Kanan Makiya, Iraqi War Witness

I genuinely, truly, from the absolute bottom of my heart, think 25 million people now have a chance when they didn’t have it before. … Have you considered the million and a half or so Iraqis proven by all sorts of human rights organizations to have died violently by one form or another of aggression by this regime? … There is a calculus of pain here that you have to introduce into the equation…

Kanan Makiya, 6/22/05 on Open Source
Kanan Makiya is a war witness in Iraq like none other. A rebel child of an eminent Iraqi architect, Kanan Makiya exiled himself to MIT in the late 1960s as Saddam Hussein and the Ba’th Party took merciless power in Baghdad. But the Iraq he’d left in the dust obsessed him more and more. In the late 1980s, shielding himself with a pen name, he wrote the book that—before Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait—woke the world to the barbaric cruelty of Saddam’s “Republic of Fear.??? After 9.11 in 2001, Kanan Makiya was out front in his own name in favor of the American assault on Iraq. By then he was a human rights campaigner who’d embraced war as a cure for tyranny. And today he lives between Baghdad and Boston with the confounding consequences for Iraqis, for the rest of the Middle East, for Americans who hear we should double our forces, or perhaps head for the first exit. At the bombed-out crossroads of human rights and war, Kanan Makiya is next.

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