From Publishers Weekly
The Iraq invasion of 2003 was only the latest in a long line of episodes of Western manipulation in that country, which owes its existence—and its complex and troubled demographics—to the designs of British imperialists. Lando, a 60 Minutes
investigative producer and filmmaker, carefully arranges all the threads of modern Iraqi political history and liberally doles out the guilt. Though the subtitle mentions Churchill and Kennedy, the book covers the period from WWI through the 1970s in the first two chapters, with the bulk devoted to Iraq after 1989. Through extensive quotes from politicians, statesmen and official documents, Lando exposes the duplicity and ulterior motives that have pervaded the West's dealings Iraq. From the CIA's artificial prolonging of the Iran-Iraq War to the legendary betrayals of the Kurds and Shiites, the result has been death and destruction on a massive scale. Though the prose is sometimes dry and Lando's focus on Machiavellian politics makes it hard to get a clear view of Iraqi society, his book offers readers a grasp of the country America has broken more than perhaps any other. (Jan.)
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A former investigative journalist with 60 Minutes
, Lando here presents a scathing account of the American role in creating, misleading, starving, and ultimately destroying Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The brunt of his argument is that the U.S. has routinely played Iraq for profit and strategic advantage yet consistently evaded responsibility for exacerbating the carnage of its destructive wars and humanitarian crises. In a chapter on the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, Lando describes U.S. efforts to appear neutral while feeding information and selling weapons to both Iran and Iraq. The first Gulf War, he argues, was precipitated by mixed messages between Washington and Baghdad about the consequences of an attack on Kuwait. So, too, did the U.S. falsely imply that it would come to the aid of Kurdish rebels, leaving them to be massacred by Saddam Hussein. But Lando's harshest criticism is of the U.S.-enforced sanctions, which led to a horrific humanitarian crisis, the effects of which ironically plague U.S. forces trying to maintain order today. Lando is, however, no apologist for Saddam Hussein, and this account certainly does not whitewash Iraq's aggressive foreign policy. Fast-paced and thick with realpolitik, this account is sure to draw attention. Brendan DriscollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved