Skip to main content



Following the 1990–91 Gulf War and the subsequent March 1991 uprising, the Iraqi government launched a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the marshes of southern Mesopotamia. Alongside mass killing and forced population resettlement, the state used hydrological infrastructure to divert water from the wetlands, permanently desiccating the area. Using newly available Iraqi government archives, this paper argues that the destruction of the marshes was the result of a complex interplay between sectarianism, development planning, and security imperatives. Inhabited by peripatetic Marsh Arabs (Maʿdan), the marshlands stood out as an impenetrable wilderness. Baʿth policies in the marshes combined measures meant to promote social and economic modernization with counterinsurgency tactics meant to achieve control over the marsh region. After 1991, the regime set out to obliterate a terrain it deemed a strategic liability and a population that seemed an obstacle to modernization.

Corresponding author
Ariel I. Ahram is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, Alexandria, Va.; e-mail:
Hide All


Author's note: This article benefited from grants by Virginia Tech's Global Issues Initiative and the University of Oklahoma's College of International Studies. I thank the staffs of the Conflict Records Research Center and the Hoover Institution archives, the IJMES editorial team, and the anonymous reviewers.

1 “Saddam Defies Sanctions with Waterworks and Fairy Lights,” The Guardian, 8 December 1992.

2 Schwabach Aaron, “Ecocide and Genocide in Iraq: International Law, the Marsh Arabs, and Environmental Damage in Non-International Conflicts,” Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law & Policy 15 (2004): 128. Western sources often romanticize the marshes as the locus of the Biblical Eden, painting their loss as especially tragic. See H. K. Andriansen, “What happened to the Iraqi Marsh Arabs and their land?” Danish Institute for International Studies Working Paper, 2004, accessed 2 September 2014,

3 “Full Text of the Iraqi Constitution,” Washington Post, 12 October 2005, accessed 9 October 2012,

4 Wittfogel Karl August, Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power (New York: Vintage, 1981).

5 Adams Robert McCormick, Land behind Baghdad: A History of Settlement on the Diyala Plains (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965); Christensen Peter, The Decline of Iranshahr: Irrigation and Environments in the History of the Middle East, 500 BC to AD 1500 (Odense, Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1993); Fernea Robert, Shaykh and Effendi: Changing Patterns of Authority among the El Shabana of Southern Iraq (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), 2629, 36–37; Eger A. Asa, “The Swamps of Home: Marsh Formation and Settlement in the Early Medieval Near East,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 70 (2011): 5579; Cole Steven W., “Marsh Formation in the Borsippa Region and the Course of the Lower Euphrates,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 53 (1994): 8496.

6 Mitchell Timothy, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2002); Mitchell , Colonising Egypt (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1991).

7 Hecht Gabrielle, “Introduction,” in Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War, ed. Hecht Gabrielle (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011), 3.

8 Scott James C., Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999), 4.

9 Scott, chap. 6.

10 Documents from the Saddam Hussein Collection at the National Defense University's Conflict Records Research Center are designated with the prefix SH, followed by the document's unique reference number. Documents from Stanford University's The Arab Baʿth Socialist Party in Iraq are designated with the prefix ABSP, followed by the document's unique page number. See Rubin Lawrence, “Research Note: Documenting Saddam Hussein's Iraq,” Contemporary Security Policy 32 (2011): 458–66.

11 For a discussion of sectarianism in the events of 1991, see Haddad Fanar, Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 132–42; and Davis Eric, Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2005), 244.

12 Sassoon Joseph, Saddam Hussein's Baʿth Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 283.

13 Khoury Dina Rizk, “The Security State and the Practice and Rhetoric of Sectarianism in Iraq,” International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies 4 (2010): 325–38.

14 Hiltermann Joost R., A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Middle East Watch, Genocide in Iraq: the Anfal campaign against the Kurds (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993).

15 Tal Alon, Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2002); Jones Toby Craig, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010); Mikhail Alan, Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Chatel Francesa De, Water Sheikhs and Dam builders: Stories of People and Water in the Middle East (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2011).

16 Cernea Michael, “Involuntary Resettlement: Social Research, Policy, and Planning,” in People First: Sociological Variables in Rural Development, ed. Cernea Michael, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); Vandergeest Peter, Idahosa Pablo, and Bose Pablo, “Introduction,” in Development's Displacements: Economies, Ecologies, and Cultures at Risk, ed. Vandergeest Peter, Idahosa Pablo, and Bose Pablo (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007).

17 Peluso Nancy Lee and Watts Michael, “Introduction,” in Violent Environments, ed. Peluso Nancy Lee and Watts Michael (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001), 26; Peluso Nancy Lee and Vandergeest Peter, “Political Ecologies of War and Forests: Counterinsurgencies and the Making of National Natures,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101 (2011): 587608.

18 Kilcullen David, “Twenty-Eight Articles Fundamentals of Company-Level Counterinsurgency,” Marine Corps Gazette 90 (2006): 33. For a critique see Owens Patricia, “From Bismarck to Petraeus: The Question of the Social and the Social Question in Counterinsurgency,” European Journal of International Relations 19 (2012): 139–61.

19 Duffield Mark, Development, Security and Unending War: Governing the World of Peoples (Boston: Polity, 2007), 16.

20 Zierler David, The Invention of Ecocide: Agent Orange, Vietnam, and the Scientists Who Changed the Way We Think about the Environment (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2011).

21 Biggs David, Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 2012), chap. 5 and 6; Gibson James William, The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000), 225–26.

22 “Al-Baṭīḥa,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed., Brill Online, 2012, Reference, University of Oklahoma Libraries, accessed 4 May 2012,

23 Travels of Ibn Battuta, A.D. 1325–1354, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958), 271–2. For more on marsh banditry, see Floor Willem, “The Rise and Fall of the Banu Kaʿb: A Borderer State in Southern Khuzestan,” Iran 44 (2006): 277315; Matthee Rudi, “Between Arabs, Turks, and Iranians: The town of Basra, 1600–1700,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 69 (2006): 5378.

24 Albertine Jwaideh, “The Marsh Dwellers of Southern Iraq: Their Habitat, Origins, Society, and Economy,” Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecture, Indiana University, 30 October 2007, accessed 2 September 2014,, p. 20.; Buxton P. A. and Dowson V. H. W., “The Marsh Arabs of Lower Mesopotamia,” The Indian Antiquary: A Journal of Oriental Research 50 (1921): 293.

25 Naj A. J. and Ali Y. N., “The Suqs of Basrah: Commercial Organization and Activity in a Medieval Islamic City,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 24 (1981): 298309.

26 Visser Reidar, Basra, the Failed Gulf State: Separatism and Nationalism in Southern Iraq (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2005), 1518, 21–22; Salim Shakir, Marsh Dwellers of the Euphrates Delta (London: University of London Press, 1962), 14, 29–31.

27 Camille Cole, “Mesopotamia: Empire, Environment, and the River Worlds of Nineteenth-Century Iraq” (bachelor of arts thesis, Pomona College, 2012), 82–88.

28 Murphey Rhodes, “The Ottoman Centuries in Iraq: Legacy or Aftermath,” Journal of Turkish Studies (1983), 25; Ceylan Ebubekir, The Ottoman Origins of Modern Iraq: Political Reform, Modernization and Development in the Nineteenth-Century Middle East (New York: I. B. Tauris, 2011), 187204.

29 Willcocks William, Irrigation of Mesopotamia (London: E. & F.N. Spon, Ltd., 1911), 35.

30 Howell Evelyn, “River Control in Mesopotamia,” Quarterly Review 237 (1922): 77, 82. See also Ionides M. G., The Régime of the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris (New York: Chemical Publishing Co., 1937), 201.

31 The Control of the Rivers of Iraq and the Utilization of Their Waters (Baghdad: Irrigation Development Commission, 1951). See also Sousa Ahmed, Iraq Irrigation Handbook, Part I (Baghdad: Iraqi State Railway Press, 1944); Lebon J. H. G., “The New Irrigation Era in Iraq,” Economic Geography 31 (1955): 4759; Qubain Fahim I., The Reconstruction of Iraq (New York: Praeger, 1958), 5964.

32 Jennifer R. Pournelle and Guillermo Algaze, “Travels in Edin: Deltaic Resilience and Early Urbanism in Greater Mesopotamia,” accessed 28 November 2012,; Satia Priya, Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 159–61; Omissi David, Air Power and Colonial Controls: The Royal Air Force, 1919–1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990), chap. 2.

33 Cox Jafna, “A Splendid Training Ground: The Importance to the Royal Air Force of Its Role in Iraq,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 13 (1985), 168–69.

