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Posted September 8, 2005
And this is how the people in Baghdad feel....
Anthony Shadid is a brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has been covering the Iraq conflict since its beginning. And while much of his reportage of this tragically misguided effort on the part of the US to 'spread democracy around the globe' has either knowingly or unknowingly to us been from his pen (he writes for the Washington Post), here in this book he adds those elements of the war that have been either censored or edited so that at last we have an intelligent observer's report of what has happened. This is a story that will disturb and enlighten. Shadid divides his book NIGHT DRAWS NEAR: IRAQ'S PEOPLE IN THE SHADOW OF AMERICA'S WAR into five sections. In the first section he surfaces the anxious dread of a people under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. In the second he mirrors the people's terror of the attacks by the American troops with the bombings of precious places as well as homes. In the third section he addresses that part of calamity that follows calamity - the criminal looting and destruction of museums and mosques and public facilities that most Iraqis viewed with embarrassed disgust. The fourth section raises the curtain on the debased hopes of a people told they were being liberated while instead they were erratically captured, questioned, disenfranchised and were deprived of the basic amenities of living. The final section studies the insurgency, the terrifying extremes to which the Iraqis have embraced such as suicide bombings, retaliation, guerilla warfare - all of those ends to which these people have been thrust as a means to regain dignity and identity. Shadid has been there, has interviewed countless Iraqis, and has written a book that is jarring and shocking and insightful. What drives a man, woman or child to become a 'martyr'? Shadid talks with the families of these martyrs in an attempt to understand how these people have the courage to stand against the seemingly insurmountable odds of an army of Americans. This is a philosophy wholly foreign to us and it is well to remember that the writer is a Lebanese American, born in Oklahoma, fluent in Arabic and Arabic culture: Shadid is an informed reporter and writer and humanist. Though unfortunately America's War on Iraq is not over, this brilliantly written book should be required reading for all of us. It is only when we have both sides of the picture of a conflict that we can begin to analyze our country's position and hopefully urge a rapid end to the Iraq error, a mirror of the Vietnam error. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
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Posted December 16, 2013
Posted October 8, 2005
Iraq viewed on the receiving end of the war
Embedded reporting showed the American victory in Iraq as a liberation. This book reveals the terror and frustration of being on the receiving end of an un asked for 'liberation.' The book is illuminating, but I can't say if it is fairly representitve. You don't get much sympathy for America expressed. I think Americans need to realize that Iraqis can love their country 'right or wrong', just as much as Americans love America. Iraqis resent foreigners fixing their country. This book expresses that feeling admirably.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.