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Secrets and Lies: Operation Iraqi Freedom and After: A Prelude to the Fall of U.S. Power in the Middle East? Paperback – December 25, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Journalist Hiro, a frequent commentator on the Middle East for CNN and the BBC, has gained a deep understanding of Iraq's people, politics, and culture over the past 25 years. His examination of Operation Iraqi Freedom and its aftermath is often riveting, if also wildly inconsistent. Hiro is at his best in describing the covert war the U.S. waged in southern Iraq well before the "actual" hostilities commenced in March 2003. He also offers some superb insights into the political divisions within post-Saddam Iraq and the chances for the emergence of a genuine pluralistic democratic society there. Unfortunately, Hiro's determination to show both George Bush and Tony Blair in the worst possible light leads him to some rather gross, unfair distortions. What may have been honest intelligence errors, for example, are portrayed as cynical lies, without any attempt to present alternative explanations. A large audience awaits a fair and soberly presented case against the prosecution of this war. This isn't it, but the book will still attract considerable attention, both from readers who know Hiro's work and from those who share his opinions. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Extraordinary... Hiro has fashioned a well-rounded, thought-provoking story about the Bush administration's bellicose preparations, the invasion and postwar headaches..." -- Los Angeles Times

"Meticulously documented... a major contribution to the understanding of what is sure to remain a primary focus of international affairs." -- Noam Chomsky
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (December 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255567
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,789,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Please read this book with an open mind.
Kathleen
Dilip Hiro has compiled a very detailed history of the lead-up to the invasion, the first four weeks, and the aftermath.
SPM
Well, if he had bothered to read the book, he'd see that Hiro's thesis is speculative, based on important variables.
Martin Prague

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By SPM on May 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to know why the US military invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Dilip Hiro has compiled a very detailed history of the lead-up to the invasion, the first four weeks, and the aftermath.
He starts with the post-9/11 White House, where the neoconservative Bush administration shifted their focus from fighting terrorism (and fundamentalism in south central Asia and the Middle East) to Iraq. The neocons were dedicated to removing Saddam Hussein, but no one else was. They had to convince Colin Powell, the US population, and the rest of the world. Dilip Hiro shows how the upcoming invasion was marketed using carefully-selected intelligence reports, creating a false crisis. From the yellowcake from Africa to the lies about ongoing inspections by the UN, Dilip Hiro documents it all.
But the invasion takes place anyway. He shifts his focus to the war, using detailed maps and newspaper sources to describe the battles, the setbacks, and the strategies the US military used. He covers the first month of the invasion, ending with the occupation and Bush claiming 'mission accomplished.'
This is a devastating critique of a US foreign policy completely divorced from democracy and world opinion. Every fact in this book, stacked up in page after page, creates a chilling picture of the wrong war for the wrong reasons. If you are only going to read one book on the invasion (and occupation) of Iraq, make it this one. You'll end up referring to it over and over in the next few years, reminding yourself of how we got into this mess.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Who would have thought a book about a war so fresh in our minds from the around the clock TV coverage would be so surprising, refreshing and revealing? I'd bet that half the things that HIro discloses in Secrets and LIes the average reader who takes an interest in world politics would find new and shocking. Hiro details stuff about the covert war leading up to the "hot" war that I'd never heard of. Hiro, a meticulous and elegant historian, is also at times prosecutorial in his method, revealing Operation Iraqi Freedom to be a shabby dirty little war, predicting that post war Iraq aint going to be as easy for the Anglo-American coalition.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In some ways, this book is a great deal more distressing than the various pundit books slamming Bush (Moore, Hightower, Frankel, Krugman, Carville, etc.) because there is not a single caustic turn of phrase, not a single line of satire, not a single double entendre in the entire work. This is a brutally straight-forward, earnestly researched, ably footnoted, totally credible review of all of the secrets and lies that led to the war in Iraq.
It did not quite bring me to tears, it did very nearly make me want to throw a chair through the garden window.
According to this book, and its incontrovertible documentation, we were lied to. We were deceived. Untold fighting men and women, not just from the US but also from other countries, have died and been wounded and according to this book the number of wounded is CLASSIFIED. It is a secret, an official secret from the American public, how many of their sons and daughters have died to support this ideological conquest, this extremist religious crusade. We must also acknowledge the thousands of dead Iraqis and the hundreds of thousands of displaced and impoverished Iraqis.
Another official secret from the American public are the results of the open survey by the Department of State of how the Iraqis feels about the US invasion and occupation--classified AFTER we discovered that Chalabi had lied to Cheney and there were no hearts and flowers, only hostility.
Yet another official secret from the American public is the estimate of the damage done by US forces to the Iraqi infrastructure, and how much it will cost the US taxpayer to pay for this mindless destruction in the heart of the Middle East.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on December 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Historian and journalist Dilip Hiro has written a detailed account of the continuing Bush/Blair attack on Iraq. He examines the preparations for the invasion, the attack itself and the continuing war since Bush declared victory in May 2003. Hiro shows how the attack on Iraq has diverted us from defeating Al Qa'ida, and how it has increased the terrorist threat.

He details the Bush and Blair governments' systematic lies to the UN, to Parliament and Congress, to the British and American peoples, and to the Hutton and other inquiries. Almost everything that we are told about the war comes from `embedded' reporters, who are required by contract to agree to obey Bush's instructions.

The occupation is causing chaos - 60% unemployment, worsening health and education, an estimated 100,000 killed, shortages of water, fuel and electricity, and minimal rebuilding. The occupying forces are not seeking, and will never achieve, a friendly, stable or democratic Iraq.

The US and British forces are using cluster bombs, heavy artillery and napalm, real weapons of mass destruction, just like in Vietnam. So, as in Vietnam, they are losing hearts and minds, and losing the war.

The January election will not improve security or `change the atmosphere', as Blair claims. Their aim is not election but dereliction. In years to come, if we let it happen, they will sigh, `to save Iraq we had to destroy it'.

Not surprisingly, the occupation is generating popular hatred of the occupier, fuelling the national resistance. The vast majority of the Iraqi people want the occupying forces out as soon as possible, as do the majority of the British and American peoples.
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