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The Villages

Date: 2008-01-18 23:14
Subject: books...
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
I gave up on The God Delusion and instead read Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life In The Emerald City, which is a clear-eyed, meticulous and very entertaining - if I can use the word in this context - account of what went wrong in Iraq after the initial invasion. Much of the blame seems to be laid at the door of a turf war between the State Department and Department of Defence (sorry, Defense) about who was running the reconstruction effort. The rest of it is down to the fact that nobody appears to have known what they were doing, and those who did appear to have been sidelined as soon as they spoke up.
Chandrasekaran was the Washington Post's Baghdad bureau chief and he writes like a master. It's an object lesson in good, clear journalism. And apparently it's now being filmed.
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User: jmward14
Date: 2008-01-19 03:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Haven't read the books in question, but for those of us on the ground in the Pentagon and State, the problem was Iraq needed the equivalent of a Marshall Plan on steroids. Unfortunately, the powers that be weren't interested in investing in democracy. They wanted quick and easy pickings. Based on my acquaintances among the politicals who were getting medals for their so-called reconstruction work, nobody bothered to study recent Iraqi political history, much less the root causes of its sectarian strife.
Hugs and headshakes,
Jean Marie
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User: hutch0
Date: 2008-01-19 15:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Also, with the end of Bush's first term coming up and the US elections looming, there was enormous pressure to hand over sovereignty to the Iraqis as a sign that everything was okay, so plans were truncated, rushed through, or simply dropped.
According to Chandrasekaran, there weren't enough people, there wasn't enough money, there wasn't nearly enough planning, and completely unsuitable people were put in charge of things simply because they had connections to Bush or Cheney or Halliburton, or were Bush loyalists.
Good book.
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