34 For example, see Visser, Basra, 55, 61, 100, 124; and Salim, Marsh Dwellers, 31–32.

35 For a broad discussion of the influence of mid-20th-century modernism in Iraq, see Bahoora Haytham, “Baudelaire in Baghdad: Modernism, the Body, and Husayn Mardan's Poetics of the Self,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 45 (2013): 313–29; Marefat Mina, “Wright's Baghdad: Ziggurats and Green Visions,” Revista de crítica y teoría de la arquitectura 1 (2008): 145–55.

36 Salim, Marsh Dwellers, 15–18, 41. On medicine in Iraq under the British, see Omar el-Dawachi, “The Professionalization of the Iraqi Medical Doctor in Britain: Medicine, Citizenship, Sovereignty and Empire” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2008), chap. 2. On education, see Simon Reeva S., Iraq between the Two World Wars: The Militarist Origins of Tyranny (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), chap. 4.

37 On malaria, see Pringle Gordon, “The National Campaign against Malaria in Iraq, Part 1,” Bulletin of Endemic Diseases (Baghdad) 1 (1955): 87118; Al-Amin Tariq, “Malaria Eradication Programme in Iraq, 1957–1960,” Bulletin of Endemic Diseases (Baghdad), 4 (1961): 116. On bilharzias, see Watson J., “Studies in Bilharziasis in Iraq, Part IV. The National Anti-Bilharzias Campaign,” Journal of the Faculty of Medicine (Baghdad), 14 (1950): 2537.

38 Nahi Salah al-Din ʿAbd al-Latif, Muqaddimah fi al-iqṭaʿ wa-l-Nizam al-Aradi fi al-ʿIraq (Baghdad: Dar al-Maʿarif, 1955).

39 Farouk-Sluglett Marion and Sluglett Peter, “The Transformation of Land Tenure and Rural Social Structure in Central and Southern Iraq, c. 1870–1958,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 15 (1983): 491505; Batatu Hanna, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movement in Iraq (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978), Books I and II.

40 Fernea, Shaykh and Effendi, 121–23, 136–49.

41 Warriner Doreen, Land Reform and Development in the Middle East, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), 18, 136–37, 141, 151–57; Haj Samira, The Making of Modern Iraq, 1900–1963: Capital, Power, and Ideology (Binghamton, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1997), 3738; Qubain, Reconstruction of Iraq, 206, 233–35, 246–47.

42 Drower E. S., The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937), 125.

43 Thesiger Wilfred, The Marsh Arabs (New York: Penguin, 2008), 78. See also Batatu Hanna, “Iraq's Underground Shiʿa Movement: Characteristics, Causes, and Prospects,” Middle East Journal 35 (1981): 583–85; Nakash Yitzhak, The Shiʿis of Iraq (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997), 2526, 47–48, 175.

44 Warriner, Land Reform and Development, 159.

45 Salter Lord, The Development of Iraq: A Plan of Action (Baghdad: Iraq Development Board, 1955), 39.

46 Nakash, The Shiʿis of Iraq, 132–34; Bashkin Orit, The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2009), 212–26.

47 Fernea Robert A., “Land Reform and Ecology in Postrevolutionary Iraq,” Economic Development and Cultural Change 17 (1969): 356–81.

48 Makiya Kanan, Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1998), 21, 134.

49 Springborg Robert, “Baʿthism in Practice: Agriculture, Politics, and Political Culture in Syria and Iraq,” Middle Eastern Studies 17 (1981): 196.

50 Lucas Christopher J., “Arab Illiteracy and the Mass Literacy Campaign in Iraq.” Comparative Education Review 25 (1981): 7484; Azab Saleh Ahmed, “The National Adult Literacy Campaign in Iraq,” Prospects: Quarterly Review of Education 15 (1985): 383–87.

51 Oleg Smolansky with Bettie Smolansky M., The USSR and Iraq: The Soviet Quest for Influence (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1991), 31.

52 Dzięgel Leskik, Rural Community of Contemporary Iraqi Kurdistan Facing Modernization (Krakow: Agricultural Academy, 1981), 2427; McDowall David, A Modern History of the Kurds (New York: I. B. Tauris, 2003), 339–40.

