Tuesday, October 24, 2006

All Things Iraq

From the NPR, book reviews from George Packer, author of Assassain's Gate, one of the best books on Iraq.

Packer covers Cobra II, Fiasco, State of Denial (Bush at War III), Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and The Prince of the Marshes. Cobra II and Fiasco cover the military. Cobra II covers the invasion, Fiasco more the occupation. State of Denial the White House. The Emerald City life inside the Green Zone, and the Prince of the Marshes a British officer's take on Southern Iraq.

Packer mentions some key themes that unite all these works.

1.A Dis-interested President (State of Denial)
2.A Sec. of Defense who broke the back of the military (Cobra II), had no plan for after the invasion, and did not see an insurgency (Fiasco), would not recognize it when it emerged. Leading to a military that tried ridiculous counter-insurgency tactics (remember: building a moat around Baghdad).
3.A Sec. of Defense/VP who went past the normal procedures with weak National Security Advisor (Rice) and Sec. State (Powell). This allowed this Def/VP pole to install political appointees, idoelogical pure ones to the Reconstruction (see: Emerald City).

To those 5, I would add Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.


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