Putting Cruelty First: An Interview with Kanan Makiya (Part 2)
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 campaign of mass murder conducted by the Ba’ath regime in northern
Iraq in 1988. In October 1992, he acted as the convenor of the Human Rights
Committee of the Iraqi National Congress. He was part of 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. Part 1 appeared in Democratiya 3.
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