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Wetlands of Mass Destruction


Wetlands of Mass Destruction

Release Date:
Pages: 207
Published:
ISBN: 9780971746831
Code
9780971746831
Price £12.50
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Wetlands of Mass Destruction

Paradise Found and Lost: The Mesopotamian marshes, located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Iraq, were historically one of the world’s most important wetland environments. The area—once over twenty thousand square kilometers and thought by some to be the original Garden of Eden—has provided habitat for millions of migrating birds and had been inhabited since the time of the Sumerians by thousands of people living on artificial islands of mud and reeds and depending on sustainable fishing and farming. In the early 1990s, however, this important ecological and unique cultural jewel was destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’thists through a series of constructed dams and water diversions designed to eradicate the remaining marsh dwellers who had escaped previous massacres. This led to what many regard as perhaps history’s most severe ecocide in history, that is, the deliberate destruction of an environment for the purpose of ethnically cleansing it of a specifically targeted population. The ancient Mesopotamian inscriptions and Old Testament quotations in this collection offer a haunting presage for these recent events as well as a grim reminder of the overwhelming role that despotic rulers and environmental hardships have always played in the lives of commoners.

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