I'm an innumerate, but the figures on this – the
saddest story of our Iraq debacle – are so large that even I can do the necessary
computations. The population of the United States is now just
over 300,000,000. The population of Iraq at the time of the U.S. invasion
was perhaps in the 26-27 million range. Between March 2003 and today, a number
of reputable sources place the total of Iraqis who have fled their homes – those
who have been displaced internally and those who have gone abroad – at between
million and 5 million individuals. If you take that still staggering lower
figure, approximately one in six Iraqis is either a refugee in another country
or an internally displaced person.
Now, consider the equivalent in terms of the U.S. population. If Iraq had
invaded the United States in March 2003 with similar results, in less than five
years approximately 50 million Americans would have fled their homes, assumedly
flooding across the Mexican and Canadian borders, desperately burdening weaker
neighboring economies. It would be an unparalleled, even unimaginable, catastrophe.
Consider, then, what we would think if, back in Baghdad, politicians and the
media were hailing, or at least discussing positively, the "success" of the
prime minister's recent "surge strategy" in the U.S., even though it had probably
been instrumental in creating at least one
out of every ten of those refugees, 5 million displaced Americans in all.
Imagine what our reaction would be to such blithe barbarism.
Back in the real world, of course, what Michael Schwartz terms the "tsunami"
of Iraqi refugees, the greatest refugee crisis on the planet, has received only
modest attention in this country (which managed, in 2007, to accept
Iraqi refugees out of all those millions – a figure nonetheless up from 2006).
As with so much else, the Bush administration takes no responsibility for the
crisis, nor does it feel any need to respond to it at an appropriate level.
Until now, to the best of my knowledge, no one has even put together a history
of the monumental, horrific tale of human suffering that George W. Bush's war
of choice and subsequent occupation unleashed, or fully considered what such
a brain drain, such a loss of human capital, might actually mean for Iraq's
Iraq's Tidal Wave of Misery
The first history of the planet's worst refugee crisis
by Michael Schwartz
A tidal wave of misery is engulfing Iraq – and
it isn't the usual violence that Americans are accustomed to hearing about and
tuning out. To be sure, it's rooted in that violence, but this tsunami of misery
is social and economic in nature. It dislodges people from their jobs, sweeps
them from their homes, tears them from their material possessions, and carries
them off from families and communities. It leaves them stranded in hostile towns
or foreign countries, with no anchor to resist the moment when the next wave
of displacement sweeps over them.
The victims of this human tsunami are called refugees if they wash ashore outside
the country or IDPs ("internally displaced persons") if their landing place
is within Iraq's borders. Either way, they are normally left with no permanent
housing, no reliable livelihood, no community support, and no government aid.
All the normal social props that support human lives are removed, replaced with…
Overlapping Waves of the Dispossessed
In its first four years, the Iraq war created three overlapping waves of refugees
It all began with the Coalition Provisional Authority, which the Bush administration
set up inside Baghdad's Green Zone and, in May 2003, placed under the control
of L. Paul Bremer III. The CPA immediately began dismantling Iraq's state apparatus.
Thousands of Ba'ath Party bureaucrats were purged from the government; tens
of thousands of workers were laid off from shuttered, state-owned industries;
hundreds of thousands of Iraqi military personnel were dismissed from Saddam's
dismantled military. Their numbers soon multiplied as the ripple effect of their
lost buying power rolled through the economy. Many of the displaced found other
(less remunerative) jobs; some hunkered down to wait out bad times; still others
left their homes and sought work elsewhere, with the most marketable going to
nearby countries where their skills were still in demand. They were the leading
edge of the first wave of Iraqi refugees.
As the postwar chaos continued, kidnapping became the country's growth industry,
targeting any prosperous family with the means to pay ransom. This only accelerated
the rate of departure, particularly among those who had already had their careers
disrupted. A flood of professional, technical, and managerial workers fled their
homes and Iraq in search of personal and job security.
The spirit of this initial exodus was eloquently expressed by an Iraqi
blogger with the online handle of AnaRki13:
"Not so much a migration as a forced exodus. Scientists, engineers, doctors,
architects, writers, poets, you name it – everybody is getting out of town.
"Why? Simple: 1. There is no real job market in Iraq. 2. Even if you have
a good job, chances are good you'll get kidnapped or killed. It's just not worth
it staying here. Sunni, Shi'ite, or Christian – everybody, we're all leaving,
or have already left.
"One of my friends keeps berating me about how I should love this country,
the land of my ancestors, where I was born and raised; how I should be grateful
and return to the place that gave me everything. I always tell him the same
thing: 'Iraq, as you and me once knew it, is lost. What's left of it, I don't
"The most famous doctors and university professors have already left the
country because many of them, including ones I knew personally, were assassinated
or killed, and the rest got the message – and got themselves jobs in the west,
where they were received warmly and given high positions. Other millions of
Iraqis, just ordinary Iraqis, left and are leaving – without plans and with
In 2004, the Americans triggered a second wave of refugees when they began
to attack and invade insurgent strongholds, as they did the Sunni city of Fallujah
in November 2004, using the full kinetic force of their military. Whether the
Americans called for evacuation or not, large numbers of local residents were
forced to flee battleground neighborhoods or cities. The process was summarized
in a thorough review of the history of the war compiled by the Global Policy
Forum and 35 other international non-governmental organizations:
"Among those who flee, the most fortunate are able to seek refuge with out-of-town
relatives, but many flee into the countryside where they face extremely difficult
conditions, including shortages of food and water. Eventually the Red Crescent,
the UN, or relief organizations set up camps. In Fallujah, a city of about 300,000,
over 216,000 displaced persons had to seek shelter in overcrowded camps during
the winter months, inadequately supplied with food, water, and medical care.
An estimated 100,000 fled al-Qaim, a city of 150,000, according to the Iraqi
Red Crescent Society (IRCS). In Ramadi, about 70 percent of the city's 400,000
people left in advance of the U.S. onslaught.
"These moments mark the beginning of Iraq's massive displacement crisis."
While most of these refugees returned after the fighting, a significant minority
did not, either because their homes (or livelihoods) had been destroyed, or
because they were afraid of continuing violence. Like the economically displaced
of the previous wave, these refugees sought out new areas that were less dangerous
or more prosperous, including neighboring countries. And, as with that first
wave, it was the professionals as well as the technical and managerial workers
who were most likely to have the resources to leave Iraq.
In early 2005 the third wave began, developing by the next year into the veritable
tsunami of ethnic cleansing and civil war that pushed vast numbers of Iraqis
from their homes. The precipitating incidents, according to Ali Allawi – the
Iraqi finance minister when this third wave began – were initially triggered
by the second-wave-refugees pushed out of the Sunni city of Fallujah in the
winter of 2004:
"Refugees leaving Fallujah had converged on the western Sunni suburbs of
Baghdad, Amriya, and Ghazaliya, which had come under the control of the insurgency.
Insurgents, often backed by relatives of the Fallujah refugees, turned on the
Shia residents of these neighborhoods. Hundreds of Shia families were driven
from their homes, which were then seized by the refugees. Sunni Arab resentment
against the Shias' 'collaboration' with the occupation's forces had been building
up, exacerbated by the apparent indifference of the Shia to the assault on Fallujah.
"In turn, the Shia were becoming incensed by the daily attacks on policemen
and soldiers, who were mostly poor Shia men. The targeting of Sunnis in majority
Shia neighborhoods began in early 2005. In the Shaab district of Baghdad, for
instance, the assassination of a popular Sadrist cleric, Sheikh Haitham al-Ansari,
led to the formation of one of the first Shia death squads. … The cycle of killings,
assassinations, bombings, and expulsions fed into each other, quickly turning
to a full-scale ethnic cleansing of city neighborhoods and towns."
The process only accelerated in early 2006, after the bombing of the Golden
Dome in Samarra, a revered Shi'ite shrine, and crested in 2007 when the American
military "surge" onto the streets of Baghdad loosened the hold of Sunni insurgents
on many mixed as well as Sunni neighborhoods in the capital. During the year
of the surge all but 25 or so of the approximately 200
mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad became ethnically homogenous. A similar process
took place in the city's southern suburbs.
As minority groups in mixed neighborhoods and cities were driven out, they
too joined the army of displaced persons, often settling into vacated homes
in newly purified neighborhoods dominated by their own sect. But many, like
those in the previous waves of refugees, found they had to move to new locales
far away from the violence, including a large number who, once again, simply
left Iraq. As with previous waves, the more prosperous were the most likely
to depart, taking with them professional, technical, and managerial skills.
