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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Iraq War and Occupation

Iraq War and Occupation Resources

Background on Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and the Persian Gulf Wars

For putting war events into context and for researching background on Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Sanctions and Inspections, the Diplomatic Run Up, the First Gulf War, 1991, the Iran-Iraq War and the History of U.S.-Iraq Relations, we recommend the following sources.

Journal articles

Databases (These resources are available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

Academic Search Premier - Full-text articles and index scholarly journals (including the disciplines of history, political science, and international relations) and to general news periodicals, as well as magazines of political commentary and analysis.

Historical Abstracts - Citations and abstracts for journal articles, books and dissertations on history.

General Reference Center Gold - Full-text articles and index to general news periodicals, as well as magazines of political commentary and analysis.

Expanded Academic Index - Full-text articles and indexes to scholarly journals, including the disciplines of history, political science, and international relations.

Columbia International Affairs Online - Full-text working papers, policy briefs, full-text articles; published by Columbia University.

PAIS International - Public Affairs Information Service. Scholarly article citations. *

International Political Science Abstracts - Scholarly article citations. *

Social Sciences Abstracts - Scholarly article citations and abstracts. *

(*Note: These are citation indexes only. To see whether the library owns the journals in question, follow the UMLinks or consult the catalog.)

Printed Index

Middle East Abstracts and Index. Pittsburgh, Northumberland Press. 1982- Ref DS41.M44 Indexes several hundred journals. Organized by geographical region, with extensive annotations. Probably the most thorough scholarly index concentrating solely on the Middle East.

Books, Government and United Nations Documents Available

Quick Links to books at UMass on selected topics:

How to find books:

To find books, use the Library Catalog. Books on Saddam Hussein can be found using the under the subject heading Hussein, Saddam, 1937-. Additional subheadings explore the Iraqi president’s psychology and political and social views.

Other subject headings that contain relevant books include:

Political background of the present Iraqi regime: Iraq—Politics and Government.
US government documents (older) on the Baath Party of Iraq under: Hizb Al Bath Al Arabi Al Ishtiraki Iraq.

History of Iraq: Iraq--History
Under Iraq History 1979 1991, you will find three added entries on the
Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988
Iraq-Kuwait Crisis, 1990-91
Persian Gulf War, 1991

Iraq—Military has subheadings on military assistance, military doctrine, military policy, and military relations.

Iraq’s relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors: Iraq—Foreign Relations
Subheadings cover Iraq’s relations with Egypt, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, the United States, and other nations.

United Nations embargo against Iraq: Economic Sanctions—Iraq.

Disarming Iraq: Weapons of mass destruction -- Iraq.

Reference Works
For quick background, briefer entries on Saddam Hussein and recent Iraqi history are available from

Current Biography, 1981 Ref CT100.C97 Old, never-updated entry covers Saddam’s background, rise to power and the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war.

Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East. Edited by Reeva S. Simon, Philip Mattar, Richard W. Bulliet. 4v. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1996. Ref DS43 .E53 1996 Reference source with relatively brief articles on Saddam Hussein and Iraqi history and culture. Short, but good, bibliographies accompany entries.

Iraq, A Country Study. Edited by Helen Chapin Metz. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress; US G.P.O., 1990. Ref DS70.6 .I734 1990 Online at Thorough reference work covering every aspect of Iraq, including history, politics, social structure, economy, natural resources, etc.

The Middle East and North Africa. London: Europa Publications, 2003. Ref DS49.M62 Extensive (70-page) section dealing with recent Iraqi history and economy, followed by statistics, and a directory of political parties, religious movements, communications, industry, etc. Good bibliography.

Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A Biographical Dictionary. Edited by Bernard Reich. New York : Greenwood Press, 1990. Ref DS61.5 .P65 1990 Short biographies and bibliographies on Middle East political figures.

Ziring, Lawrence. The Middle East: A Political Dictionary. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1992. Ref DS61 .Z58 1992 Reference work with short sections on geopolitics and political movements.

Current Events Updates

EIU Country Reports Online - Economist Intelligence Unit reports on political and economic conditions in individual countries. (Available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

Middle East Monitor Periodicals DS41.M534 - Brief (4-6 page) monthly summaries published by the Middle East Monitor and Middle East and African Economist.

Near East Report Periodicals DS41.N385- Issued by AIPAC, the American-Israeli Political Action Committee. Strong pro-Israel bias.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Periodicals DS41.W34 - Published by the American Educational Trust, with input from retired State Department staffer, the Report declares that it "does not take partisan domestic political positions."

Suggested Websites

BBC News Saddam Hussein Profile - Compiled on Jan. 4, 2003, this profile provides a relatively unbiased view of Saddam Hussein.

Portals to the World - Library of Congress links to worldwide electronic resources. Accessible by country.

Target Iraq (Global - High tech site with a constantly updated news and analysis archive. Discusses Iraqi Military power, U.S. weapons systems, and more. Includes both pro and anti war links.

News on the War

Breaking News

Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English- News website of the Arab satellite TV network. (Access may be slow.)

Alternet - Nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism.

Arab News - English Language news site from Saudi Arabia provides continuing coverage of the war.

