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Secrets and Lies: Operation Iraqi Freedom and After - A Prelude to the Fall of U.S. Power in the Middle East? [Paperback]

Dilip Hiro
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Dec 2003
The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, masterminded by U.S. President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, is the single most important event since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Just as that break-up ushered in a new era in international relations following the end of a bipolar world system, this war has given a new twist to the present global order. Secrets and Lies tells in detail how Operation Iraqi Freedom came about, what it means and where it is likely to lead the Middle East and the world at large. It reveals the scope of the "dirty tricks" used by the Anglo-American alliance to sell the war through the phony intelligence reports and the exaggeration of Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction. It examines the media campaign to win hearts and minds-including the stage management and spin surrounding the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch. Picking up from the author's recently celebrated essay in the New York Times, "Why the Mullahs Love a Revolution," this leading authority on the Middle East provides us with his skeptical view of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and his examination of the future in Middle East.

Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press (4 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255567
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 12.5 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,432,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of an unnecessary war 2 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
Historian and journalist Dilip Hiro has written a detailed account of the continuing Bush/Blair attack on Iraq. He examines the preparations for the invasion, the attack itself and the continuing war since Bush declared victory in May 2003. Hiro shows how the attack on Iraq has diverted us from defeating Al Qai'da, and how it has increased the terrorist threat.
He details the Bush and Blair governments' systematic lies to the UN, to Parliament and Congress, to the British and American peoples, and to the Hutton and other inquiries. Almost everything that we are told about the war comes from 'embedded' reporters, who are required by contract to agree to obey Bush's instructions.
The occupation is causing chaos - 60% unemployment, worsening health and education, an estimated 100,000 killed, shortages of water, fuel and electricity, and minimal rebuilding. The occupying forces are not seeking, and will never achieve, a friendly, stable or democratic Iraq.
The US and British forces are using cluster bombs, heavy artillery and napalm, real weapons of mass destruction, just like in Vietnam. So, as in Vietnam, they are losing hearts and minds, and losing the war.
The January election will not improve security or 'change the atmosphere' as Blair claims. Their aim is not election but dereliction. In years to come, if we let it happen, they will sigh, 'to save Iraq we had to destroy it'.
Not surprisingly, the occupation is generating popular hatred of the occupier, fuelling the national resistance. The vast majority of the Iraqi people want the occupying forces out as soon as possible, as do the majority of the British and American peoples.
But Blair says that the troops will stay to oversee the 30 January election, then that they will stay till December 2005.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "monumental confidence trick" 5 Aug 2005
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
Middle East expert Dilip Hiro chronicles the runup and impact of the Bush/Blair crusade to "liberate" Iraq. He typifies the link the Bush adminstration made between the events of 2001-09-11 as a "phantom". There was no association between the Saddam Hussein government and the lawless attackers known as Al Qaida. Nor were there indications that Iraq clandestinely developed nuclear or chemical weapons that could be brought to bear on neighbouring countries, let alone Britain or the US. In sum, Hiro's depiction of the formation of the "coalition of the willing" is shown as a tissue of misleading information based on a strategy of fear - a "monumental confidence trick" with endless ramifications.
Hiro assembles a cast of flawed characters, giving a biographical sketch of such people as George Walker Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Anthony Blair. From this background, he then describes the various utterances each has produced to justify the crusade. From the beginning, he makes clear that the Iraq invasion would take place. All that was needed was justification. This was provided by various forms of "evidence", all of which was either false or flawed. Tubing for "nuclear centrifuges" turned out to be engine cases. A quest for uranium proved false. And nuclear and chemical weapons claimed by the Bush administration proved elusive - they have yet to be found. With such faulty information at his disposal, even after some of the lies were exposed, Bush gained authority to launch the crusade from a supine US Congress. The US media, once considered a bastion of investigative journalism, remained silent or compliant as the fallacies were revealed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic 1 May 2004
By SPM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to know why the US military invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Dilip Hiro has compiled a very detailed history of the lead-up to the invasion, the first four weeks, and the aftermath.
He starts with the post-9/11 White House, where the neoconservative Bush administration shifted their focus from fighting terrorism (and fundamentalism in south central Asia and the Middle East) to Iraq. The neocons were dedicated to removing Saddam Hussein, but no one else was. They had to convince Colin Powell, the US population, and the rest of the world. Dilip Hiro shows how the upcoming invasion was marketed using carefully-selected intelligence reports, creating a false crisis. From the yellowcake from Africa to the lies about ongoing inspections by the UN, Dilip Hiro documents it all.
But the invasion takes place anyway. He shifts his focus to the war, using detailed maps and newspaper sources to describe the battles, the setbacks, and the strategies the US military used. He covers the first month of the invasion, ending with the occupation and Bush claiming 'mission accomplished.'
This is a devastating critique of a US foreign policy completely divorced from democracy and world opinion. Every fact in this book, stacked up in page after page, creates a chilling picture of the wrong war for the wrong reasons. If you are only going to read one book on the invasion (and occupation) of Iraq, make it this one. You'll end up referring to it over and over in the next few years, reminding yourself of how we got into this mess.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! One of the most surprising books of the year 2 Feb 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Who would have thought a book about a war so fresh in our minds from the around the clock TV coverage would be so surprising, refreshing and revealing? I'd bet that half the things that HIro discloses in Secrets and LIes the average reader who takes an interest in world politics would find new and shocking. Hiro details stuff about the covert war leading up to the "hot" war that I'd never heard of. Hiro, a meticulous and elegant historian, is also at times prosecutorial in his method, revealing Operation Iraqi Freedom to be a shabby dirty little war, predicting that post war Iraq aint going to be as easy for the Anglo-American coalition.
28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most Scholarly Documentation of Bush-Blair Deceit 13 Feb 2004
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In some ways, this book is a great deal more distressing than the various pundit books slamming Bush (Moore, Hightower, Frankel, Krugman, Carville, etc.) because there is not a single caustic turn of phrase, not a single line of satire, not a single double entendre in the entire work. This is a brutally straight-forward, earnestly researched, ably footnoted, totally credible review of all of the secrets and lies that led to the war in Iraq.
It did not quite bring me to tears, it did very nearly make me want to throw a chair through the garden window.
According to this book, and its incontrovertible documentation, we were lied to. We were deceived. Untold fighting men and women, not just from the US but also from other countries, have died and been wounded and according to this book the number of wounded is CLASSIFIED. It is a secret, an official secret from the American public, how many of their sons and daughters have died to support this ideological conquest, this extremist religious crusade. We must also acknowledge the thousands of dead Iraqis and the hundreds of thousands of displaced and impoverished Iraqis.
Another official secret from the American public are the results of the open survey by the Department of State of how the Iraqis feels about the US invasion and occupation--classified AFTER we discovered that Chalabi had lied to Cheney and there were no hearts and flowers, only hostility.
Yet another official secret from the American public is the estimate of the damage done by US forces to the Iraqi infrastructure, and how much it will cost the US taxpayer to pay for this mindless destruction in the heart of the Middle East.
Not discussed by the author, but very much on my mind, is the jungle drum word from the retired veterans with access to Bethesda and other military hospitals---on the basis of the 250,000 disabled veterans from Gulf 1, and the "word" filtering out from the wards, we are looking at upwards of 25,000, perhaps as many as 100,000 disabled veterans from this war--all from depleted uranium, a killer of our own making. Worse, this disability is multi-generational and will lead to blind and maimed children among those veterans who are able to have children.
This book is a cold-hearted look--so cold-hearted it ignites a flame of righteous anger in any careful reader--at how America has destroyed its credibility and its ability to have a positive influence in the Middle East.
If I have one small criticism, it is that the author, a stellar authority with solid sources to call upon, did not do an appendix that laid out an entire timeline of what Bush and Blair said that was false, and then the counter-vailing truth. Although the author makes a number of these points clear throughout the book, for example, the UN never passed a resolution calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, an opportunity has been lost here.
Truth matters. Paul O'Neil is correct to speculate that we will heal ourselves, and equally correct to point out that this will happen only if we speak and hear the truth about these grievous circumstances in which great evil was done "in our name." This book, more so than the others that I cited above, is perhaps the first serious building block toward righting our ship of state.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good account of an unnecessary, diversionary war 2 Dec 2004
By William Podmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Historian and journalist Dilip Hiro has written a detailed account of the continuing Bush/Blair attack on Iraq. He examines the preparations for the invasion, the attack itself and the continuing war since Bush declared victory in May 2003. Hiro shows how the attack on Iraq has diverted us from defeating Al Qa'ida, and how it has increased the terrorist threat.