Among those who departed in this third wave was Riverbend,
the pseudonymous "Girl Blogger from Baghdad," who had achieved international
fame for her
beautifully crafted reports on life in Iraq under the U.S. occupation. Her
description of her journey into exile chronicled the emotional tragedy experienced
by millions of Iraqis:
"The last few hours in the house were a blur. It was time to go and I went
from room to room saying good-bye to everything. I said good-bye to my desk
– the one I'd used all through high school and college. I said good-bye to the
curtains and the bed and the couch. I said good-bye to the armchair E. and I
broke when we were younger. I said good-bye to the big table over which we'd
gathered for meals and to do homework. I said good-bye to the ghosts of the
framed pictures that once hung on the walls, because the pictures have long
since been taken down and stored away – but I knew just what hung where. I said
good-bye to the silly board games we inevitably fought over – the Arabic Monopoly
with the missing cards and money that no one had the heart to throw away…
"The trip was long and uneventful, other than two checkpoints being run
by masked men. They asked to see identification, took a cursory glance at the
passports, and asked where we were going. The same was done for the car behind
us. Those checkpoints are terrifying, but I've learned that the best technique
is to avoid eye contact, answer questions politely, and pray under your breath.
My mother and I had been careful not to wear any apparent jewelry, just in case,
and we were both in long skirts and head scarves. …
"How is it that a border no one can see or touch stands between car bombs,
militias, death squads, and… peace, safety? It's difficult to believe – even
now. I sit here and write this and wonder why I can't hear the explosions…."
The Human Toll
The number of Iraqis who flooded neighboring lands, not to speak of even approximate
estimates of the number of internal refugees, remains notoriously difficult
to determine, but the most circumspect of observers have reported constantly
accelerating rates of displacement since the Bush administration's March 2003
invasion. These numbers quickly outstripped the flood of expatriates who had
fled the country during Saddam Hussein's brutal era.
By early 2006, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was already estimating that 1.7 million
Iraqis had left the country and that perhaps an equal number of internal refugees
had been created in the same three-year period. The rate rose dramatically yet
again as sectarian violence and ethnic expulsions took hold; the International
Organization for Migration estimated the displacement rate during 2006 and 2007
at about 60,000 per month. In mid-2007, Iraq was declared by Refugees
International to be the "fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world," while
the United Nations called the crisis "the worst human displacement in Iraq's
Syria, the only country that initially placed no restrictions on Iraqi immigration,
had (according to UN
statistics) taken in about 1.25 million displaced Iraqis by early 2007.
In addition, the UN estimated that more than 500,000 Iraqi refugees were in
Jordan, as many as 70,000 in Egypt, approaching 60,000 in Iran, about 30,000
in Lebanon, approximately 200,000 spread across the Gulf States, and another
100,000 in Europe, with a final 50,000 spread around the globe. The United
States, which had accepted about 20,000 Iraqi refugees during Saddam Hussein's
years, admitted 463 additional ones between the start of the war and mid-2007.
President Bush's "surge" strategy, begun in January 2007, amplified the flood,
especially of the internally displaced, still further. According to James Glanz
and Stephen Farrell of the New
York Times, "American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving
fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of
thousands of additional troops arrived." The combined effect of the American
offensive and accelerated ethnic expulsions generated an estimated displacement
rate of 100,000 per month in Baghdad alone during the first half of 2007, a
figure that surprised even Said Hakki, the director of the Iraqi Red Crescent,
who had been monitoring the refugee crisis since the beginning of the war.
During 2007, according to UN estimates, Syria admitted an additional 150,000
refugees. With Iraqis by then constituting almost 10 percent of the country's
population, the Syrian government, feeling the strain on resources, began putting
on the unending flood and attempted to launch a mass repatriation policy. Such
repatriation efforts have, so far, been largely fruitless. Even when violence
in Baghdad began to decline in late 2007, refugees
attempting to return found that their abandoned homes had often either been
badly damaged in American offensives or, more likely, appropriated by strangers
(often of a different sect), or were in "cleansed" neighborhoods that were now
inhospitable to them.