BBC World News: War in Iraq - British Broadcasting Corporation.

Best War Blogs ( - Personal views on the war by journalists, civilians, military participants, etc.

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) World News: Attack on Iraq

CNN Special Report: War in Iraq - Continuing coverage of the war from Cable News Network.

The Daily Dawn - Pakistan's most widely circulated English language newspaper.

Electronic Iraq - An online magazine offering: News & Analysis, Opinion/Editorial, Iraq Diaries, International Law, Aid & Development, Fact Sheets, and Action & Activism.

Forces: POW/MIA - Names the U.S. and British troops officially listed as Prisoners of War and Missing in Action by military officials.

Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Casualties - Casualty list with names of the U.S. and other coalition countries' troops whose families have been notified. Updated daily.

Indymedia - Network of collectively run media outlets for "the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth."

The Iraq Body Count Database - Compiles statistics on media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly from military actions by the USA and its allies since 2003. (See also Casualties in the Iraq war.)

Iraq Coalition Casualty Count - Provides statistics about military deaths, such as by period, sex, state, city, and ethnicity.

New York Times: Iraq, Afghanistan & the Reach of War - Continuing coverage of the war from the NY Times. May require (free) registration. - online global magazine of politics and culture. "Written by and for people across the world, from South and North, from the powerless to the influential, we seek to bring together those who are not well-known with writers and thinkers of international repute."

Times of India - English language newspaper from India.

War Report: Iraq & Afghanistan - Select articles, documents, and analyses compiled and frequently updated by the Project on Defense Alternatives. Updated 2-3 times weekly.

Other News Sources

Alt Press Watch - A collection of newspapers, magazines and journals of the alternative and independent press. Includes several hundred US alternative newsweeklies. (Available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

Ethnic NewsWatch - Over 200 publications of the US ethnic, minority and Native press. (Available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

General Reference Center - Full text of many news magazines.(Available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

Mainstream News Coverage - Iraq 2003 - Links to mainstream press.

Voices of Dissent: Finding Alternative Press On-Line - Links to alternative press.

Actions and Local News Networks

American Friends Service Committee, New England Region, Western Massachusetts Program - Local updates on Peace and Justice events in the
Valley, as well as constantly updated lists of news articles and possible actions to take if opposed to the war.

Arise Peace and Solidarity Action List - The mailing list of the Arise for Social Justice Peace and Solidarity Committee, with an archive of past messages, is a site for local people to express their views and share information.

Books Building Bridges - A community-building project developed in order to acknowledge and foster a common human desire for learning, authentic connection and a healthy society while transcending political divisions in the United States and the geographic and social distance between the United States and Iraq. Inspired by Jeanette Winter's book, The Librarian of Basra, which chronicles the work of Basra librarian Alia Muhammed Baker who, with her community, saved 30,000 volumes from being destroyed during the current war with Iraq.

CPPAX (Citizens for Participation in Political Action) - Boston based activist's resource page.

“The Emporor Wanted to be a Jesus Cowboy” - An exhibit by Jude Kallok at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst in 2005.

Iraq Moratorium - Demanding an end to the war through an escalating series of actions on the Third Friday of every month . Corkboard - See "US & World Politics" section. A site for local people to express their views.

Patriot: Westover Air Reserve Base Online - Support site for all those connected with Westover ARB in Chicopee. Includes links for family support, photos, news, and back issues of the biweekly Patriot Express.

Thrown Together: Soldiers and Civilians in the War Zone” – Event organized by UMass students and held Thursday, November 10, 2005, W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Traprock Peace Center - Deerfield based organization committed to exploring nonviolence and to working to end war. Links to UN and government information as well as a large photo album of war protest activities and marches.

United for Peace and Justice - A coalition of more than 1300 local and national groups throughout the United States. Website gives a list of local and national groups and of local and national actions.

Western Massachusetts supports Our Troops - A colorful, graphics intensive site with poetry and addresses of troops.

Government Sources

Government Information on Iraq - A web research guide produced by the UMass Amherst Government Documents librarians. Includes United States and United Nations documents on the Internet as well as recent documents on Iraq in the UMass Government Documents Collection.

Government Views of Iraq - An extensive, regularly updated web guide produced by the Government Documents Division, Cohen Library, The City College of New York. While the bulk of the resources are from the United States, there are international entries as well. Resources are divided into 58 subject areas including Agriculture and Forestry, Geology, No-Fly Zones, Aviation, Governance Post Saddam, Nuclear Resources, Broadcasting, Gulf War 1990-1991, Operation Desert Fox, Bush Doctrine, Halabja, POWs & MIAs, Captured Iraqi Documents, Health Presidential Communications, CENTCOM Briefings, Health - Gulf War 1990-1991, Reconstruction, Climate, History, Refugees & Displaced Persons, Coalition of the Willing, Human Rights, Religion, Congressional Research Service Reports, Human Shields, Saddam Hussein, Congressional Resolutions & Legislation, Humanitarian Aid, Sanctions & Oil-for-Food Programme, Crisis in Iraq 2003, Inspections, Trade, Cultural Heritage, Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988, Transportation, Cuneiforms, Iraqi "Most Wanted", U.N. Resolutions, Demographics, Journalists, U.S. Policy Towards Iraq, Economic and Finance, Kurds, Water & Sanitation, Education, Leaflets, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Energy, Legal Resources, Who's Who - Iraq War 2003, Environment, Maps, Women, General Background, Marine & Maritime, Geneva Conventions & Protocols and Newspapers.

