There are many impressive stories in this account of how the American invasion and occupation of Iraq went so disastrously wrong in such a short period of time. The most striking aspects are from inside the encased compound which housed the staff of the US administration:
Saddam Hussein's Baghdad palace seemed to take on the aspect of a college campus, with staff drinking beer, eating junk food and `pork', lazing by the pool, reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Iraq to further their knowledge, protected from the ever present and increasing violence and lawlessness around them, in a Baghdad without currency, media or power.
The author systematically reports on how the republican neo-cans picked for their loyalty to W. Bush over any experience
or knowledge of the area and language failed on every level to re-establish any kind of order within the country they had just occupied. I found this account to be a brilliant piece of old-fashioned reportage that at times read like a surreal farce. It was a privilege to have read it so soon after the events described.