In the same years, the weight of displaced persons inside Iraq grew ever more
quickly. Estimated by the UN at 2.25 million in September 2007, this tidal flow
of internally displaced, often homeless, families began to weigh on the resources
of the provinces receiving them. Najaf, the first large city south of Baghdad,
where the most sacred Shi'ite shrines in Iraq are located, found that its population
of 700,000 had increased by an estimated 400,000 displaced Shia. In three other
southern Shia provinces, IDPs came by mid-2007 to constitute over half the population.
The burden was crushing. By 2007, Karbala,
one of the most burdened provinces, was attempting to enforce a draconian measure
passed the previous year: New residents would be expelled unless officially
sponsored by two members of the provincial council. Other governates also tried
in various ways, and largely without success, to stanch
the flow of refugees.
Whether inside or outside the country, even prosperous families before the
war faced grim conditions. In Syria, where a careful
survey of conditions was undertaken in October 2007, only 24 percent of
all Iraqi families were supported by salaries or wages. Most families were left
to live as best they could on dwindling savings or remittances from relatives,
and a third of those with funds on hand expected to run out within three months.
Under this kind of pressure, increasing numbers were reduced to sex
work or other exploitative (or black market) sources of income.
Food was a major issue for many families; according to the United Nations,
nearly half needed "urgent food assistance." A substantial proportion of adults
reported skipping at least one meal a day in order to feed their children. Many
others endured foodless days "in order to keep up with rent and utilities."
One refugee mother told McClatchy reporter Hannah Allam, "We buy just enough
meat to flavor the food – we buy it with pennies. … I can't even buy a kilo
of sweets for Eid [a major annual celebration]."
According to a rigorous McClatchy Newspaper survey, most Iraqi refugees in
Syria were housed in crowded conditions with more than one person per room (sometimes
many more). Twenty-five percent of families lived in one-room apartments; about
one in six refugees had been diagnosed with a (usually untreated) chronic disease;
and one-fifth of the children had had diarrhea in the two weeks before being
questioned. While Syrian officials had aided refugee parents in getting over
two-thirds of school-aged children enrolled in schools, 46 percent had dropped
out – due mainly to lack of appropriate immigration documents, insufficient
funds to pay for school expenses, or a variety of emotional issues – and the
dropout rate was escalating. And keep in mind, the Iraqis who made it to Syria
were generally the lucky ones, far more likely to have financial resources or
Like the expatriate refugees, internally displaced Iraqis faced severe and
constantly declining conditions. The almost powerless Iraqi central government,
largely trapped inside Baghdad's Green Zone, requires that people who move from
one place to another register in person in Baghdad; if they fail to do so, they
lose eligibility for the national program that subsidizes the purchase of small
amounts of a few staple foods. Such registration was mostly impossible for families
driven from their homes in the country's vicious civil war. With no way to "register,"
families displaced outside of Baghdad entered their new residences without even
the increasingly meager safety net offered by guaranteed subsidies of basic
To make matters worse, almost three-quarters of the displaced were women or
children and very few of the intact families had working fathers. Unemployment
rates in most cities to which they were forced to move were already at or above
50 percent, so prostitution and child labor increasingly became necessary options.
UNICEF reported that a large
proportion of children in such families were hungry, clinically underweight,
and short for their age. "In some areas, up to 90 per cent of the [displaced]
children are not in school," the UN agency reported.
Losing Precious Resources
The job backgrounds of an extraordinary proportion of Iraqi refugees in Syria
were professional, managerial, or administrative. In other words, they were
collectively the repository of the precious human capital that would otherwise
have been needed to sustain, repair, and eventually rebuild their country's
ravaged infrastructure. In Iraq, approximately 10 percent of adults had attended
college; more than one-third of the refugees in Syria were university educated.
Whereas less than 1 percent of Iraqis had a postgraduate education, nearly 10
percent of refugees in Syria had advanced degrees, including 4.5 percent with
doctorates. At the opposite end of the economic spectrum, fully 20 percent of
all Iraqis had no schooling, but only a relative handful of the refugees arriving
in Syria (3 percent) had no education. These proportions were probably even
more striking in other more distant receiving lands, where entry was more difficult.
The reasons for this remarkable brain drain are not hard to find. Even the
desperate process of fleeing your home turns out to require resources, and so
refugees from most disasters who travel great distances tend to be disproportionately
prosperous, as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans so painfully
In Iraq, this tendency was enhanced by American policy. The mass "privatization"
and de-Ba'athification policies of the Bush administration ensured that large
numbers of professional, technical, and managerial workers, in particular, would
be cast out of their former lives. This tendency was only exacerbated by the
development of the kidnapping industry, focusing its attentions as it did on
families with sufficient resources to pay handsome ransoms. It was amplified
when some insurgent groups began assassinating remaining government officials,
university professors, and other professionals.