Maps & Geographic Information

Columbia International Affairs Online - A database with reference maps of all countries and a special section on Iraq. (Available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

Maps of Iraq from the University of Texas at Austin - An extensive assortment of maps from the fifth largest US academic library.

Maps of Iraq from

W.E.B. Du Bois Library Map Collection

Analysis & Commentary

The American Prospect War on Iraq? - Special section on Iraq from the online version of the American Prospect, a journal started in 1990 to "contribute to a renewal of America's democratic traditions by presenting a practical and convincing vision of liberal philosophy, politics, and public life". Useful Links Magazines/Opinion - Nonpartisan site with links to political /opinion magazines, running the gamut from The New Republic and Time Magazine to Mother Jones and The Onion.

Columbia International Affairs Online (Available on campus, or off-campus to UMass Amherst affiliates with an OIT account; enter your OIT login and password when prompted.)

Cost of War - By the National Priorities Project, gives a running total of the U.S. taxpayer cost of the Iraq War.

Critical Media Literacy in Times of War - An interactive site that asks users to: compare domestic with international media reports on U.S. Military intervention; analyze sources, word choice, and point of view for bias; examine how different media offer radically different reports on civilian casualties and anti-war protests; identify conservative, liberal, and progressive political perspectives.

The Daily Outrage - By a columnist of The Nation, a progressive publication.

Dissent - "Independent social thought since 1954". Includes selected articles from this quarterly publication. Substantial section on the Iraq War. A reader's forum is also available.

The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years After the Beginning of the Conflict - A report completed and released by Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and Harvard budget expert, Linda Bilmes. Presented January 2006.

Electronic Iraq - This online magazine offers News & Analysis, Opinions and Editorials, a section titled Iraq Diaries, as well as Action & Activism.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) - FAIR is a national media watchgroup who has been offering " well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986". Activists and journalists discuss media coverage in detail Large archive of articles.

Lie by Lie: Chronicle of a War Foretold: August 1990 to March 2003 - a continually growing database/timeline, created by Mother Jones magazine, that documents what the writers argue are the lies that led up to the current war in Iraq.

Middle East Report - Established 31 years ago to provide educated analysis on the Middle East that would be picked up by existing media. Non profit, non-governmental organization focusing on perspectives not available from mainstream news resources.

MoveOn.Org - Grassroots organization for "busy, but concerned citizens" to find their political voice. Promotes global candlelight vigils for peace and other nonviolent methods to oppose war.

The National Review - Online version of the long-established conservative journal. Provides an intellectual pro-war forum.

Poets Against War - Provides thousands of poems as social, political and historical commentary.

The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 2003 Conflict - Estimates the total number of Iraqis killed in the 2003 war, based on hospital and burial reports, combat statistics, and battlefield testimony from both sides. Uniquely, the report distinguishes noncombatant and combatant civilians.

The War Report - Archives articles from the Iraq and Afghanistan crises and their aftermath.

For Children, Families & Educators

Children's Peace Bibliography - From the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. This bibliography includes books for grades preschool through junior high.

Conflict and Terrorism: For Families and Educators - This site, by the Multnomah County Library, provides sections on current news for kids, parent and educator resources, educator lesson plans and a booklist for families and educators.'s: Talking with Kids about War - Includes sections for parent support, activities for kids and resources for learning.

Iraq Crisis: The War and Safety at Home - This site includes sections: For Children and Youth and For Parents and Teachers, which link to additional resources.

Iraq and Peace and Children - Put out by Awesome Library. Includes lesson plans and projects to promote peace.

Talking to Children about War and Terrorism: 20 Tips for Parents - This resource is put out by the American Psychiatric Association.

Talking with Kids about War and Violence - From the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Includes an "age by age" section, advice on answering questions and tips on media exposure.

Other Iraq War Resources

Alternative Resources on the US Iraq Conflict - By the International Responsibilities Task Force of the American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table.

Assistance to Iraqi Libraries - From the American Library Association (ALA). Contains links to ALA's efforts assist the Iraq National Library, as well as to the Heritage Emergency National Task Force Meeting on Iraq, and the UNESCO Recommendations to Safeguard Iraqi Cultural Heritage.

Guidance for Instructors Concerning Class Discussions About the War in Iraq - By Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) at the University of Michigan .

Iraq 2003: Sources of News - By Leddy Library, University of Windsor · Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Librarians' Index to the Internet - Theme Collection - War and Peace: Resources on Iraq

Springfield Public Library War in Iraq...and After: Reading Lists & Resources

Peace Studies Resources

Peace Studies Research Guide - A web research guide produced by a UMass Amherst reference librarian. Includes reference sources, databases, links for finding books, Special Collections and Archives resources, and websites.