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A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq Paperback – June 3, 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452284988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452284982
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Currie-Knight VINE VOICE on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am one who has always been critical of our reasons for going into Iraq and, further, how we've conducted the Iraq 'war.' But I am equally uncomfortable when around my anti-war friends who, to me, always seem to oversimplify the issue by suggesting absuridities like (a) we should have given Iraq more time (as the UN has for 10 years, to no appreciable avail); (b) Saddam Hussein posed little threat to the international community (ignoring that even Clinton knew this wasn't true); or worst of all (c) that the war in Iraq will encourage Islamic anti-americanism even more (as if this wouldn't have happened anyway).
So as an opposer of the Iraq war, I appreciate reading books like Hitchens' that at very least gives some meaty considerations of the 'pro-Iraq-war' type. I agree with other reviewers that as the book is a short collection of short essays, Hitchens does more by way of rhetoric than analysis. I also agree that the lack of citations was a problem. But I vehemently disagree with those who feel that Hitchens does not know what he is talking about, that he simply has a 'neo-con' bias (Hitchens has always been and continues to be on the far left), or that his arguments are not eye-opening or persuasive.
Hitchens focuses on two things in particular: rebutting those overly simplistic slogans of what he calls (yes, a bit unfairly) the 'peaceniks'; and ruminating on Hussein's human rights violations and the overly-bravado way he openly (arrogantly) defies UN stipulations. He even goes so far as to point out (what we all kind of thought, but tried to suppress) that an international clash with Saddam was something of an inevitability. Was it best now or later?
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Format: Paperback
Christopher Hitchens lays out the case for the liberation of Iraq as a moral imperative, on behalf of its own citizens as much as for the rest of the world, who were similarly terrorized by Saddam Hussein.
Most of the book takes the form of a series of articles penned by Mr. Hitchens throughout the run-up to the invasion through to its immediate aftermath. Particularly interesting are Hitchens's accounts of visiting Iraq both before and after the invasion, as much as a friend to its people as an investigative reporter.
On every side he levels his frank and insightful assessment of the actors involved, which is not at all flattering in cases such as Jacques Chirac, Dominique de Villepin, Colin Powell, and Dubya himself - Hitchens is no cheerleader for the White House. But among Hitchens's charms is that he is not one of the great mass of partisan critics with a ready slander for anyone in his sights. Paul Wolfowitz and Gerhard Schroeder, each in his own way, both emerge from Hitchens's close inspection as fairly heroic figures.
On the other hand, the most scathing indictments are reserved for those knee-jerk protesters and critics who equated the overthrow of our generation's Stalin with a war of aggression. Hitchens might be applauded for how reserved he reviews the telling account of the "human shields" who had a sudden change of heart after actually experiencing for just a few days the conditions in Iraq that its people have endured for decades.
And there is Hitchens's great lament, as implied in the title: what a terrible decision it was not to carry out this completion of the Iraqi war in 1991, when instead we inexplicably quit an ideal opportunity to end the despotism.
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Format: Paperback
While he'd never be mistaken for a Bush sympathizer, Christopher Hitchens in this collection of essays articulates the case for the liberation of Iraq far more eloquently, effectively -- and with an eye for what's really important -- than anyone in the Bush Administration seems able to, even at this late date. While I don't agree with everything in this book, I have a great deal of respect for Hitchens' articulate rationality. It's a refreshing change from both the hysteric emotionalism and nitwit slogans of much of the antiwar crowd, and the chest-thumping militarism of a great deal of the pro-war element.
Especially useful ... or would be if anyone besides Hitchens, me, and the specter of George Orwell still cared about precision and clarity in the language ... is the author's dissection of many of the key terms in this debate, including "terrorism," "multi-" versus "bi-" in lateralism and partisanship, "regime change," "imperialism," and much more. The article titled "'Cowboy' -- Bush challenged by bovines" did, I think, a better job of identifying the political context of President Bush's "Texanness" and its impact on his actions in office than Michael Lind did in all 224 pages of his book "Made in Texas."
In our modern democratic culture, of course, rational thought actually counts for very little -- not when shallow slogans like "No blood for oil!" are considered the last word in persuasive arguments (the author gives that one the deconstruction it deserves too). But for those who do value intelligent political debate, or just simple intellectual honesty, Hitchens' are the pro-war arguments that need to be answered.
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