Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq

Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq

by Christian Parenti
     
 

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When magazine journalist Parenti (currently a visiting fellow at the City U. of New York Graduate School's Center for Place, Culture, and Politics) asked his 26-year-old translator, Akeel, about life in Iraq following the US invasion, he replied, "Ah, the freedom. Look, we have the gas-line freedom, the looting freedom, the killing freedom, the rape freedom, the

Overview

When magazine journalist Parenti (currently a visiting fellow at the City U. of New York Graduate School's Center for Place, Culture, and Politics) asked his 26-year-old translator, Akeel, about life in Iraq following the US invasion, he replied, "Ah, the freedom. Look, we have the gas-line freedom, the looting freedom, the killing freedom, the rape freedom, the hash-smoking freedom. I don't know what to do with all this freedom." Needless to say, this is a perspective one rarely encounters in the hallucinatory reporting of the US corporate media, but luckily we have Parenti to bring it to us, along with the voices of many other Iraqis, US soldiers, and Coalition Authority officials, as well as his own observations of the chaotic disaster of Iraq under its first year of occupation. In the course of his reporting, Parenti embedded with US troops and with fighters resisting the occupation, and investigated many aspects of the occupation that those who started the war would prefer to remain hidden, including the mass detentions, the sky-rocketing corruption, the incompetence and ignorance that rules the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad, and, of course, the daily lethal violence. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Las Vegas Mercury
He has an eye for the perfect image, a wonderful ear for dialogue, and a prose style that floats across the page.
Publishers Weekly
This collection of dispatches from in and around Baghdad emerges from Nation reporter Parenti's time embedded with U.S. soldiers as well as ventures out on his own. The book's main interest is that it provides access to people not heard from often enough: with a translator, Parenti interviews sheikhs, hospital staff, young prostitutes, aid workers and the families of civilians killed by American troops or disappeared into prisons like Abu Ghraib. The results make what's happening on the ground significantly more vivid and disturbing than most conventional news reports. Parenti also describes incompetence and corruption in reconstruction efforts, as well as killings and humiliations of Iraqi citizens that work to push young men into the ranks of the insurgency. He talks to American soldiers in the barracks and on patrol who hope that (but aren't sure if) they are doing the right thing. Over Parenti's three trips to Iraq from December 2003 to June 2004, relationships between all aspects of the U.S. military and Iraqi society become further entrenched in violence, hatred and chaos, all exacerbated by a lack of potable water and a still disabled electrical grid. It's a grim story, and it feels real. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"For those who desire a taste of what occupied Iraq feels and smells and tastes like for the war correspondents, soldiers and Iraqis dealing with the mess that is ‘free’ Iraq, The Freedom is essential reading." —San Diego Union-Tribune

"[Parenti] has an eye for the perfect image, a wonderful ear for dialogue and a prose style that floats across the page." —Las Vegas Mercury

"The Freedom, a short, fast-paced book, scenic like a good film script, is steeped in the irony and horror of war." —Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565849488
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
11/28/2004
Pages:
211
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.67(d)

Meet the Author


Christian Parenti is the author of The Soft Cage and Lockdown America. He is a visiting fellow at the CUNY Graduate School’s Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, and his articles appear regularly in The Nation. He lives in New York City.

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