53 Jones C., Sultan M., Yan E., Milewski A., Hussein M., Al-Dousai A., Al-Kaisy S., and Becker R., “Hydrologic Impacts of Engineering Projects on the Tigris-Euphrates System and Its Marshlands,” Journal of Hydrology 353 (2008): 5975.

54 Douabul Ali A. Z., Mohammed Sama S., Warner Barry, and Asada Taro, “Persistent DDE in the Mesopotamian Wetlands of Southern Iraq,” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 82 (2009): 690–93; Jawad >Laith, “Impact of Environmental Change on the Fresh Water Fauna of Iraq,” International Journal of Environmental Studies 60 (2003): 587–88.

55 Al-Layla M. Anis, “Effect of Salinity on Agriculture in Iraq,” Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Division 104 (1978): 200201; Hillel Daniel, Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 99101.

56 Khoury Dina Rizk, Iraq in Wartime: Soldiering, Martyrdom, and Remembrance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 5667.

57 Saddam Hussein (SH) archive document, SH-PDWN-D-001-021, “Meetings between Saddam and Iraqi Officials Regarding Iran–Iraq War Tactics, Including the Use of Napalm and Cluster Bombs,” 6 October 1980.

58 See, for instance, SH-GMID-D-000-343, “Correspondence of the General Military Intelligence Directorate with the Ministry of Interior and Revolutionary Command Council Regarding Intelligence Information on Iran,” March to September 1985; SH-AFGC-D-000-686, “Operations Guide Issued by the Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces,” February to December 1984. A Republican Guard general also cited this fear in his debriefing interviews with American researchers. See Woods Kevin, Murray Williamson, and Holaday Thomas with Elkhamri Mounir, Saddam's War: An Iraqi Military Perspective on the Iran-Iraq War (Washington D.C.: National Defense University Press, 2008), 65.

59 Pollack Kenneth, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948–1991 (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2002), 203–6.

60 SH-IZAR-D-000-207, “Study by 3rd Corps Command Regarding Tactical Flooding of the Hawizeh Marshes Located Along Iraqi Borders,” 10 April 1981.

61 Khoury, Iraq in Wartime, 111–14.

62 ABSP Box 3205-0000-0080 to 0110, “Report to the Leadership of the Southern Organization,” 2 May 1984.

63 SH-BATH-D-000-518, “Study from the Commander of East Tigris Operations Regarding Historical, Demographic, Geographic, and Political Aspects of al-Ahwar region,” 26 May 1985.

64 Khoury, Iraq in Wartime, 186–95, 213.

65 ABSP Box 3205-0000-0427, Report of 23 May 1984; ABSP Box 3205-0000-0765, Report of 15 April 1984.

66 Juan Cole, “Marsh Arab Rebellion: Grievance, Mafias, and Militias in Iraq,” Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecture, University of Indiana, 15 October 2005, accessed 2 September 2014,; Julian Borger, “The Lord of the Marshes Who Defies Saddam,” The Observer, 3 May 1998.

67 Woods Kevin, Murray Williamson, Nathan Elizabeth A., Sabara Laila, Venegas Ana M., eds., Saddam's Generals: Perspectives on the Iran–Iraq War (Washington D.C.: National Defense University, 2011), 47, accessed 26 October 2012,; Woods et al., Saddam's War, 68.

68 Woods et al., Saddam's Generals, 127.

69 ABSP Box 3205-0000-0741, report of 23 April 1984; ABSP Box 3205-0000-0383, memorandum of 5 May 1984; ABSP Box 3205-000-0364 to 0366, telegraph of 6 May 1984.

70 Mitchell Christopher, “Assault on the Marshes,” in The Iraqi Marshlands: A Human and Environmental Study, ed. Nicholson Emma and Clark Peter (London: Politico, 2003), 6869; SH-IZAR-D-000–781, “Intelligence report on Fourth Corps Command Sector area of operations,” January 1985.

71 SH-RVCC-D-000-218, “Report to Saddam regarding the implementation of the operational recommendations in the Marsh Arab areas,” May to September 1987; Khoury, Iraq in Wartime, 114.

72 Juma K.H., “Present Status of Buffalo Production in Iraq,” Buffalo Journal 2 (1997): 103–13; Alsaedy Jabar K., “Iraq Buffalo Now,” Italian Journal of Animal Science 6 Supplement 2 (2007): 1234–36; Spinnage Clive, Cattle Plague: A History (New York: Springer, 2003), 495.