The exodus into the Iraqi Diaspora has severely depleted the country's human
capital. In early 2006, the United States Committee on Refugees and Immigrants
estimated that a full 40
percent of Iraq's professional class had left the country, taking with them
their irreplaceable expertise. Universities and medical facilities were particularly
hard hit, with some reporting less than 20 percent of needed staff on hand.
The oil industry suffered from what the Wall Street Journal called a
"petroleum exodus" that included the departure of two-thirds of its top 100
managers, as well as significant numbers of managerial and professional workers.
Even before the huge 2007 exodus from Baghdad, the United Nations Commissioner
of Refugees warned that "the skills required to provide basic services are becoming
more and more scarce," pointing particularly to doctors, teachers, computer
technicians, and even skilled craftsmen like bakers.
By mid-2007, the loss of these resources was visible in the everyday
functioning of Iraqi society. By then, medical facilities commonly required
patients' families to act as nurses and technicians and were still unable to
perform many services. Schools were often closed, or opened only sporadically,
because of an absence of qualified teachers. Universities postponed or canceled
required courses or qualifying examinations because of inadequate staff. At
the height of an incipient cholera
epidemic in the summer of 2007, water purification plants were idled because
needed technicians could not be found.
The most devastating impact of the Iraqi refugee crisis, however, has probably
been on the very capacity of the national government (which de-Ba'athification
and "privatization" had already left in a fragile state) to administer
anything. In every area that such a government might touch, the missing managerial,
technical, and professional talent and expertise has had a devastating effect,
with postwar "reconstruction" particularly hard hit. Even the ability
of the government to disperse its income (mostly from oil revenues) has been
crippled by what cabinet ministers have termed "a shortage of employees trained
to write contracts" and "the flight of scientific and engineering expertise
from the country."
The depths of the problem (as well as the massive levels of corruption that
went with it) could be measured by the fact that the electrical ministry spent
only 26 percent of its capital budget in 2006; the remaining three-quarters
went unspent. Yet, at that level of disbursement, it still outperformed most
government agencies and ministries in a major way. Under pressure from American
occupation officials to improve its performance in 2007, the government made
concerted efforts to increase both its budget and its disbursements for reconstruction.
Despite initially optimistic reports, the news was grim by year's end. Actual
expenditures on electrical infrastructure might, for example, have slipped
to as low as 1 percent of the budgeted amount.
Even more symptomatic were the few successes in infrastructural rebuilding
found by New York Times reporter James Glanz in a survey of capital construction
throughout the country. Most of the successful programs he reviewed were initiated
and managed by officials connected to local and provincial governments. They
discovered that success actually depended on avoiding any interaction
with the ineffective and corrupt central government. The provincial governor
of Babil Province, Sallem S. al-Mesamawe, described the key to his province's
success: "We jumped over the routine, the bureaucracy, and we depend on new
blood – a new team." They had learned this lesson after using provincial money
and local contractors to build a school, only to have it remain closed because
the national government was unable to provide the necessary furniture.
The government's staggering institutional incapacity is, in fact, a complex
phenomenon with many sources beyond the drain of human capital. The flood of
managers, professionals, and technicians out of the country, however, has been
a critical obstacle to any productive reconstruction. Worse yet, the departure
of so many crucial figures is probably to a considerable extent irreversible,
ensuring a grim near-future for the country. After all, this has been a "brain
drain" on a scale seldom seen in our era.
Many exiles still intend to, even long to, return when (or if) the situation
improves, but time is always the enemy of such intentions. The moment an individual
arrives in a new country, he or she begins creating social ties that become
ever more significant as a new life takes hold – and this is even truer for
those who leave with their families, as so many Iraqis have done. Unless this
network-building process is disrupted, for many the probability of return fades
with each passing month.
Those with marketable skills, even in the dire circumstances facing most Iraqi
refugees, have little choice but to keep seeking work that exploits their training.
The most marketable are the most likely to succeed and so to begin building
new careers. As time slips by, the best, the brightest, and the most important
carriers of precious human capital are lost.
