If Western attitudes and policies suffer from ignorance of Iraq's realities, a quick but partial corrective is available in this background course. It is sound and objective in presenting the permanent factors affecting Iraq's conduct and contributing to its vulnerabilities, and also sympathetic in the treatment of the current leaders (some of whom the author has interviewed). Everything is at stake in the war Saddam Hussein started in 1980. Ms. Helms lays out the possible consequences, which are numerous.
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