Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq

Living with Terrorism, Insurgency, and New Forms of Tyranny

by Victoria Fontan


A revealing study of life after Saddam in Iraq, including the wide-reaching negative effects of US efforts to establish democracy there.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Voices from Post-Saddam Iraq

December 2008


Pages 240
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars

Even today, most Americans can not understand just why the fighting continues in Iraq, whether our nation should be involved there now, and how we could change our tactics to help establish a lasting peace in the face of what many fear will become a full-fledged civil war. In the book at hand, Victoria Fontan - a professor of peace and conflict studies who lived, worked and researched in Iraq - shares pointed insights into the emotions of Iraq's people, and specifically how democratization has in that country come to be associated with humiliation. Including interviews with common people in Iraq this work makes clear how laudable intentions do not always bring the desired result when it comes to international conflict and cross-cultural psychology. For example, Fontan explains, one might consider the comment of a young Shiite: The greatest humiliation of all was to see foreigners topple Saddam, not because we loved him, but because we could not do it ourselves.

This gripping text is focused on a new and growing area of human psychology - humiliation studies. In it, this leader at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace spotlights aspects of U.S. actions - and Iraqi perceptions - that have fueled ongoing conflict and left some increasingly outspoken residents of the U.S., and the rest of the world, demanding that foreign forces be withdrawn and the Iraqis left to their own accord. The work examines issues including how and when the Iraqis began to see the United States, as not a liberator but as an occupier; how both Abu Ghraib and our ensuing handling of the scandal heightened Iraqi humiliation and fighting; how we've fueled the ethno-religious unrest that still rages today; and how the Post-Saddam elections paved the way for civil war. Fontan also describes the role of women in Iraq who may ultimately be an important key to peace and explains her views on the new role the U.S. may play to better help establish peace.

Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsMap of IraqIntroductionChapter 1: The Road to Hell is Paved WithChapter 2: Insurgency, the Sunnis and Humiliations RoleChapter 3: Abu Ghraib, A Source of Ethno-Religious UnrestChapter 4: The Gender Factor and How It May Hold Keys to PeaceChapter 5: The Post-Saddam Elections and How They Paved the Way for Civil WarChapter 6: Moving Beyond Humiliation, A New Role for The United States in Post-Saddam IraqConclusionBibliographyNotes



"Fontan (peace and conflict studies, U. for Peace, Costa Rica) has worked as a freelance journalist in Iraq writing for Western and Iraqi media. Seeking to avoid condemning or condoning occupiers or occupied, liberators or liberated, she argues that primary factor ruling the people of Iraq since the arrival of the US military is humiliation. Her topics include
insurgency, the Sunnis, and humiliation's role; Abu Ghraib as a source of ethno-religious unrest; the gender factor and how it may hold keys to peace; and a new role for the US in post-Saddam Iraq."Reference & Research Book News


"Among the numerous books on the Iraq conflict to appear in recent years, Fontan's stands out because of the range of perspectives she brings to bear to illuminate her subject: she brings a journalist's ear for compelling stories, a scholar's analytical tools that provide these stories with meaning, and an activist's passion for the human beings at the heart of her writing. By studying the Iraq intervention through a psychological and cultural framework, and by focusing on the effects of humiliation across the political and social landscape of Iraq, her work serves as a vital reminder that what really matters in cases like this is how the intervention is perceived by the population of the target state, no matter how well-intentioned the intervention might be."—Dr. Scott A. Silverstone, Ph.D., Associate Professor of International Relations, Director, International Relations Program, Department of Social Sciences, United States Military Academy

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Shadow Force cover imageNever Will We Forget cover imageMilitary Occupations in the Age of Self-Determination cover image
Israel and Syria cover imageTo the Last Man cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips