  The Children of Iraq. Women’s Rights

 VIDEO: 100,000 Iraqi Kids Killed

IRAQ: Unspoken Crimes against Humanity Committed against the People of Iraq
Detailed and Documented Report
– by Dirk Adriaensens – 2012-02-08 

The Children of Iraq: “Was the Price Worth It?”
– by Bie Kentane – 2012-05-09

How the US Occupation of Iraq Destroys and Undermines Women’s Rights
– by Dahr Jamail, Abdu Rahman – 2010-03-15

8.6 Depleted Uranium, Cluster Bombs and Napalm

 Iraq: A Criminal Process
Carpet bombing, cluster bombs and napalm against Iraqi civilians
– by Ghali Hassan – 2005-11-27
US forces have indiscriminately carpet bombed with artillery shells, cluster bombs and napalm bombs with the full knowledge that civilians, particularly women and children, will be killed. 

The Responsibility of the US in Contaminating Iraq with Depleted Uranium
– by Prof Souad N. Al-Azzawi – 2009-11-08

8.7 Impoverishment and The Destruction of Iraq’s Cultural Heritage

Living Conditions in Iraq: A Criminal Tragedy
– by Ghali Hassan – 2005-06-03
Iraq boasted a modern social infrastructure with a first-class range of health-care facilities, and the Iraqi people enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the Middle East.

Mesopotamia’s “Paradise Lost”: The Destruction of an Oasis of Beauty, Music, Art and Culture
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-05-26

Spoils of War: The Antiquities Trade and the Looting of Iraq
-by Gregory Elich, 2004-01-03

The British Military in Iraq: A Legacy of War Crimes and Atrocities
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-09-03 


The Criminalization of War: Prosecuting the War Criminals

VIDEO: Criminalize War. We Will Make War A Crime
– by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad – 2009-11-09

Kuala Lumpur Tribunal: Bush and Blair guilty 
– by Prof. Richard Falk – 2011-12-01

The Bush Administration Was an Ongoing Criminal Conspiracy Under International Law and U.S. Domestic Law
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
– by Prof Francis A. Boyle – 2011-12-02

GRTV report
– by Nile Bowie, Gurdial Nijar Singh, Michel Chossudovsky, Denis Halliday – 2012-05-22

Obama’s “State of Delusion Address”: Rebuilding America With War Crimes
by Finian Cunningham – 2012-01-25


The Aftermath: The Destruction of Iraqi Society

MASSACRE OF A COUNTRY. “A War on Terror” when you are the Terrorist
-by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2012-04-11

VIDEO No Bravery
Moving Lyrics: US-UK War Crimes in Iraq
– by James Blunt, Billy Pilgrim – 2006-05-22

There are children standing here, Arms outstretched into the sky, Tears drying on their face. He has been here…

What is Iraq’s Future? What are America’s Intentions?
– by Jack A. Smith – 2011-12-24 

After the “Journey”: UN Humanitarian Coordinator asks War Criminal Tony Blair: Why is Iraq in such a Mess?
– by Hans von Sponeck – 2010-09-24


The New War in Iraq: US Occupation Shifts to Proxy Subversion
by Eric Draitser – 2012-05-23


IRAQ: Remembering the Atrocities of the Gulf War: 21 Years Ago. Calling for the Release of Tariq Aziz
– by Denis Halliday – 2012-01-17

 Iraq had a Long Tradition as a Center of Higher Learning: How America’s War Destroyed Iraq’s Universities
– by Hugh Gusterson – 2011-11-02

Drones Over Iraq: When is a Pullout not a Pullout?
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2012-01-31

Tariq Aziz: “They Killed our Country. We are all Victims of Britain and America”
– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2012-01-12

Post-War Constitutions: Privatization and Empire-Building
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2012-01-15
The US has rewritten the constitution of vanquished nations since the Second World War. New national constitutions in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan are part of Washington’s empire-building project.


IRAQ REPORT. A compendium of recent Global Research feature and news articles on Iraq 

Criminalize War: Dossier of Global Research Articles



The Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalise War was drafted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Prof. Francis Boyle, Law Professor at the University of Illinois, Dr. Helen Caldicott, President of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, Matthias Chang, Author and distinguished Barrister, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir, Member of the Malaysian Parliament,  Prof. Chandra Muzaffar, Professor at the University of Penang, Prof. Shad Saleem Faruqi, Law Professor at the Technology UiTM University of Malaysia. Dato Michael O.K. Yeoh, Founder of the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI), Hans van Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.

From Left to Right: Prof. Francis A.Boyle, Dr. Helen Caldicott,  Denis J. Halliday, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Hans-Christof Von Sponeck, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

For the complete text of the Declaration, click here

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This Online Interactive Reader on Iraq is made available to Global Research readers with a view to curbing the flow of media disinformation and war propaganda.

Our ultimate objective is to reverse the tide of war and restore World peace.

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WWIII Scenario
Towards a
World War III Scenario

by Michel Chossudovsky

America’s “War on Terrorism”

by Michel Chossudovsky
also available in pdf format



The Globalization of War: The “Military Roadmap” to World War III

– by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham – 2012-07-14

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-05-28

The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination… Eventually all major regions of the World will be affected.

WAR PLAN IRAN: Dispelling the Lies, Telling the Truth about Western Aggression in the Persian Gulf

– by Finian Cunningham, Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-03-16

GR ONLINE I-READER. The region is on a hair-trigger for a conflagration that would involve nuclear weapons and the collision of global powers…

Libya and “The Arab Spring”: Neoliberalism, “Regime Change” and NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

– by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-12-25

Washington’s agenda for Egypt and Tunisia was to hijack the protest movement; what prevails in Egypt is the maintenance of a de facto military regime. In Tunisia, following the October 2011 parliamentary elections, the neoliberal policy framework remains unscathed.


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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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