The New Iraq
Rebuilding the Country for Its People, the Middle East, and the World
This book is not about Saddam Hussein. Media attention to Iraq in the past decade has largely focused on the strongman who has run the country for 23 years. The effect has been to play into the personality cult Saddam has constructed around himself, reinforced by American political leaders, who have turned his name into a household word. To be sure,Saddam looms large in the landscape of Iraq. He has ruled his people with a brutal police state and launched military ventures
against most of his neighbors, in one case with the support of the United States. But there is an Iraq beyond Saddam Hussein, an Iraq that preceded him and that will remain long after he has been relegated to the margins of history. This book is about that Iraq—the Iraq that endures and today stands in a state of flux. This book is also about you. You may not know it yet, but an essential Iraq, with its roots stretching back to the dawn of human civilization, has indelibly shaped your social reality. It bequeathed the bridges you drive on and the tunnels you drive through, the principles of law you adhere to, and many of the religious values and traditions that underlie your beliefs about God. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, much of the world is on a course to reengage Iraq's economy, societies, and peoples, and the transformation will be mutual.