Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Freedom: Shadows And Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq Paperback – November 3, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"[Parenti] has an eye for the perfect image, a wonderful ear for dialogue and a prose style that floats across the page." —Las Vegas Mercury
"The Freedom, a short, fast-paced book, scenic like a good film script, is steeped in the irony and horror of war." —Los Angeles Times
Top Customer Reviews
In a sympathetic fashion, Parenti interviews several members of 3rd Battalion of the 124th Infantry--National Guardsmen from North Florida. When not on patrol, the guardsmen live in cramped quarters where the men suffer from water rationing, chronic boredom, and ever-delayed, morale-crushing departure dates.
With his faithful and colourful translator, Akeel, Parenti makes several dangerous sorties into Iraq--beyond the fortified Green Zone ("a clean air-conditioned oasis") and talks to Iraqis who are willing to tell their stories. Some are victims of checkpoint incidents; others survive after their families are wiped out in incidents hurriedly covered up and termed 'mistakes'. And some Iraqis make the trip to Abu Gharib to see their incarcerated family members.
Parenti also details the carpet-bagging atmosphere in Iraq--the ridiculous so-called 'reconstruction' that has escalated into a free-for-all. "The idea of American imperial beneficence and competence" in action is an opportunity to loot millions in reconstruction money.Read more ›
What does the occupation mean? 40,000 prisoners, torture, atrocities, beatings, humiliation, intimidation, killings, death squads, house searches, raids, demolitions. No jobs, no water, no electricity, no rebuilding, no security. Power plants, telephone exchanges, sewage and sanitation systems all still in ruins.
The US government pledged $18.4 billion for rebuilding Iraq, but any money goes straight through to firms like Halliburton, which gets $1 billion of taxpayers' money every month, saving it from bankruptcy. (Cheney had bought Dresser Industries for $7.7 billion, without noticing that it owed billions in damages.)
Bechtel got the $1.8 billion contract to rebuild Iraq's water, sewage and electricity systems. Both Halliburton and Bechtel have been fined for corrupt practice. Another US firm got a $780 million contract, despite convictions for fraud on three federal projects and a total ban on receiving US government work.
The coalition gets ever smaller, the insurgency ever larger: the longer the occupiers stay, the more insurgents there seem to be.
Rumsfeld, while publicly promising a swift victory, said in a private memo that the USA is in for a `long, hard slog' in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cheney said in April 1991, "I think to have American military forces engaged in a civil war inside Iraq would fit the definition of quagmire, and we have absolutely no desire to get bogged down in that fashion."
It's an old story. T. E.Read more ›
Through Parenti's well-told accounts of people and events, we see the horrors and blunders of war, the cruelty that can result from a language barrier, the trigger-happy fear, the pharmaceutical-induced courage, the bureaucratic nightmare for victims' families, the sociopathic humor of the deeply disturbed, and the conflicts between the corporate profiteers and decision makers and the U.S. National Guard troops brought in to do their bidding.
Parenti is a talented writer and observer, and he throws in asides about his own exploits that can occasionally seem out of place but serve as comic relief, bits that could have come from Hunter S. Thompson or Henry Miller. So, the book is entertaining. It's also honest - about the suffering caused by the Saddam Hussein regime, by those who have replaced it, and by the resistance.
If anything were to change the minds of those Americans still supporting this war - short of persuading television news to show images of what war does to human flesh and human families - it would be an account like this of what life is like on the ground in Iraq. But I'm afraid this account may not reach as many people as it otherwise might, because the dust-jacket and the early pages label this a book from the "liberal elite."
Parenti's preface says: "I have chosen descriptive reportage over a more analytical approach for a number of reasons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What to see another picture of Iraq, especially one involving courageous journalists not being spoon fed by the military, staying at the hotel with the other journalists, writing... Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by Leland Larson
"The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq" is an account of the first 18 months of the occupation by well known journalist and writer Christian Parenti. Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by S Wood
I stumbled upon this book in the library, and thought it might offer a different view of Iraq than what Americans see on the news. Read morePublished on August 6, 2010 by C. Davila
This is the first book I've ever read by Christian Parenti.
It says on the back of my edition from the Las Vegas Mercury
'[Parenti] has an eye for the pefect image, a... Read more
This is an excellent read providing perspective from important and fresh angles. I found it incredibly well written prose with a great ear for dialogue and an honesty that comes... Read morePublished on May 28, 2006 by M. Rogers
Can you contain all that is Iraq in 211 little pages? No? Then you must leave something out. What did Parenti leave out? Read morePublished on January 6, 2006 by Victory
Christian Parenti has been to Iraq 3 times. He gives a stark political overview backed with first hand knowledge. Read morePublished on November 20, 2005 by Thomas Willard
What Parenti offers here is an articulate account of cause and effect. Mainstream media organizations adroitly postulate intellectualized accounts of cause, but fail miserably to... Read morePublished on October 21, 2005 by Kingrizla
I was there. Tucker is correct. Parenti has no call whatsoever
to write the bulljive smack he does in this book about Mike
Tucker. Read more