The Displacement Tsunami
The degradation of Iraq under the American occupation regime was what initially
set in motion the forces that led to the exile of much of the country's most
precious human resources – absolutely crucial capital, even if of a kind not
usually considered when talk turns to investing in "nation building." How, after
all, can you "reconstruct" the ravaged foundations of a bombed-out nation without
the necessary professional, technical, and managerial personnel? Without them,
Iraq must continue its downward spiral toward a nation of slum cities.
The orgy of failure and corruption in 2007 was an unmitigated disaster for
Iraqi society, as well as an embarrassment for the American occupation. From
the point of view of long-term American goals in Iraq, however, this storm cloud,
like so many others, had a silver lining. The Iraqi government's incapacity
to perform at almost any level became but further justification for the claims
first made by L. Paul Bremer at the very beginning of the occupation: that the
country's reconstruction would be best handled by private enterprise. Moreover,
the mass flight of Iraqi professionals, managers, and technicians has meant
that expertise for reconstruction has simply been unavailable inside the country.
This has, in turn, validated a second set of claims made by Bremer: that reconstruction
could only be managed by large outside contractors.
This neoliberal reality was brought into focus in late 2007, as the last of
the money allocated by the U.S. Congress for Iraqi reconstruction was being
spent. A "petroleum exodus" (first identified by the Wall Street Journal)
had long ago meant that most of the engineers needed for maintaining the decrepit
oil business were already foreigners, mostly "imported from Texas and Oklahoma."
The foreign presence had, in fact, become so pervasive that the main headquarters
for the maintenance and development of the Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq
(the source of more than two-thirds of the country's oil at present) runs on
both Iraqi and Houston time. The American firms in charge of the field's maintenance
and development, KBR and PIJV, have been utilizing a large number of subcontractors,
most of them American or British, very few of them Iraqi.
These American-funded projects, though, have been merely "stopgaps." When the
money runs out, vast new moneys will be needed just to sustain Rumaila's production
at its present level.
According to Harper's magazine Senior Editor Luke Mitchell, who visited
the field in the summer of 2007, Iraqi engineers and technicians are "smart
enough and ambitious enough" to sustain and "upgrade" the system once the American
contracts expire, but such a project would take upwards of two decades because
of the compromised condition of the government and the lack of skilled local
engineers and technicians. The likely outcome, when the American money departs,
therefore is either an inadequate effort in which work proceeds "only in fits
and starts;" or, more likely, new contracts in which the foreign companies would
"continue their work," paid for by the Iraqi government.
With regard to the petroleum industry, therefore, what the refugee crisis guaranteed
was long-term Iraqi dependence on outsiders. In every other key infrastructural
area, a similar dependence was developing: electrical power, the water system,
medicine, and food were, de facto, being "integrated" into the global
system, leaving oil-rich Iraq dependent on outside investment and largesse for
the foreseeable future. Now, that's a twenty-year plan for you, one that at
least 4.5 million Iraqis, out of their homes and, in many cases, out of the
country as well, will be in no position to participate in.
Most horror stories come to an end, but the most horrible part of this horror
story is its never-ending quality. Those refugees who have left Iraq now face
a miserable limbo life, as Syria and other receiving countries exhaust their
meager resources and seek to expel many of them. Those seeking shelter within
Iraq face the depletion of already minimal support systems in degrading host
communities whose residents may themselves be threatened with displacement.
From the vast out-migration and internal migrations of its desperate citizens
comes damage to society as a whole that is almost impossible to estimate. The
displacement of people carries with it the destruction of human capital. The
destruction of human capital deprives Iraq of its most precious resource for
repairing the damage of war and occupation, condemning it to further infrastructural
decline. This tide of infrastructural decline is the surest guarantee of another
wave of displacement, of future floods of refugees.
As long as the United States keeps trying to pacify Iraq, it will create wave
after wave of misery.
Michael Schwartz, professor of sociology at Stony Brook University, has
written extensively on popular protest and insurgency. This report on the Iraqi
refugee crisis is from his forthcoming TomDispatch book, War
Without End: The Iraq Debacle in Context (Haymarket Books, June 2007).
His work on Iraq has appeared on numerous Internet sites, including TomDispatch,
Asia Times, Mother Jones, and Znet. His e-mail address is Ms42@optonline.net.
Copyright 2008 Michael Schwartz