From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A quickly delivered punch replayed in slow motion shows the anticipation, impact, and separation of a hit. Similarly, this book is a clearly focused close-up of the force, the strikes, and the toll taken in Iraq. In short essays, some of CBS's most renowned contemporary news journalists embedded with U.S. military troops share their experiences. A generous portfolio of color photos that tell equally as poignant stories accompanies the text. Broadcast veteran Rather cautions in his May 2003 introduction that "as this remembrance of 28 days of fighting goes to press, the war cannot yet be termed decisive." But a chronology, maps, and the tension-drenched observations of correspondents such as Jim Axelrod, Lara Logan, and Allen Pizzey make readers passengers on the sandy battle course. From them, troops turn into individuals and timing shifts back and forth from friend to foe. Additionally, a DVD with extensive interviews and frontline coverage intensifies the first-person view. In print or video, America at War is a rich reference for classroom assignments and an excellent way for YAs to process the news and form opinions.Karen Sokol, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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The March to War
To hear U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell tell it, the Bush administration was never in a rush toward war. Powell spent seven and a half weeks negotiating Resolution 1441 line by line, word by word. By the time it was approved unanimously by the fifteen-member U.N. Security Council in November 2002, as far as Powell was concerned, everyone -- including the French, the Russians, and the Germans -- knew that the resolution's reference to "serious consequences" meant only one thing: either Saddam Hussein complied fully with new weapons inspections or the Bush administration would go to war with Iraq.
But the diplomatic wrangling was not over. By March 2003, Paris and Moscow's call for a second resolution authorizing force had been joined by London, Washington's staunchest ally. Public sentiment throughout Europe against a war was strong, and this made already skeptical leaders more nervous. Many Europeans thought President Bush's personal style was brash and that he was morally arrogant.
The policy disagreement boiled down to this: The Bush administration saw Saddam Hussein as a clear and present danger. Having suffered one huge attack on September 11, 2001, President Bush was unwilling to take any chances that the Iraqi dictator would allow weapons of mass destruction to fall into the hands of terrorists for use in another attack. Led by France, much of Europe's political leadership didn't see the threat in immediate terms and refused to pledge support for a second resolution.
On the Security Council, Britain, Spain, and Bulgaria were firmly behind the United States on a second resolution. Five other members -- France, Germany, Russia, China, and Syria -- were firmly opposed. Washington was left looking for five of the six votes from those who were undecided: Mexico, Chile, Pakistan, Cameroon, Angola, and Guinea.
But France threatened to use its veto if Washington got the nine votes required for passage, thus escalating the policy disagreement into a political and diplomatic crisis. In many ways, the confrontation over Iraq had become a test among Security Council members of how much the United States could get away with as the world's only remaining superpower.
Faced with a possible veto, the U.S. withdrew the resolution on March 17. That evening, President Bush delivered his ultimatum speech, giving Saddam Hussein forty-eight hours to leave Iraq or face military action.
STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTER, CBS NEWS
Copyright © 2003 by CBS Worldwide Inc.