Selling US Wars

17 June 2007 - Event
17 June 2007


Achin Vanaik, Kamil Mahdi, Susan George, Susan George, Kamil Mahdi, Achin Vanaik

Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324 Amsterdam Free entrance
See the presentation by Achin Vanaik Four years on from the invasion of Iraq, US troops and those of their allies still occupy the country. An estimated 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion, according to The Lancet medical journal. The 'divide-and-rule’ tactics of the occupying forces have fuelled sectarianism, with US forces now entrenching these divisions with a wall around a Sunni area of Baghdad. Meanwhile, the drive to control the country’s oil pricing and policies continues, with the occupying powers pressing a compliant Iraqi government to pass an oil law that allows Western oil companies to plunder the country’s oil wealth. This roundtable discussion will address the US economic and strategic interests in the war on and continued occupation of Iraq, distinguishing these from the high-sounding slogans about "bringing democracy to the Middle East" and false claims about “weapons of mass destruction” that were used to justify it. The event sees the launch of Selling US Wars, a collection of essays by renowned experts from around the world. It examines the excuses for war that were the basis for this period of the US empire drive—nuclear weapons, terrorism, "failed states," drugs, humanitarian intervention, and democracy—and analyses the pretexts asserted for the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Washington's aggressive policies elsewhere. It gets behind the subterfuges to expose how Washington's spin-doctors worked to present its wars as humane, lawful, and necessary to keep Americans safe—and why the campaigns sometimes succeeded. Speakers Achin Vanaik is professor of international relations and global politics at Delhi University, and a fellow of the Transnational Institute. He is editor of Sellilng US Wars (Interlink, 2007). Susan George is Chair of the Planning Board and a Fellow of the Transnational Institute. She is the author of numerous books, most recently Nous, Peuple d’Europe (Fayard, 2005). Kamil Mahdi is senior lecturer in Middle East economics at the University of Exeter, UK and a Fellow of the Transnational Institute. His books include Iraq’s Economic Predicament (ed., Ithaca, 2005) Transnational Institute, Universitaire Activisten For more information contact Andrea[at]