The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

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Overview

In February 2003, Patrick Cockburn secretly crossed the Tigris river from Syria into Iraq just before the US/British invasion, and has covered the war ever since. In The Occupation, he provides a vivid and disturbing picture of a country in turmoil, and the dangers and privations endured by its people.

The Occupation explores the mosaic of communities in Iraq, the US and Britain?s failure to understand the country they were invading and how this led to fatal mistakes. Cockburn, ...

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Overview

In February 2003, Patrick Cockburn secretly crossed the Tigris river from Syria into Iraq just before the US/British invasion, and has covered the war ever since. In The Occupation, he provides a vivid and disturbing picture of a country in turmoil, and the dangers and privations endured by its people.

The Occupation explores the mosaic of communities in Iraq, the US and Britain’s failure to understand the country they were invading and how this led to fatal mistakes. Cockburn, who has been visiting Iraq since 1978, describes the disintegration of the country under the occupation. Travelling throughout Iraq, from the Kurdish north, to Baghdad, Falluja and Basra, he records the response of the country’s population – Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd – to the invasion, the growth of the resistance and its transformation into a full-scale uprising. He explains why deepening religious and ethnic divisions drove the country towards civil war.

Above all, Cockburn traces how the occupation’s failure led to the collapse of the country, and the high price paid by Iraqis. He charts the impact of savage sectarian killings, rampant corruption and economic chaos on everyday life: from the near destruction of Baghdad’s al-Mutanabi book market to the failure to supply electricity, water and, ironically, fuel to Iraq’s population.

The Occupation is a compelling portrait of a ravaged country, and the appalling consequences of imperial arrogance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A wealth of telling detail.”—New York Times

“Cockburn’s account of the evolving conflict ... is informed by his keen personal observations and understanding of the complexities and horrors of daily life in Iraq.”—Library Journal

“Of the raft of books about the calamitous mismanagement of the intervention in Iraq, The Occupation is probably the most readable and certainly the only one that—even if only in the driest possible way—manages to be amusing.”—Christopher Hitchens

“A masterpiece of journalism.”—A. N. Wilson, Evening Standard

“From the front line itself, the brilliant and brave Patrick Cockburn has produced one of the best books of the year.”—James Naughtie, The Herald

“Brilliantly told ... No Western reporter knows the country better.”—John Freeman, The Plain Dealer

“A necessary book.”—Guardian

“One of the most accurate and intrepid journalists in Iraq.”—Sidney Blumenthal, Salon

Barry Gewen
Patrick Cockburn, now a correspondent for The Independent of London…knows the Middle East well. He has reported from Tehran and Lebanon, lived in Israel, and been visiting Iraq since 1978. His eye for the telling detail lifts The Occupation above the usual journalist's account of the Iraq war.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
This is a lively and highly informative book on the American war in Iraq and the follies of occupation. Veteran journalist Cockburn (Middle East correspondent, the Independent) has been visiting Iraq for almost three decades and has written probing reports on the country. Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, which he coauthored with his brother, Andrew Cockburn, remains one of the best journalistic accounts of Saddam Hussein's rejuvenation as a political leader in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. Cockburn's latest book takes the reader through the often bewildering array of forces and personalities that are shaping developments in post-Saddam Iraq and makes them comprehensible to Western readers. The author was in Iraq when U.S. forces invaded that country and toppled its regime. Cockburn's account of the evolving conflict, the emergence of the resistance movement, the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict, and the jockeying for power among the Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish communities is informed by his keen personal observations and understanding of the complexities and horrors of daily life in Iraq. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844671649
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 575,936
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent of Independent, has been visiting Iraq since 1978. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. He is the author of The Broken Boy, a memoir, and, with Andrew Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    Excellent survey of a disaster

    Patrick Cockburn, the Independent¿s Middle East correspondent, has written a vivid first-hand account of the US-British occupation of Iraq. He notes of the war¿s prelude, the 1990s sanctions on Iraq, ¿Imposing sanctions on all ordinary Iraqis was a cruel collective punishment, one of the great man-made disasters of the last century.¿ He shows that opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq radicalized most of the suicide bombers in Iraq. An Israeli study also concluded that almost all the foreign fighters in Iraq had been radicalized by the invasion. A Saudi investigation showed that few suicide bombers had any contact with al Qaeda before 2003. Cockburn details the brutalities of the occupation, the imperial arrogance, the use of mercenaries, the deepening religious divisions, the vile sectarian killings, the lawlessness and insecurity, the rampant corruption and the economic chaos (oil, electricity, water and sewerage are all still worse than they were pre-war). All lead to growing national resistance. The Bush administration claimed that toppling Saddam would stabilise the Middle East. Instead the invasion and occupation have destabilised all the region¿s countries. The war has destroyed Iraq, worsened the prospects of peace and justice for the Palestinian people and strengthened the al Qaeda terrorists. The war was `a terrible mistake¿, as the Royal Institute for International Affairs recently noted. US General William Odom, a former head of the National Security Agency, called the war `the greatest strategic disaster in American history¿. We need our troops back home, to defend our borders against the terrorists, people-smugglers and drug-runners generated by the Labour government¿s criminal wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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