The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait
Religion, Identity, and Otherness in the Analysis of War and Conflict
The purpose of this book is to understand and explain the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait: to understand the motivation of the Iraqi polity, and the conditions, in particular the Arabic discourse, which accelerated and facilitated the decision. Western accounts of the invasion have tended to ignore the Arabic discourse, despite the facts that this was the actors' world view. Much of the literature has tended to focus on Saddam Hussein's personality and leadership, demonizing the man, and few have viewed the invasion more calmly through the social and political context of history and political science. Few have examined the Sate, outside pressures, the impact of history, the exposure to colonialism which would have provided a balanced view, as this book attempts to do. During the Gulf crisis the literature and media coverage linked the behaviour of Arab political leaders directly to Islamic theology, as if this alone was enough to explain the invasion. This book discusses three perspectives. Firstly, the realist perspective of "Realpolitik": how Saddam Hussein reasoned and calculated the various alternatives, including the US's and Israel's intentions; the miscalculated response of the other Arab States, the Pan Arab framework; and the unprecedented support from grass roots and main-stream Arabs as the Iraq leadership introduced itself as the champion of the common Arab Nation. Secondly, the institutionalist perspective: the Iraqi domestic environment and its crisis of legitimacy, which disposed the regime to violent foreign behaviour; the social structure of Iraqi society, families, clans and regional alliances; and the modern political structure of the society, and of Ba'athism. Thirdly, the sociological perspective: the relating of the identity of Arabism (mainly the religion and language, which is associated closely with the Pan Arabist ideals) to foreign policy behaviour, as an additional explanation of the invasion. -- Publisher description.
London ; Sterling, Va. : Pluto Press, 1999.
1 online resource (viii, 278 pages)