Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq

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9781845116293: Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq

As the dreadful reality of the Coalition's defeat in Iraq begins to sink in, one question dominates Washington and London: why? In this controversial new book, award-winning journalist Jonathan Steele provides a stark and arresting answer: Bush and Blair were defeated from the day they decided to occupy the country. Iraq had enough of foreign armies. Steele describes the memories of centuries of humiliations that have scarred the Iraqi national psyche, creating a powerful and deeply felt nationalism. Drawing his unique access to senior Western policymakers, Steele shows how the key players in the occupying coalition totally failed to inform themselves about this smouldering backhistory of resentment and suspicion. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with ordinary Iraqis, Steele shows for the first time how the staging posts of the conflict so familiar to Western newspaper readers were seen by the Iraqis themselves.Blending vivid reportage, informed analysis and sweeping historical narrative, "Defeat" is the definitive anatomy of an historic catastrophe.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Steele is Senior Foreign Correspondent and in-house columnist on international affairs for The Guardian. Educated at Cambridge and Yale, he has reported for The Guardian since 1965. In his present role he travels frequently to the Middle East and has contributed to the Guardian's coverage of Iraq since the start of the war. Steele has won numerous prizes for his foreign news reporting, including the James Cameron and Martha Gelhorn awards. A frequent broadcaster on the BBC and CNN, Steele has written several books on international affairs.

From Booklist:

Critics of the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq often begin with the faulty (or deliberately skewed) intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction. Even those politicians who continue to support the venture are willing to criticize the military and political mistakes that followed the initial thrust into Iraq. Steele, a senior correspondent for the Guardian, offers a deeper and more damning indictment. He asserts that the effort was preordained to fail, doomed by the twin sins of ignorance and arrogance. At the core of these sins was the inability of policy makers to comprehend that even the best-intentioned and “benign” occupation of a foreign nation usually means humiliation for the occupied and will trigger eventual resistance. Steele suggests that a rapid overthrow of Hussein followed by a rapid withdrawal of American and British forces could have resulted in a successful, or at least a tolerable, outcome. Instead, the invaders chose to “rebuild” Iraqi institutions, resulting in a prolonged stay. Although some of Steele’s criticisms may be unfair, he presents a well-argued work demanding serious consideration. --Jay Freeman

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Book Description I B Tauris & Company/Viva Books, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First edition. As the dreadful reality of the Coalition?s defeat in Iraq begins to sink in, one question dominates Washington and London: why? In this controversial new book, award-winning journalist Jonathan Steele provides a compelling challenge to the conventional wisdom that the problem was one of inadequate planning. Bush and Blair, he argues, were defeated from the day they decided to occupy the country. Iraq had enough of foreign armies. Steele describes the memories of centuries of humiliations that have scarred the Iraqi national psyche, creating a powerful and deeply felt nationalism. Drawing on his unique access to senior Western policymakers, Steele shows how the Key players in the occupying coalition failed to inform themselves about this smouldering backhistory of resentment and suspicion, or even to grasp the basic mindset of the people they were attempting to rule, neatly summarised by a young man he meets in Fallujah: "We are Iraqis. Our dignity is more important than our lives." Having conducted extensive interviews with ordinary Iraqis ? Shia, Sunni and Kurd, religious and secular, middle class and poor, Steele shows for the first time how the staging posts of the conflict so familiar to Western newspaper readers were seen by the Iraqis themselves. Turning a searchlight on to the foreign policy establishments of Britain and America, he looks at why they failed to realize that the post -Saddam vacuum would be filled by Islamists, not pro-Western secularists. With the sectarian conflict intensifying, Steele delves in to confidential sources to reveal the processes and arguments which led to Britain effectively handing over control of the South to Iranian backed Shia militias. Blending vivid reportage, informed analysis and sweeping historical narratives, ?Defeat? is the definitive anatomy of an epic catastrophe. Contents : Introduction ? Iraq without Iraqis ? Arab Anguish ? Creating resistance: the Sunnis ? Creating resistance; The Shias ? Leave in time or get bogged down ? Creating resistance: Humiliation and death ? Britain and Basra ? Sectarian conflict: Who?s to Blame? ? The Farce of Sovereignty ? Conclusion ? Notes ? Bibliography ? Index Printed Pages: 304. Bookseller Inventory # 74281

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Book Description I B Tauris & Company/Viva Books, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First edition. As the dreadful reality of the Coalition’s defeat in Iraq begins to sink in, one question dominates Washington and London: why? In this controversial new book, award-winning journalist Jonathan Steele provides a compelling challenge to the conventional wisdom that the problem was one of inadequate planning. Bush and Blair, he argues, were defeated from the day they decided to occupy the country. Iraq had enough of foreign armies. Steele describes the memories of centuries of humiliations that have scarred the Iraqi national psyche, creating a powerful and deeply felt nationalism. Drawing on his unique access to senior Western policymakers, Steele shows how the Key players in the occupying coalition failed to inform themselves about this smouldering backhistory of resentment and suspicion, or even to grasp the basic mindset of the people they were attempting to rule, neatly summarised by a young man he meets in Fallujah: "We are Iraqis. Our dignity is more important than our lives." Having conducted extensive interviews with ordinary Iraqis â€" Shia, Sunni and Kurd, religious and secular, middle class and poor, Steele shows for the first time how the staging posts of the conflict so familiar to Western newspaper readers were seen by the Iraqis themselves. Turning a searchlight on to the foreign policy establishments of Britain and America, he looks at why they failed to realize that the post -Saddam vacuum would be filled by Islamists, not pro-Western secularists. With the sectarian conflict intensifying, Steele delves in to confidential sources to reveal the processes and arguments which led to Britain effectively handing over control of the South to Iranian backed Shia militias. Blending vivid reportage, informed analysis and sweeping historical narratives, ‘Defeat’ is the definitive anatomy of an epic catastrophe. Contents : Introduction • Iraq without Iraqis • Arab Anguish • Creating resistance: the Sunnis • Creating resistance; The Shias • Leave in time or get bogged down • Creating resistance: Humiliation and death • Britain and Basra • Sectarian conflict: Who’s to Blame? • The Farce of Sovereignty • Conclusion • Notes • Bibliography • Index Printed Pages: 304. Bookseller Inventory # 74281

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