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An Operation Iraqi Freedom vet and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Rieckhoff recounts his journey from National Guard lieutenant to disillusioned patriot in this disappointing combat memoir-cum-polemic. Rieckhoff admits that he thought the reasons for invading Iraq were "bullshit," but volunteered to go anyway. His experiences in Iraq—patrolling the chaotic streets of Baghdad in the months after its occupation—only confirmed his initial judgment that the invasion "was one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in our nation's history." Rieckhoff is anything but humble. An Amherst grad (as he often interjects), he finds his recruiter repellant—a "slick, fat... Sergeant [who] smelled like a dirty ashtray"— but enlists anyway. President Bush is "arrogant" and "a bully," and Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer is "ignorant and out-of-touch." Rieckhoff is bipartisan in his contempt: when the Kerry campaign ignores his advice, he dismisses the Democratic presidential candidate as "a calculating and coached politician." Finally, he and a "small band of pissed-off visionaries" founded their own organization, Operation Truth, to get out the word. In the end, Rieckhoff has a story to tell, but he undermines his credibility with his arrogance and petty offside remarks. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lieutenant Rieckhoff and his 38-man infantry platoon spent 10 months in one of the most volatile areas of Baghdad, trying to maintain order, protect civilians, track down insurgents, and protect themselves from snipers and bombers. It quickly became clear that the American mission in Iraq had vague strategy, flawed tactics, and overchallenged, underequipped soldiers. Rieckhoff made it back alive, determined to tell the truth about what was happening and demand accountability from elected officials. Although Rieckhoff does not emphasize it, it comes through clearly that Iraq War veterans are held in declining respect, evidenced by the problems they have getting help with war-related injuries, especially psychological ones. Iraq has been a rich man's war and a poor man's fight, with the Iraqi people barely visible in the American media. Moreover, Rieckhoff's experiences showed him that censorship and bias abound even in these days of "on-the-spot" reporting, distorting what anyone following the war through the general media can learn. A most commendable eyewitness report on Iraq. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a veteran and know anything about the author, or take the time to review his background, you will appreciate this book and it clarity and honesty. Read morePublished 5 months ago by GerryL
The definitive work on the Iraq war from a Soldier and founder of the IAVA. Both compelling and heart feltPublished 18 months ago by ArmyofMorg
A very candid, informative narrative on the author's tour of duty in Iraq. He has, indeed, "Walked the Walk". Read morePublished 19 months ago by Richard Norcott
Paul Rieckhoff finally provides the American people with the answers to the Iraq War that we had been craving since the start in 2003. His experience as a Lt. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Aaron Quinones
To this reader it seemed like the main purpose of the book was not clear and cohesive throughout.
A lot of this has been written before. Read more
Creepy. Same-o, same-o Nam all over again. But lest the reader jump to the conclusion that I allude to governmental policy and our military leadership's execution, I'm much more... Read morePublished on March 12, 2010 by Edmund C. Perry
Paul Rieckhoff gives an honest account of life in the early part of the invasion. Poor planning and egotistical views of the US's ability to free Iraq and it's people created... Read morePublished on January 21, 2010 by A. Bacon
"Chasing Ghosts" although an easy read it is also an informative read to people who may not understand how the Army functions. Read morePublished on January 19, 2010 by David
Both my sons served in Iraq and are still in the military. I've heard from both of them, read letters from both, gained their perspectives, read and watched the news since the day... Read morePublished on January 6, 2010 by Amazon Customer