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“Catastrophic”: Iraqi Writers Sinan Antoon & Feurat Alani Reflect on U.S. Invasion 20 Years Later

Written by on 20/03/2023

At around 5:30 a.m. local time in Baghdad on March 20, 2003, air raid sirens were heard in Baghdad as the U.S. invasion began. Within the hour, President George W. Bush gave a nationally televised speech from the Oval Office announcing the war had begun. The attack came on the false pretext that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction, and despite worldwide protest and a lack of authorization from the United Nations Security Council. We spend today’s show with two Iraqis looking back at how the unprovoked U.S. invasion devastated Iraq and helped destabilize much of the Middle East. Feurat Alani is a French Iraqi writer and documentarian who was based in Baghdad from 2003 to 2008. His recent piece for The Washington Post is headlined “The Iraq War helped destroy what it meant to be an Iraqi.” Sinan Antoon was born and raised in Baghdad. He is also a writer, as well as a poet, translator and associate professor at New York University. His latest piece appears in The Guardian, headlined “A million lives later, I cannot forgive what American terrorism did to my country, Iraq.”

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