Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Have been lately reading The Assassins's Gate: American in Iraq, by George Packer.
It is excellent. I have found it hard to put down. Here is part of the editorial review of it from over at Amazon.com :
"How did such lofty aims get so derailed? How did the U.S. get stuck in a quagmire in the Middle East? Packer traces the roots of the war back to a historic shift in U.S. policy that President Bush made immediately after 9/11. No longer would the U.S. be hamstrung by multilateralism or working through the UN. It would act unilaterally around the world--forging temporary coalitions with other nations where suitable--and defend its status as the sole superpower. But when it came to Iraq, even Bush administration officials were deeply divided. Packer takes readers inside the vicious bureaucratic warfare between the Pentagon and State Department that turned U.S. policy on Iraq into an incoherent mess. We see the consequences in the second half of The Assassins' Gate, which takes the reader to Iraq after the bombs have stopped dropping. Packer writes vividly about how the country deteriorated into chaos, with U.S. authorities in Iraq operating in crisis mode. The book fails to capture much of the debate about the war among Iraqis themselves--instead relying mostly on the views of one prominent Iraqi exile--but it is an insightful contribution to the debate about the decisions--and blunders--behind the war. "--Alex Roslin
This is definitely not light reading, but it does illuminate certain things going on over there. To read it and then watch what unfolds on the news , gives one extra texture, about what is happening in Iraq.
Packer writes well, and it reads like a thriller, or a disaster in the making type novel. At the local library here , there is a waiting list, in order to read a copy. I recommend it as a good read on a topic of great current interest.