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Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge Paperback – August 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Nimble Books (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978813898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978813895
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,651,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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What a very unsettling book to read.
clamairy
Comparable to the Palestinian 'refugee' situation, but only in so much as what that situation was half a century ago, not today.
T. Kunikov
Nothing wrong with that, as I said, I understand this work as a good novel, not a history book or work of scholarship.
Charles Rover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Gates VINE VOICE on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was a really difficult book for me to finish, not because it was a hard book to read, but because the content infuriated me so. I have been against this crusade in Iraq since it began and to see once again that the American public is getting an extremely sanitized version of what exactly is happening is so frustrating.

Escobar has really done his work, and by putting himself in the midst of danger he writes a tight, gripping portrayal of just what is occurring in Baghdad right now, even at the "end" of the surge. The volume is quite slight, I would have loved to have read more of his experiences in Baghdad and other places in the Middle East, as he quite ably captures what the real people are going through - the middle class who've moved to lower class, the lower class barely surviving.

Everyone should take a look at this book and see another side to the one that is constantly being portrayed in the media. And I know that I, myself, as a member of the iPod generation, need to snap out of complacency and take action against what's going on.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ronald A. Beasley on September 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Let's make it clear the author of Red Zone Blues, Pepe Escobar, is anti American. But when I say anti American what I really mean is anti corporate American imperialism and the death and suffering that usually results. I suppose that makes me anti Anerican as well. Mr Escobar returned to Iraq earlier this year, after the "surge" began to report on what he saw.

Escobar starts his trip in Damascus, Syria the home of thousands of Iraqi refugees. Many of the people who should be building Iraq are no longer there-driven out by ethnic cleansing and violence.

From Damascus it's off to Iraq. Judging from what Escobar reports it's no surprise that 70% of the Iraqis think it's OK to attack Americans. Baghdad is as much a dead zone as it is a "Red Zone".

The US media gives us hints of how bad things are in Iraq but Escobar did what US journalist can't or won't do-talk to the real Iraqis. He may have an agenda but it's a different agenda and one that is more accurate. The book is well worth a read for a more accurate view of what's going on.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. Kunikov VINE VOICE on October 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Let me start off by saying that I loathe the media today. It will inevitably take a day or at most a month for whatever stories that were featured on said day to be either turned on their head or revealed to be utter lies. That being said the author of this book is not the media I oft think of when the Iraq war comes to mind or our country's immediate policies in Iraq today. I do not care if the author is for or against the left or right I care about what he reports and what he doesn't report.

The book is made up of essays, some longer some shorter, but the author conveys sarcasm in practically every one of them. Some of it is rightly deserved for the ignorant policies and steps being taken by this administration. At first I was annoyed to see that there is no real mention of any progress being made, the progress that we would regularly hear about in the media, from both sides at times. That is US soldiers saying they can see they are making a difference and Iraqis saying they are seeing a difference. At the same time it became clear to me that these differences might be so minuscule in the grand scheme of things that the minutia they represent might not matter to the majority which is suffering in spite of all the so called 'progress.' There comes a time when it is obvious that while some good things might have come out of this unneeded war when it first began, today the administration and army have screwed it up so badly that there is no hope in sight. Please understand that by 'the army' I more so mean the generals involved and the policies that are being implemented via the armed forces rather than the troops who have been given a job they were not, in effect, trained for.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy V. Gatto on September 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
I received a book from the publishing house Nimble Books called Red Zone Blues written by a journalist, Pepe Escobar, who has spent years in Iraq learning the nuances of the Iraqi Nation in covering the war for The Asia Times. This is a small book, and if you get it, which I highly recommend, you can finish it in a day, knowing more about Iraq than most people at the State Department.

The story that Escobar tells is one of pure angst. The situation of the Iraqi People is worse under the American occupation than it ever was under Saddam Hussein. The unemployment rate in Iraq is at a stunning 60%, with most people in Baghdad, once the crown jewel of Islam, begging in the streets trying to feed their families. Escobar writes about the different factions in Iraq and he puts down the US notion that it is "sectarian" violence, he says it is not. Escobar tells of Sunni's supporting Shia and vice versa. He talks about the Sadr Army and Sadr City, poor but stable. He explains why the Sadr Army is "laying low" not confronting the Americans, but waiting and calling on them to leave.

In one part of the book, Pepe Escobar takes issue with the right-wing neo-cons that have declared that Iran is giving weapons and advanced IED'S called explosive form penetrators (EFP'S). In his book Escobar states;

"Iran of course can be very persuasive, holding up some tasty cards up its sleeve- such as hard-earned intelligence directly implicating the Saudis in training the Sunni Arab muqawama (resistance) in Iraq on explosive form penetrators (EFP'S), which the Pentagon foolishly insists come from Iran.
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