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Madeleine’s medals: Unlimited imperialism, unspeakable crimes

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The calculated destruction of Iraq will rank as one of the greatest war crimes of the twenty-first century. The fateful decisions that knowingly ‘ended’ the Iraq state, decimated Iraqi society and killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens were taken over the course of more than a decade. The United States led the assault on Iraq. It did so for reasons of empire. The new Iraq, compliant with US global and Israeli regional dominance, would implant American imperial power in the very heart of the oil-rich and strategically critical Arab world. American exceptionalism, a particularly virulent form of nationalism, would empower a bold leadership as ‘history-makers’, who would step out of history to create a new ‘unlimited imperialism’. Even lost wars would be profitable. In addition to the classic patterns of resource extraction from targeted territories, the military-industrial-congressional complex would secure war-making resources and windfall profits from a fearful, compliant US population, stripped of safety nets and basic services. An understanding of the common cause of movements of resistance to imperialism in the centre and in targeted sites like Iraq in the periphery is emerging. Hope lies with these mass movements of ordinary citizens and dissident intellectuals in both the Arab world and the West, in the US and in Iraq. They will come to recognize in each other victims of the same structures of domination. From them will come cooperative actions to expose the lies and disrupt the machinery of the new unlimited imperialism that revealed itself in such obscene ways in Iraq.
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Keywords: Hans J. Morgenthau; Madeleine Albright; culture of death; murder of the mind; profitable lost wars; sectarianism; the success narrative; unlimited imperialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: SOS Iraq and BRussells Tribunal 2: Trinity College in Hartford and International Council for Middle East Studies

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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