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William

Fairhope, AL, United States | Member Since 2006

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  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (632)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (310)

    The Washington Post's former Baghdad bureau chief, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, takes us into the Green Zone, headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq. In this bubble separated from wartime realities, the task of reconstructing Iraq is in the hands of 20-somethings chosen for their Republican Party loyalty. They pursue irrelevant neoconservative solutions and pie-in-the-sky policies instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity, angering the locals and fueling the insurgency.

    Rick Grant says: "A stunning work and performance"
    "Limitations of the American form of Government"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Imperial Life in the Emerald City to be better than the print version?

    I suppose so, it was every easy to listen to, and it is not necessarily a book I will need to refer back to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Imperial Life in the Emerald City?

    The author's descriptions of all the good people accepting the challenge and danger of trying to create a new, great society in Iraq with all their effort, and their ultimate failure.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is a good listen.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Why America can not actually win a war! Our system is the result of our history, and it can not really be exported in the short term, and we should not try.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great listing of many of the failures of American occupation policy in Iraq. There are very little proposed solutions to these myriad complex problems. The author writes from the level of a private who complains that the sergeants over him do know what they are doing, and the Captain in charge is an idiot, and the Colonel in command has no clue, and the General must be smoking dope and living in a brothel somewhere. Nevertheless, though it is obvious the author really wants to criticize the Republican Administration, and the senior leaders and their ambitious desire to actually make life better for the Iraqis, what he really does is show how the American form of post war occupation, developed generally from WW II Germany and Japan, really can not work. Our government is too big, to complex, to focus on the important things first, and that makes working and securing a post combat occupation almost impossible. We do not have good occupation doctrine and systems, and we probably do not have the ruthless political will needed to pacify and occupy any country and change its culture. Thus, we should not try. In the future, we need to defeat the enemy forces, find the most powerful guy in the country, put him in charge, and bribe him to not to attack us. Other than that, we need to let the locals run their own countries, and save us all a lot of heart ach.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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