As a collection of stories about the lives of ordinary people, it paints a pretty vivid picture of how we have arrived at this point in time. One wonders how we can undo the grim momentum of greed and ignorance. Maybe books like this can help more Americans understand our current predicament.
You owe it your country and our troops to become better informed about the status of our war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. Clearly, given the shifting stories from both sides of the political aisle and weak reporting on tv, you owe it to yourself to find other sources than politicians, spin artists and most broadcast news outlets. This is one source that provides explanations that fit the current situation and fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.
I was interested in this book based on the author's prior writing on Abu Graib and Mei Lai, two events that were hard to even believe because they so contradicted our image of ourselves and the values of our country. But both were true and in many years of writing, Mr. Hirsch has been more right than wrong when he broke a story. Although the picture of the current administration is very disturbing, when I had the opportunity to read his sources, I found he had not mistated things. Since a lot of his sources are unnamed, you often have to trust the author but I think there is reason to do so.
A friend of mine in the Special Forces told me shortly after Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" that his comrades in Iraq expected an increasingly capable insurgency to mount a serious challenge to our occupation and he was right, not just because he was connected but because insurgencies often follow a predictable pattern. What is most interesting about this book is insight into how the current administration functions in spite of evidence and experience that contradicts their beliefs. At first I didn't feel that Iraq bore any relationship to Vietnam but as time goes on, I've come to believe that Iraq will be another war that cannot be won but one that costs us much more dearly.
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