I saw the movie first, The Green Zone, and decided to follow up with the source material. Glad I did. Years have passed since the events of this narrative, but it only serves to remind me how hopelessly skewed the whole endeavor was from the outset--and why it didn't have to be. It's tragic.
I'm a geologist and I use Audible books to while away long hours on the road... My pickup truck is my reading room!
I think even the most passionate opponent of Operation Desert Freedom hoped that the Bush administration knew more than we did, or had thought things out deeper than we had, or had a plan we were not privy to. History has proven that none of that was true, and this book documents just how little preparation and thought preceded the military decision to invade.
This book is a case history in the folly of trying to impose cultural values at the point of a gun. Of course the U.S. government should have known this was folly - the British empire had demonstrated it in the same region 80 years before. But perhaps nobody in the administration had read David Fromkin's "A Peace to End All Peace".
Hopefully, both Fromkin's book and this one by Rajiv Chandrashekaran will be required reading for all future administrations.
This was such an enlightening book. I finally feel like I understand why this war is such a fiasco - but written very charitibly in regards to the good intentions of those involved. Very engaging.
I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.
I am not so sure this is the best book on Iraq. There have been some really good ones written. This one is perhaps one of the more damning. Too much is written with only the Iraqis and non-American perspective addressed. Ultimately this book misses a huge point...perspective. A foreign force of 130,000 is occuppying a country of nearly 27,000,000. There are vast cultural differences. In the historical perspective, the US military is doing an exceptional job...though the US administration is questionable. The attacks on the personnel on the ground and people in unifrom was a little too much. This is not a movie and it is not a video game. This is not occurring on a controlled set. This volume fails because it tries to make a case for a Hollywood style story, but the characters do not stick to the script.
The book describes the appalling lack of intelligent planning for post war i
Iraq in somewhat more detail than is truly interesting. Unfortunately, the reader uses very fake sounding accents to read the quotes from Iraqis...just reading in a normal voice would be much better.