The world is indebted to author Jon Lee Anderson. He gathered in Baghdad to witness a war. He ignored President Bush's March 7, 2002 advisory to journalists to leave Baghdad. Anderson stayed and reported the "electric" tension among the people before the war, the fear during the war and more importantly the criminal chaos after the war ended. Anderson concludes the United States came in with no plan for order, security, jobs, electricity, a water supply or the collection of garbage. The author is a gifted writer and carefully reports the sounds and colors of the city of Baghdad. Moreover, he provides a meticulous accounting of the growing doubts among the people of Iraq about the American capacity to restore law and order. Still and all, Anderson does not hide the truth. Saddam Hussein is a butcher...he terrorized his people. Anderson reports the terrible crimes against humanity, the fear...the hatred of Hussein. However, Anderson links the absence of a coherent American plan to the intensifying guerrilla insurgency and rampant crime. He also does not hide the fact that Anti-Americanism is growing among the people of Iraq because of the growing civilian casualties. The author intelligently explains that Iraqis like foreigners but do not like to be governed by them. He also provides valuable insights to disenfranchised tribal leaders. Overall, this book is essential to understanding what went wrong with the White House war in Iraq. Interestinly enough, Anderson bravely offers the Shiite view of a simpler and cheaper way of winning the trust of the people of Iraq...solve the question of Palestine. "If you do you will have friends in Middle Eastern Government's and there would be no terrorism; they will deal with it...if the U.S. stood justly toward situations then its moral power would be stronger than its army power." Highly recommended. Bert Ruiz
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Authentic and probably very accurate. Analytical but not clinical. The human element is always present in a multitude of forms. One gets good portrayals of the main players, the secondary characters, the public at large who ultimately become the main victims of The Fall Of Baghdad. Politics, journalism, militarism - all are given a thorough going over. The good guys, bad guys, the neutrals are all given a chance to speak. Even the dead have their representatives. This is probably one of the best - if not ultimate - book to get for a balanced picture of what happened in Iraq. Although it is heavy on names and details, this is necessary because of the need for accuracy. When finished one can't help but wonder why (apart from oil) the Americans and British ever wanted to invade Iraq, and what they hoped to do once there. A fascinating insight from a man who knows his stuff.
I enjoyed this book a lot and would thoroughly recommend it. One thing about the book really annoyed me though. The author refers at some point to St Andrews University in England. St Andrews (town and university) is in Scotland and it made me doubt the author's authority and views on other issues after reading this insensitive and offensive mistake.
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