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A Long, Short War [Paperback]

3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin USA (P) (Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143016083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143016083
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,951,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was the author of Letters to a Young Contrarian, and the bestseller No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family. A regular contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Monthly and Slate, Hitchens also wrote for The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and The Independent, and appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, The Chris Matthew's Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and C-Span's Washington Journal. He was named one of the world's "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" by Foreign Policy and Britain's Prospect.

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First Sentence
On a freezing day of brilliant sunshine in February 2003, I flew to Michigan to watch Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, attend a Sunday-morning meeting in Dearborn. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The essays in this book were very influential in the run-up to the Iraq War and for that reason I recommend reading it. I recommend it however in the same way I would recommend Mein Kampf. It is fascinating if only marginally profitable by negation.

To sum it up, it deals with possibilities and not probabilities which makes it useful to fanatics, and useless to practical and sane people.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
The two books by the same author, by different publishers "A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq (Slate Books)" and "Regime Change" have exactly the same contents, the same headings, the same chapters. If you have bought one, no need to buy the other. I ordered both the books thinking they might be different but was surprised to see the same subject matter.
As for the contents, it provides an interesting reading to know how the author has interpreted different terms like WMDs, Pre-Emptive Strikes and Prevention, Unilateralism and Multilateralism. The book is useful to understand the arguments of the pro-war camp to an extent and thus is also an essential reading for the anti-war camp.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchens at his best 21 Jun 2007
This short book contains a series of essays for the online magazine Slate written during 2002 and 2003. In the author's words, the intention was that of testing short-term analyses against longer term ones, whilst subjecting long-term convictions to shorter-term challenges. The essays are presented unchanged; only a short preface, an introduction and an epilogue have been added.

In the intro, Hitchens sets out his convictions whilst pointing out the contradictory and sometimes completely ridiculous arguments of the anti-war Left and Right. The hilarious way he destroys the cheap slogans of the so-called peaceniks often makes the reader laugh out loud. Amongst other subjects, he thoroughly demolishes the slur that an Israeli or Zionist lobby was behind the war. He mentions the Anti-Semitic innuendo and imagery employed, and points out that the most insistent lobbyists for the new Iraq policy have been Iraqis - Muslim and Christian, Arab and Kurdish, devout and secular.

The first essay: Machiavelli in Mesopotamia, of November 7, 2002, investigates the "case against the case against regime change". The one titled Armchair General tackles the idea that non-soldiers have less right to argue for war, whilst in Terrorism, Hitchens explores the definition of the term. He refers to Claude Chabrol's film Nada that demonstrates the promiscuous cruelty of nihilistic terrorists. He describes terrorism as the tactic of demanding the impossible at gunpoint.

One of the highlights of the book is called Anti-Americanism, an investigation of its varieties on the right and left, foreign and domestic. Hitchens concludes that for foreigners, the more correct term would be Anti-Modernist and for insiders, Native Masochist.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Christopher Hitchens is, without a doubt, one of my favourite 'intellectuals', as it were. He is witty, articulate, likeable, and I admire his courage and resolution in standing by his criticisms of Bill Clinton, among others, and his constant voice of dissent in the mist of what has often been a sickeningly naive consensus. His is very well read and educated, and his knowledge is something that should be respected.
However, I think its is extremely disappointing, and even shameful, that he should have supported something like the Iraq War. Someone who formerly was a prominent critics and check on government power has completely failed in analysing or critiquing the actions of the disgusting neo-cons, who lied completely about the Iraq war, who went against both the wish of the Iraqi people and the American people , who haven't even apologised for it yet, who clearly don't give a flying damn about the several hundred thousand dead iraqis, and the thousands of dead American (and British soldiers), and who so blatantly went in for, and I know it's almost become a cliche, but I am sure it is true, Oil. Although I understand that Hitchens is not a supporter of the neo-cons, and supports it for some different reasons than they do, how he can call destruction of public services, hundreds of thousands of deaths, increased likelihood of terrorism, and civil war, 'liberation' is beyond me. Hitchens obsession with toppling 'theocratic dictators' has clouded his judgement and logic. He's going to have to do better than this.
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12 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shameful 18 Oct 2007
By Riddley
I'm afraid reading this book was a shameful, embarrassing experience; a book written by a man exposed as a truthless, imperialist apologist and broadly summed up by the lines of Friedrich Nietzsche from Human All Too Human: "Scholars who become politicians are usually given the comic role of having to be the good conscience of a policy."
Hitchens' independence of mind has to be under deep suspicion. How else can one understand his bizarre intellectual alliance with the neo-cons and their megalomaniac visions of 'full spectrum dominance'?
Brings to mind Machiavelli writing of the eponymous warlord in his 'Life of Castruccio Castracani':

"Castruccio told a man who professed to be a philosopher: "You are all like dogs, who always come running up to the man who can give them most to eat." The philosopher replied: "No, we are like doctors, we go to the houses of those who have most need of us."' Or perhaps this is more to your liking regarding Hitchens hitching his weight to the US and British political war-machine bus:

"The Establishment draws in recruits from outside as soon as they are ready to conform to its standards and become respectable. There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the Establishment--and nothing more corrupting".
Historian A J P Taylor
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