73 Woods et al., Saddam's Generals, 48–49.

74 Pollack, Arabs at War, 224–28.

75 On Faw's symbolic significance, see ABSP Box 01-2219-0002-0037, Report of 20 June 1989; On the reconstruction effort, see Barakat Sultan, “The Rebuilding of Fao City, Iraq: A Case of Government Post-War Reconstruction,” in Disasters and Small Dwellings, ed. Aysan Yasemin and Davis Ian (Oxford: James & James, 1992).

76 SH-GMID-D-000-527, “Correspondence of General Military Intelligence Directorate with the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Oil regarding geometrical work in Huwayza Marches,” March to November [sic] 1988.

77 ABSP Box 025-4-5-0442 to 501, Documents from 1989 Concerning the Marshes.

78 Khoury, Iraq in Wartime, 138–40.

79 SH-IZAR-D-001-169, “Document Regarding Plan Set by the Operations Department Recommending the Drainage of the Hawizeh Marshes to Limit the Sabotage Operations,” 17 April 1992.

80 SH-PDWN-D-000-328, “Speech by Saddam to the Iraqi People Regarding the 1991 Uprisings in Iraq,” 19 March 1991.

81 Woods Kevin, Palkii David, and Stout Mark E., eds., The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant's Regime, 1978–2001 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 201.

82 Makiya Kanan, Cruelty and Silence (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994), 102–3; Haddad, Sectarianism in Iraq, 118–27; Davis, Memories of State, 244.

83 Goldstein Eric, Endless Torment: The 1991 Uprising in Iraq and Its Aftermath (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1992), 2223.

84 SH-GMID-000-591, “Study Prepared by the Intelligence System of the Southern Zone Regarding the Hawizeh Marshes’ Geography and Local Tribes,” May 1992.

85 Goldstein, Endless Torment, 23.

86 James Anderson, “Iraq to Uproot Isolated Marsh Arabs,” Reuters News, 7 May 1992; Patrick Cockburn, “Tide Turns Against the Marsh Arabs,” The Independent, 7 May 1992. On repression in Iraqi Kurdistan, see Hiltermann, A Poisonous Affair.

87 SH-IZAR-D-001-169, “Document Regarding Plan Set by the Operations Department Recommending the Drainage of the Hawizeh Marshes to Limit the Sabotage Operations,” 17 April 1992; Mitchell, “Assault on the Marshes,” 79–81, 85–86.

88 ABSP Box 01-3382-000-0149, Letter of 14 November 1992; Baram Amatzia, “Neo-tribalism in Iraq: Saddam Hussein's Tribal Policies, 1991–96,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 29 (1997): 131; Mitchell, Assault on the Marshes, 79–81, 85–86; “Iran aiding Iraqi Shiites, Arabs say Hussein sends arms to marsh tribesmen in bid to forestall infiltrators,” The Globe and Mail, 3 September 1992.

89 SH-MODX-D-001-195, “Plan to Purge and Search the Arab Marshes in the Areas of the 3rd and 4th Corps,” 16 July 1992; SH-GMID-000-591, “Study Prepared by the Intelligence System of the Southern Zone Regarding the Hawizeh Marshes’ Geography and Local Tribes,” May 1992.

90 Mitchell, “Assault on the Marshes,” 79.

91 Shyam Bhatia, “Murder of the Marshes,” The Observer, 28 February 1993; Chris Hedges, “In a Remote Southern Marsh, Iraq Is Strangling the Shiites,” New York Times, 16 November 1993.

92 Peter Smerdon, “Saddam's ‘Third River’ Nearly Complete Amid Row Over Threat to Marsh Arabs,” Reuters, 27 August 1992; Christopher Bellamy, “Iraqi Push to Complete Strategic ‘Third River,’” The Independent, 21 August 1992.

93 Glenn Gibson, “War and Agriculture: Three Decades of Agricultural Land Use and Land Coverage Change in Iraq” (PhD diss., Virginia Tech, 2012), 23, 62.

94 Jim Bodgener, “Turkey's Stranglehold on the Euphrates Irks Its Neighbours,” Financial Times, 3 January 1990; Jongerden Joost, “Dams and Politics in Turkey: Utilizing Water, Developing Conflict,” Middle East Policy 18 (2010): 137–43.

