This book by a prominent cheerleader for the war is one of the worst examples of what Eduardo Galeano refers to as 'vertical journalism'. Following the recent trend, this book takes the war as a noble mission which was only undermined by its flawed execution. Packer is a person who is more than willing to buy the Brooklyn bridge, so long as it is the Iraqis who are underwriting it with their lives. He parachutes down into a region about which he knows little, and then goes about finding people who confirm his own prejudices. Kanan Makiya, the flaky Iraqi exile who shilled for Ahmad Chalabi, receives a starring role and the author seems not in the least bothered by the gap between his 'ideas' and actions. Every American in the book is driven by high-minded ideals, whereas on the other hand Iraqis, unless they accept Packer's 'democracy promotion' rationale, are imputed suspect motives. Several oblige Packer's 'white man's burden' cravings with statements like 'we are uncivilized', 'we are animals' etc. Packer likes to see himself as a man with an appreciation for 'ideas', although he seemed blithely unconcerned whether they carry any substance. Despite all the contradictions between their actions and proclamations, Wolfowitz and Makiya remain respectively a man of 'conscience' and 'too idealist'. The cynicism of Wolfowitz and Makiya knows no bound, and neither does Packer's credulity. On the other hand he is harsh on those who challenged the wisdom of the war, such as Edward Said. Graham Greene is pronounced 'anti-American'. To cut it short, this book is a waste of time. The one star it merits is only for the first couple of chapters where he describes neocon machinations in the lead up to the war (which incidentally Packer echoed himself in the lead up to the war). Craig Unger and Jim Bamford how covered the subject in a much more serious way. As for Iraq itself Patrick Cockburn's The Occupation and Dahr Jamail's Beyond the Green Zone offer a far less ideological account.