Putting Cruelty First: An Interview with Kanan Makiya (Part 1)

Kanan Makiya is the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University, and the President of The Iraq Memory Foundation. His books, The Republic of Fear: Inside Saddam’s Iraq (1989, written as Samir al-Khalil] and Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World (1993) are classic texts on the nature of totalitarianism. Makiya has also collaborated on films for television. The award-winning film, Saddam’s Killing Fields, exposed the Anfal, the 1988 campaign of mass murder conducted by the Ba’ath regime in northern Iraq. In October 1992, he acted as the convenor of the Human Rights Committee of the Iraqi National Congress. He was closely involved in the Iraqi Opposition in the run-up to the Iraq War, which he supported as a war of liberation. The interview took place on December 16 2005.

View the full article here

Want to read our Spring issue for free? Sign up for our newsletter by March 31 to receive a full PDF when the issue launches.


Movements need ideas.

Sign up to the Dissent email list to receive weekly article roundups, issue previews, event invitations, and more.