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Posted January 13, 2009
An enlightening perspective on a controversial war.
In a bold and unyielding narrative, Mr. Bodansky reveals the largely unreported events that shaped and drove the second Iraq War from the summer of '02 until Saddam¿s capture in December '03. The author fully describes the background of the region prior to the US invasion which formed the dynamics of the conflict ¿ Turkish interest in acquiring Iraqi Kurdistan and the struggle of the Kurds seeking their own autonomy; Iraq¿s great debt to Russia, unaddressed by the US in its takeover, a move that undoubtedly adversely influenced US-Russian relations; North Korea¿s dangerous relations with and supply of WMD to Iraq and Syria; the common concern of loss of political leverage shared by all Arab states should a democratic, pro-US Iraq emerge in the face of virulent anti-Western sentiments; and the fragile circumstances surrounding Israel and Palestine and the Arab stake in that outcome, all of which directly influenced the unfolding of what proved to be a more difficult war and occupation than Washington anticipated. Among the little-known events which transpired the author reveals many startling incidents, such as the North Korean vessel which was captured by US Navy SEALS, a ship that was delivering long-range missiles and tanks of chemicals to Iraq, proof of NK involvement in technology and nuclear assistance to terror states; Saddam¿s execution of Iraqi scientists the US intended to interrogate; the discovery of the poison Ricin with the capture of ALF terrorists by Israel, disclosing the Islamists¿ development of and training with deadly chemicals, a smoking gun Washington chose not to utilize; Russia¿s offered plot of conducting an inside coup to remove Saddam, a more peaceful alternative Washington was not interested in; the preparation of remote-controlled planes by Palestinian Security Forces, used to deliver chemical weapons by air; Saddam¿s possession of an upgraded nerve agent capable of penetrating gas masks; the WMD-tipped RPGs Saddam¿s Fedayeen almost deployed against US ground troops in the siege of Baghdad; France¿s secret involvement with Iraq¿s nuclear ambitions and their contributions to French politicians, a possible explanation for their vehement opposition to the war; Washington¿s abominable treatment of Israel regarding the disastrous Road Map to Peace with Yasser Arafat, during which Israel was forced to sustain mounting terrorist attacks without retaliation to appease the Arab world, a very controversial move which weakened Israel; the transfer of Saddam¿s WMD stockpile to Syria before the war, the locations of which the author describes in specific; the CIA¿s recruitment of Saddam loyalists; and the direct involvement Saddam¿s own wife had in his ultimate capture. The author accredits the CIA¿s overreliability of untrustworthy Iraqi spies with the gross failure of US intelligence, and the overall misunderstanding of Islamic culture and its hatred of the West by Washington that led to the difficult quagmire of reconstruction and near futile establishment of democracy in Iraq. Though he castigates the Bush administration for their short-sightedness, coercive and destructive treatment of allies, and selfish, closed-minded attitude regarding assistance or solutions to the conflict, he leaves one critical enigma beyond further doubt or skepticism: Saddam did indeed have WMD.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2008
Posted January 8, 2010
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