95 Jones, “Hydrologic Impacts.”

96 Richardson C. J., Reiss Peter, Hussain Najah, Alwash Azzam, and Pool Douglas, “The Restoration Potential of the Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq,” Science 307 (2005): 1307–11.

97 Al-Yamani F., Bishop J. M., Al-Rifaie K., and Ismail W., “The Effects of the River Diversion, Mesopotamian Marsh Drainage, and Restoration, and River Damming on the Marine Environment of the Northwestern Arabian Gulf,” Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management 10 (2007): 277–89.

98 Spinnage, Cattle Plague, 495.

99 Al-Sharq al-Awsat (London), “Iraqi ‘Sources’ Say ‘Military Attack’ Launched on Marsh Arabs in the South,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 17 September 1997.

100 Jérôme Le Roy, “Statistical Outline of the Situation of the South Iraqi Refugees in Iran, Including the Marsh Dwellers,” in Nicholson, The Iraqi Marshland.

101 Richardson Curtis J. and Hussain Najah A., “Restoring the Garden of Eden: An Ecological Assessment of the Marshes of Iraq,” BioScience 56 (2006): 477–89.

102 Cole Juan, “The United States and Shiʿite Religious Factions in Post-Baʿthist Iraq,” Middle East Journal, 57 (2003): 548, 554; Patrick Cockburn, “Marsh Arabs Threaten to Resist Army of Occupation,” The Independent, 27 June 2003.

103 Stewart Rory, The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq (New York: Harcourt, 2007); Christopher Hitchens, “Restating the Case for War,” Slate, 3 November 2003, accessed 11 February 2014,; Peter W. Galbraith, “How to Get Out of Iraq,” New York Review of Books, 13 May 2004.

104 Bridget Guarasci, “Reconstructing Life: Environment, Expertise and Political Power in Iraq's Marshes 2003–2007” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2011).

105 Jim Muir, “Iraqi Marshes Face Grave New Threat,” BBC News (Baghdad), 24 February 2009; Gibson, “War and Agriculture,” 25.

106 Dhiya Rasan, “‘Prince’ Loses Favor in Amara,” Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 21 February 2005, accessed 31 August 2012,; See also “Security in the Maysan Province Deteriorates,” Confidential Memo from Regional Embassy Office, Basra to Secretary of State, Washington D.C., 13 October 2006, accessed 27 August 2014,; “Maysan Province Contacts Says It Is Not Ready for PIC,” Confidential Memo From Regional Embassy Office, Basra to Secretary of State, Washington D.C., 12 December 2006, accessed 27 August 2014,

107 Le Roy, “Appendix,” in The Iraqi Marshlands.

108 U.S. Agency for International Aid, Final Report: Agricultural Reconstruction and Development Program for Iraq, December 2006, 323, 328, accessed 27 August 2014,

109 Richards John F., The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2005), 22.

110 Khoury, “The Security State and the Practice and Rhetoric of Sectarianism.”

111 Central Intelligence Agency, Special Intelligence Memorandum, “Humanitarian Situation in the Marshes,” 20 August 1993, accessed 13 July 2012,

112 Pianciola N., “The Collectivization Famine in Kazakhstan, 1931–1933,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 25 (2001): 237–51.

113 Scott James C., The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009).

114 Etten Jacob van, Jongerden Joost, Vos Hugo J. de, Klaasse Annemarie, and Hoeve Esther C.E. van, “Environmental Destruction as a Counterinsurgency Strategy in the Kurdistan Region of Turkey,” Geoforum 29 (2008): 1786–97; Jongerden Joost, “Dams and Politics in Turkey: Utilizing Water, Developing Conflict,” Middle East Policy 17 (2010): 137–43; Gurses Mehmet, “Environmental Consequences of Civil War: Evidence from the Kurdish Conflict in Turkey,” Civil Wars 14 (2012): 254–71.

115 Weizman Eyal, Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation (New York: Verso, 2007); Alatout Samer, “Walls as Technologies of Government: The Double Construction of Geographies of Peace and Conflict in Israeli Politics, 2002–Present,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 99 (2009): 956–68.

116 Gerlach Christian, Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), chap. 5; Rice Edward E., Wars of the Third Kind: Conflict in Underdeveloped Countries (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1988), 9397; Khalili Laleh, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2012), chap. 6.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 91 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 394 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.