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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars confirms what I feared, August 19, 2006
This review is from: Blind Into Baghdad: America's War in Iraq (Paperback)
I like James Fallows. I doubt we would be on the same side of the political aisle, but he would not care, and it does not matter. He is more objective than most writers, and I have liked his books since I read his work on national defense years ago.

This book confirms what I have come to fear. The war in Iraq was a huge mistake. It never should have been considered, much less launched. Afghanistan was one thing. It needed to invaded, and the Taliban needed to be kicked out. Maybe its not too late to get it right. Iraq, I fear, is the proverbial quagmire.

There were many in the administration who did not want the damned war. Many in the Pentagon felt the same way. The dismal history of Britain's involvement after WWI should have been a clue. Hubris, on the part of a few, blinded Bush--and others-- in their decision making. The Bush crowd seemed to act like Johnson's wizards getting us into Vietnam.

Perhaps the rapid victory in Afghanistan put the administration on a new high of self-confidence--excessive self-confidence. It appears they rapidly came to see themselves as a winning team, the super warriors--able to overrun a country between lunch and breakfast.

Problem is, they put no thought into what would occur once they had Baghdad. Colin Powell warned Bush. So did others. Its one thing to take a country, another to run it.

I believed there were "weapons of mass destruction." Maybe there were. Maybe they were moved to Syria. If so, the invasion made things worse. Now, the Syrians might have them. If not, being in Baghdad with not enough troops, and the vain hope of democracy taking hold, is pretty thin gruel. Bush got us into it, but God only knows how we will get out. And while we try to find a way out, our military is spread thin, our reputation is wearing away, and the nation is unable to project power elsewhere.

Fallows fills in some gaps. I wondered what happened. Why did Colin Powell bail as Secretary of State after four years? I think I know why. He was ignored. Why did we only hear from a few in the administration? Others were over-ruled, and being quiet. They had Thoreau's feelings of "quiet desperation." They feared the war, and they were right to fear it.

I recommend this book. I WAS a Bush supporter, and I still recommend this book. Fallows writes some pretty stern stuff but its worth reading.
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Initial post: Jan 4, 2015 4:24:33 PM PST
Joseph T. says:
The weapons of mass destruction never existed. They were not moved to Syria. I was never a Bush supporter.
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