'Dismal Iraq' Books Flood US Bookstores

Books painting a gloomy picture of Iraq and attacking the failure of US President George W. Bush's strategy in the Arab country are flooding US bookstores.

'Dismal Iraq' Books Flood US Bookstores

"It was a shotgun wedding. We went into a country we did not know, in a region that we really didn't fully understand," Fouad Ajami, an American professor of Middle East studies, told Reuters Friday, August 11.

Ajami's book, "Foreigner's Gift", is one of many books painting a dismal picture of Iraq three years after the US invasion-turned-occupation.

The list includes books with indicative titles such as "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq" and "The End of Iraq".

"One of the questions that haunts this war is if they knew then what they know now," said Ajmai, who worked for Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at Johns Hopkins University.

"... If they'd known what the casualties would be in blood and treasure, would they have pulled the trigger? I don't know the answer," he added.

The Bush administration, as it claimed, invaded Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein's regime and promote "freedom and democracy" there.

But three years after the US invasion, the picture turned gloomy with mosque bombings, assassinations of scholars, sectarian kidnappings and attacks on civilians increasing.

Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad warned in a confidential memo to Prime Minister Tony Blair that civil war was "more likely" in Iraq than a transition to stable democracy.

Senior Iraqi officials told Reuters last month that there has been serious talk among Iraqi leaders to divide Baghdad into Shiite and Sunni zones to stop sectarian bloodshed.


Among the best-selling books on the Iraq war is "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq" by Thomas E. Ricks.

The book documents the US serious mistakes in the US strategy in Iraq and lack of post-invasion plan.

Ricks said his book is based on numerous on-the-record interviews with military officers and US officials and thousands of documents.

"One battalion commander (in Iraq) wrote to me and said 'Thank you for writing what we've been saying privately,'" said Ricks, senior Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post.

Ricks argues that insufficient troops, a failure of a "counter-insurgency" strategy and bad civil-military coordination and abuses by US troops have caused many troubles in Iraq.

Ricks' book debuted at the top of The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list last week.

Bing West, an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, said Ricks "does an excellent job of basically detailing the war to date."

"It obviously can't be the last word because there's more to come in the war," added West, a former Marine who wrote two books on Iraq.

American analysts told The New York Times on August 6 that the US strategy in Iraq has failed and needs to be changed with Bush's "plan for victory" being clouded by a bloody sectarian violence that could lead the country into a deadly civil war.

"End of Iraq"

Adding to the gloomy picture of Iraq is "The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End," by Peter W. Galbraith.

Galbraith, a former ambassador to Croatia and an adviser to Washington's Kurdish allies in northern Iraq, said the US invasion destroyed hopes for a unified country of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

He stressed that Iraq is "in a catastrophic civil war" and branded the US's plans for a new Middle East a failure.

Wade Zirkle, a former marine who founded a group called Vets for Freedom "to give a pro-mission veterans' perspective," echoed a similar stance.

"I feel like people are already penning the obituary on this war," he said.

Iraqi analysts told IOL that the US-led raids on the Baghdad Shiite district of Sadr City to take on death squads are nothing but tranquilizers and are not addressing the root causes of the sectarian violence.

Ricks, however, still sees a little hope to change the situation in Iraq.

"I still think there's a chance to turn things around in Iraq, a small chance. That's one reason I gave the book a provocative title."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16