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Saddam Hussein is high on America's enemies list¿but does an Iraq without him hold the seeds of the next Yugoslavia? To the dismay of many in the West, the Gulf War ended with Saddam Hussein still in control, still defiant, and determined to use any means of striking back. This book sounds an urgent note of caution: a future Iraq without Hussein could be even more unstable and more problematical to the security of the United States.
The Reckoning is an account of the forces¿historical, religious, ethnic, and political¿that produced Saddam's dictatorship. Iraq was forged after World War I from the Mesopotamian region of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, and its people have never had a national identity or a sense of common purpose. Hussein, ruling by terror, pitted the various ethnic groups, religious interests, and tribes against one another, and in so doing achieved the destruction of Iraq's middle class and civilized society. After he goes, the country could be the site of conflict even more vicious than the Balkan wars. With a new epilogue for this paperback edition. 16 b/w photographs, 6 maps.
Sandra Mackey is a veteran journalist who has written many books on the Middle East. She lives in Atlanta.
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