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The Good Soldier on Trial: A Sociological Study of Misconduct by the US Military Pertaining to Operation Iron Triangle, Iraq Perfect Paperback – August 3, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0875867410 ISBN-10: 0875867413

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Algora Publishing (August 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875867413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875867410
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,991,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Major Sullivan's investigative report included a loose end that was not noticed in the initial cover-up. He reported officially and formally that the blind folds were still on the bodies of the dead Iraqis at the make-shift morgue, and somebody had cut them at the morgue. The obvious, commonsense question raised by this fact is: 'Why would American soldiers kill blindfolded enemy combatants?' Now the brigade had a problem. The original story by LT Wehrheims soldiers that the Iraqi prisoners had cut themselves free would not stand. At this point, somebody had to be 'thrown under the bus.' It seems to be a universal principle that in such situations, the scapegoats are always the weakest and most vulnerable members of the reference group. Suddenly, the group turns on them, and
transforms them into the enemy within. --Major Sullivan, Investigative Report

'The message in this book is so alarming. It documents the betrayal of codes of honor and conduct and exposes campaigns of distortion and outright lying that are common in today s military. The ordinary 'grunt' is hung out to dry and sadistic commanding officers are celebrated and permitted to carry out further campaigns of murder and destruction. It also tells the tale of a few courageous lawyers, academics, and ordinary citizens, modern-day Quijotes perhaps, who are willing to resist our military s freefall into hell.' --Michael Flynn, Associate Director, Center on Terrorism, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY

'Stepan G. Mestrovic has made a career as the destroyer of myths.

'In this book he destroys one of the biggest American myths of all: the myth that America treats its servicemen and women with justice, understanding and tolerance.' --Chris Rojek, Professor of Sociology & Culture, Brunel University, West London

About the Author

Prof. Mestrovic has been teaching at Texas A&M since 1991. He holds a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, and three masters degrees from Harvard University. He is the author of 15 books and numerous articles. His particular areas of interest include Abu Ghraib, culture, and race and ethnic studies in the Balkans.

He has testified as an expert witness at The Hague and at Fort Hood. He wrote The Trials of Abu Ghraib: An Expert Witness Account of Shame and Honor (2007) as well as two books wiith Algora Publishing.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Waddington on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book on Operation Iron Triangle, one of the the most high profile and serious war crimes cases from the Iraq War, is well researched and documented. The author went to tremendous lengths to get to the heart of the issue. In the end, the reader must decide who, if anyone is to blame for this incident. Excellent read and plenty of primary documents and sources included in the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Edward P. Horvath on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Meticulously documented and superbly written, Dr. Mestrovic's account of the shootings during Operation Iron Triangle render incomplete and/or inaccurate all prior reports of this incident. A sociologist by degree and profession, Dr. Mestrovic demonstrates unique insights, not only into the legal and military elements of this case, but also into its moral and psychological aspects. He describes how a "poisoned" command climate, especially an aggressive predisposition to kill--as opposed to capture--insurgents, can result in young, inexperienced soldiers misunderstanding rules of engagement. Prosecuting and incarcerating these same soldiers for "murder" has created considerable resentment in the general public--especially among veterans--and growing unease in Congress. Treating these cases solely as violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), without addressing underlying causes as described by Dr. Mestrovic, does little to reduce the risk of recurrence for such incidents in future conflicts. This book should be required reading for all military officers, members of Congress, and anyone interested in military justice.
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