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ISBN/ASIN : 184467164X
Manufacturer : Verso|
Release data : 01 May, 2007
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Journalism at its best
A clear-minded observation of the current occupation of Iraq by American and British forces. Written with Cockburn's typically unobtrusive and understated style, this work cuts through much of the rhetoric issued by Governments and the press alike, to give a straightforward account both of the occupation and the events leading to it.
In just 226 pages, this is a concise and efficient piece of writing concerning one of the most complex political issues of our time.
Excellent study of a disaster
Patrick Cockburn, the Independent's Middle East correspondent, has written a vivid first-hand account of the US-British occupation of Iraq. He notes of the war's prelude, the 1990s sanctions on Iraq, "Imposing sanctions on all ordinary Iraqis was a cruel collective punishment, one of the great man-made disasters of the last century."
He shows that opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq radicalized most of the suicide bombers in Iraq. An Israeli study also concluded that almost all the foreign fighters in Iraq had been radicalized by the invasion. A Saudi investigation showed that few suicide bombers had any contact with al Qaeda before 2003.
Cockburn details the brutalities of the occupation, the imperial arrogance, the use of mercenaries, the deepening religious divisions, the vile sectarian killings, the lawlessness and insecurity, the rampant corruption and the economic chaos (oil, electricity, water and sewerage are all still worse than they were pre-war). All lead to growing national resistance.
The Bush administration claimed that toppling Saddam would stabilise the Middle East. Instead the invasion and occupation have destabilised all the region's countries. The war has destroyed Iraq, worsened the prospects of peace and justice for the Palestinian people and strengthened the al Qaeda terrorists.
The war was `a terrible mistake', as the Royal Institute for International Affairs recently noted. US General William Odom, a former head of the National Security Agency, called the war `the greatest strategic disaster in American history'. We need our troops back home, to defend our borders against the terrorists, people-smugglers and drug-runners generated by the Labour government's criminal wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.