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Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq: The Experts Speak Paperback – March 25, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"All the golden oldies are here, from the title of the book itself to Rumsfeld's "freedom is untidy" to Kenneth Adelman's prediction that the war would be a "walk in the park" to Cheney and McCain's prediction that the Iraqis would greet us as "liberators." Readers may wish to do Sudoku puzzles instead of wallowing in memories of Ari Fleischer and WMDs. But readers who opt for Mission Accomplished may find that it pins them to their, um, seats." -- Salon.com

"Having amassed an aircraft carrier's worth of lies about the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky can now crow Mission Accomplished!. Indeed." -- Vanity Fair

"Almost 25 years after the amusing The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation, Victor Navasky and Christopher Cerf have compiled its successor, Mission Accomplished! The new book, nicely illustrated by satirist Robert Grossman, hangs authorities of all vocations and ideological stripes with their words about slam dunks, cakewalks, willing coalitions, the war's cost, Jessica Lynch, Blackwater and much more." -- Washington Post Express

"Victor Navasky and Christopher Cerf's shrewd, lucid and tragically funny compilation of 'experts' offering their (erroneous, comically misguided, and even outright false) thoughts on the Iraq war...is sure to become one of the essential reads for those trying to remember how the Iraq fiasco came to be." -Huffington Post

Review

"All the golden oldies are here, from the title of the book itself to Rumsfeld's "freedom is untidy" to Kenneth Adelman's prediction that the war would be a "walk in the park" to Cheney and McCain's prediction that the Iraqis would greet us as "liberators." Readers may wish to do Sudoku puzzles instead of wallowing in memories of Ari Fleischer and WMDs. But readers who opt for Mission Accomplished may find that it pins them to their, um, seats."-- Salon.com

"Having amassed an aircraft carrier's worth of lies about the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky can now crow Mission Accomplished!. Indeed."-- Vanity Fair

"Almost 25 years after the amusing The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation, Victor Navasky and Christopher Cerf have compiled its successor, Mission Accomplished! The new book, nicely illustrated by satirist Robert Grossman, hangs authorities of all vocations and ideological stripes with their words about slam dunks, cakewalks, willing coalitions, the war's cost, Jessica Lynch, Blackwater and much more."-- Washington Post Express

"Victor Navasky and Christopher Cerf's shrewd, lucid and tragically funny compilation of 'experts' offering their (erroneous, comically misguided, and even outright false) thoughts on the Iraq war...is sure to become one of the essential reads for those trying to remember how the Iraq fiasco came to be."-Huffington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416569936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416569930
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,895,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
As our burgeoning economic woes overshadow the war in Iraq in the minds of prospective voters, the imperial hubris that has been the mainstay of the Bush administration's rhetoric seems to get less airplay these days. Even though people continue to die, the cable networks apparently feel that their viewers have grown tired of the war. That's why there is great value in picking up this piercing collection of direct quotes from the so-called experts on the Iraqi conflict by Christopher Cerf and Columbia professor Victor Navasky, satirists who pose as co-founders of the Institute of Expertology, the nation's leading purveyor of expertise on expertise. The breadth of the public statements presented here is astonishing in their deceit, ignorance and utterly blind ambition.

All the classic assertions are included here starting with George W. Bush's claim of success that provides the book's title. Donald Rumsfeld chimed in with recycled catchphrases like "Stuff happens" and "Freedom is untidy". Convinced that the Iraqis would greet U.S. soldiers as liberators, Dick Cheney confidently proclaimed that "The streets of Baghdad are sure to erupt with joy". Even though he expresses regret now, policy analyst Kenneth Adelman originally stated that he felt the war would be a "walk in the park", while political pundit Bill O'Reilly echoed similar feelings of invalid self-assurance ("Military action will not last more than a week"). More evasive statements have an insidious sense of gloom, such as Condoleezza Rice's declaration that "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud", or former White House speechwriter David Frum's covert remark that "This 'rush to war' should really be seen as the ultimate 'rush to peace'".
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Format: Paperback
If you think all conservatives are idiots, and want ammo to toss at war supporters, this is the book for you. This is a book you can judge just by the cover. It definitely belongs in the humor section, which also explains the inclusion of Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter as "Experts on the War in Iraq".

If you are in the mood for laughs, enjoy this book and read no further.

If you want a deeper review, I can tell you my friend lent me this book to give me "information" I apparently needed to know to be an informed voter. I think I learned something far more valuable along the way:

Q: What's the difference between a defender and a detractor?
A: Apparently, defenders make mistakes.

American involvement in Iraq has resulted in a number of huge mistakes:

* There turned out to be no weapons of mass destruction.
* The insurgents were a bigger problem than first thought.
* The enemies imprisoned at Abu Graib were not treated with respect.
* Some money (in cash) entrusted to the CPA simply disappeared.
* Ousting all Ba'thists from the government introduced some chaos.
* It has taken too long to restore Iraq after the quick invasion and toppling of Saddam.

I've read other reviews for this book, and many talk about the spin our leaders put on these "lies". I don't think any estimate or prognostication can really be called a lie, since you can only lie when you actually know with certainty the correct answer to begin with. So in the case where you know for a fact no weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq and you suggest to the country otherwise then I would say you lied. In this specific case, if true, Bush lied.
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"Mission Accomplished!", a terrific retrospective about how the Iraq venture failed, is an accurate and compelling look at the ongoing quagmire with humor on the side. Certifying those who framed the debate and carried out the execution of the war is assembled by authors Cerf and Navasky with an acuity that allows the reader to partake in the words of those who got us into this mess. Justice Brandeis said that "sunshine is the best disinfectant" and the words presented here are devastating in that exposition.

Nicely framed with quotes from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others, we are reminded about how this war never had a clear purpose, let alone a clear strategy. This book is an equal opportunity employer...Democrats get the royal treatment, too, as they should. Cerf and Navasky present quotes then give "in fact" responses...all well-cited. Then, in the lower right-hand corner of each opposing page they offer remarks about predictions on how those experts thought the war and reconstruction would go. Everyone will have a favorite...mine is Thomas L. Friedman. An expert of limitless self-confidence, he's reduced to words after one should eat one's hat.

I think the authors hit things just right when they talk about the cost of the war, both in human and economic terms. Sure, this is a book with a light-hearted nature, but when the text is revealed, we understand about the folly of this war and the Bush administration who gave it to us...an administration that has never figured out what to do with all the shattered pieces. "Mission Accomplished!" is a good and timely read, especially in an election year. I highly recommend it.
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