He details the Bush and Blair governments' systematic lies to the UN, to Parliament and Congress, to the British and American peoples, and to the Hutton and other inquiries. Almost everything that we are told about the war comes from `embedded' reporters, who are required by contract to agree to obey Bush's instructions.

The occupation is causing chaos - 60% unemployment, worsening health and education, an estimated 100,000 killed, shortages of water, fuel and electricity, and minimal rebuilding. The occupying forces are not seeking, and will never achieve, a friendly, stable or democratic Iraq.

The US and British forces are using cluster bombs, heavy artillery and napalm, real weapons of mass destruction, just like in Vietnam. So, as in Vietnam, they are losing hearts and minds, and losing the war.

The January election will not improve security or `change the atmosphere', as Blair claims. Their aim is not election but dereliction. In years to come, if we let it happen, they will sigh, `to save Iraq we had to destroy it'.

Not surprisingly, the occupation is generating popular hatred of the occupier, fuelling the national resistance. The vast majority of the Iraqi people want the occupying forces out as soon as possible, as do the majority of the British and American peoples.

But Blair says that the troops will stay to oversee the 30 January election, then that they will stay till December 2005. The US commanders say that they will leave in 2006, if the security situation allows. Chief of the General Staff Sir Michael Walker says that British troops will stay indefinitely, `depending on the security threat to the Iraqi authorities'. But we can all see that the occupation itself causes the insecurity and chaos.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient, Incisive, Expert Analysis 31 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dilip Hiro has been studying Iraq and military affairs in the Middle East for decades, and is among the world's top experts in this field.
Most of what he predicted in his previous book, "In The Eye of the Storm," has, as he points out in this new and exciting work, come to pass.
Not that the neocons in the Bush-Cheney administration - who wage war, in our name, just because they can and just because they think America is their messianic empire with which they may run roughshod all over the world - would care.
But the American people should, and do care, especially when they are lied to, repeatedly, and loudly, and to this day, about the reality behind the illegal conquest and occupation of a sovereign nation that posed no grave or immediate threat to the USA.
This war has been a defeat for America's arrogant and imperial, military and political goals in the Middle East, and in November of 2004, the Bush administration will taste what it hath wrought.
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