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My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope Paperback – November 21, 2006
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"A compelling story of the labor pains of a nation in the throes of rebuilding." -- San Antonio Express News
"Bremer details the treacherous, sweltering days, the obstacles and the historic achievements." -- National Review
"[An] excellent memoir. . . . It is candid, precise, lucid, and honest." -- Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
About the Author
Malcolm McConnell is the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller American Soldier with Tommy Franks and My Year in Iraq with L. Paul Bremer III.
Top Customer Reviews
However, as one of the other reviewers noted, this is a must read for anyone attempting to understand this phase of the US occupation of Iraq. There is no doubt that Mr. Bremer took his role seriously and worked very hard at his task. Sadly, he very conceit and self confidence brought about the disaster of today's Iraq. As Caesar's wife Portia notes..."you are consumed with confidence" when she urges him to forbear going to the Senate. Caesar's over confidence was Rome's tragedy that resulted in endless civil war. Bremer's self confidence has brought a similar result. We know, for example, that he ordered the disbanding of the Iraqi army. In his book, however, he pretends that the order was simply a formality- that the army had self imploded. However, what he does not admit is that key officers of the Iraqi army were already in negotiations to call back their units under US supervision.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the effort is a disaster. Bremer really didn't have much experience with this kind of work, and it appears clear from the beginning that right-wing ideology was the driving factor in his decision making -- and most of these decisions suffered for that. For instance, Bremer refused to re-open the state-run businesses, because he thought the private sector should run all business -- this immediately threw tens of thousands of people out of work. Similarly, the draconian de-Baathification forced almost all qualified managers from their jobs. Bremer also, and I think unforgivably, doesn't spend any time comparing this attempted rebuilding to the very successful post WW II efforts. In particular, the de-Baathification seems to have been based on the de-Nazification in Germany, without really looking too closely at what might be different between Iraq and Germany.
Still, it's an interesting book, and a point of view that should be a part of any study of the war. The book could well have been 10 times as long, and it would be interesting to see what parts were edited out. I share others recommendations of "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" as a great companion book.
Bremer is clearly a decent man, hard-working, totally clueless about Middle Eastern and military affairs, and put in a no-win situation by George Bush and Dick Cheney. Bremer bugged out after a year, and now, two years later, the Administration we have a quagmire and a possible attack on Iran building up.
Quite incredulously, for me at least, Bremer actually sees Iraq as the crux of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and yet is totally oblivious to the fact that we created this battlefield opportunity for Iran and Al-Qaeda. See At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA
Early on the book makes it clear that Iraqis were delighted to be liberated, dismayed at the occupation, and completely unable to agree among themselves about how to achieve a legitimate government capable of stabilizing and reconstructing the country.
This is a very self-serving book, extraordinarily selective in its recollections. A few things that really struck me:
1) This book starts without reference to the path to war paved by lies from the Vice President and other members of the Bush "team." It begins by saying that it was "widely accepted" that Weapons of Mass Destruction were the proper cause of the invasion. BALONEY. See instead Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq and ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a nice read. But if you read it, just bear in mind the other side of the story. There are many who will disagree with what he did and said. Www.nninoss.comPublished 17 months ago by Ninos Youkhana
History is not going to be kind to Mr. Bremer at all. His day is coming.Published on July 20, 2014 by Bruce P Heindl
This man was almost solely responsible for the post-war debacle that was Iraq. He's an arrogant, ignorant and incompetent man that somehow has the cojones to write a book and... Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by dschlicks
I got this as I'd met the author and found his point of view interesting. He says a lot in this book which is a personal viewpoint of his experience in Iraq trying to help set up... Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by frugalJen
Bremer had no chance of possibly doing the right things in Iraq.
In WWII we spent 2 1/2 years planning the Occupations of Germany and Japan. Read more
My Year in Iraq by L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer III
"Why didn't they hit us, Frank?" "The bastard got stuck in traffic, sir," p. Read more