'The first confirmed casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom was neither Iraqi nor American nor even British. Ahmed al-Baz was a Jordanian taxi driver on the busy road from Baghdad to Amman. Nobody knows if he had time to be scared . . .'
It took just three weeks for the second Gulf War to shake the world. Despite public protest and months of international negotiations, the bombs fell on Baghdad.
Now, for the first time, we can see the full picture. Guardian journalists - some of them in the heat of battle, some of them at a more reflective distance around the world - have assembled the story of the most controversial war of modern times.
Launched by the mightiest military force on the earth to topple Saddam Hussein, the devastating attack on Iraq brought havoc to the cradle of civilisation. It showered horror, pity, death and despair on a people whom history has already burdened with oppression and tyranny. Whether the disorder wrought was justified is for the future to decide. This book is the history of destruction that was the war we could not stop.