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Operation Hotel California: The Clandestine War Inside Iraq Hardcover – October 21, 2008
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"Among Warriors in Iraq is hard-boiled and absorbing.Mike Tucker
also has Hemingway's eye for description, particularly of warriors."
In Hell Is Over: Voices of the Kurds after Saddam, Mike Tucker
tells a story we should know, but would not except for his bravery.”
Senator Bob Kerrey, member of 9/11 Commission.
From the Inside Flap
They endured almost a year of being denied food, weapons, and ammunition by a NATO ally, Turkey, as they carried out a covert operation with profound consequences on the War on Terror, the Iraq War, and U.S. foreign policy: Operation Hotel California.
Drawing on exclusive interviews with the man who led the CIA team, Operation Hotel California tells the story of the dangerous mission that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq. In a riveting narrative, much of it in the words of the operation’s leaderpublicly identified here for the first time as Charles S. Sam” FaddisMike Tucker chronicles a staggering trail of corruption and incompetence by the Bush White House, from pursuing federal tax cuts rather than Al-Qaeda in spring 2001, to pandering to Turkey at the expense of America’s fight against Saddam and Islamic terrorists.
With compelling portrayals of the courageous men on Faddis’s team and first-hand accounts of how America’s finest tracked and took down the Mukhabarat assassination squads Saddam had sent to kill them, Operation Hotel California captures fully the thrills and frustrations of hunting the nation’s most fanatical enemies. Andas the most blistering indictment to date by any American counterterrorism officer of the national security blunders vis-à-vis Iraq and Al-Qaedait carries lessons that will reverberate in Washington and beyond for years to come.
Top Customer Reviews
Mike Tucker and his interview subject, the US counter-terrorist soldier Charles Faddis, combine their voices in counterpoint here. Tucker frames and story in both historic and mythic terms, while Faddis provides direct commentary on what happened when he and his team were ordered to enter Iraq in mid-2002 before the US invasion. This fugue of voice and view does not pretend to be the final word on US Iraq policy or on the events that preceded the US invasion, but it provides essential insight in two areas: (1) the egregious lack of coordination between the Bush administration and its own soldiers and allies, and (2) the way counter-terrorist teams operate and think in real time and real situations.
Faddis's accounts of action on the ground mix heroism, frustration and wit. I love the account of his team playing "Grand Theft Auto" and watching the film "Sideways" in-country, but I also love the explanations of how the team managed to take out rail lines essential to the Iraqi army in coordination with the Kurds. Faddis does not skimp on expressing his frustration: with inaccuracies in Bob Woodward's recent book, with the unwillingness of Bush administration figures to listen to the military, with failures of nerve and intelligence generally in how the administration failed to trust its own officers and troops.
Tucker's commentary -- and his policy recommendations in the book's epilogue -- strongly credits the Kurds with being the best allies of he US in the region.Read more ›
As a military officer, I can empathize with the obstacles he and his team faced in accomplishing the mission, but his assessment of the reasons for such obstacles is tainted by his blatant hatred of all things associated with President G.W. Bush. Even if there is some validity to certain points he makes, the over-the-top ranting calls into question the credibility of his perspective. Yes, I'm sure that there were personal agendas involved in the conduct in the war, and anyone who has ever been in that position knows that you almost never have all the resources you want nor do things usually break your way.
As a student and teacher of history, this book is of some use, hence my bumping my review up to two. The accounts of operating in Northern Iraq are interesting an a different perspective from what is offered in more popular accounts of the war like "Generation Kill." Despite the incessant complaining, the book is worth your time. The "story" 186 pages, but it's really not that long, when you take into account the wide margins and bouts of repetition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why I ended up doing 3 tours in Iraq! Thanks to a bone head BN CDR from 10thSF! I should have joined the CIA!Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
The repetitive use of annoying phrases in this book gets old very quickly. More annoying is the tirade against the White House that's repeated every 5 pages and seems to be used to... Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Nick
I recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn a little more about how the government works. I'm sure many parts of this book have been changed but let me tell you, if it is... Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by DRH
This book was a real eye opener and read it rather quickly couldn't put it down...i really liked it and glad it was recommended to me and glad i got the hard cover... Read morePublished on February 22, 2012 by P.R.
This book seemed interesting when I picked it up and read the first few pages. But when I got home and sat down to get through the meat of the book, I found myself struggling to... Read morePublished on May 6, 2011 by Reviewer1
Operation Hotel California: The Clandestine War Inside Iraq
If you experienced counterinsurgency certain things come out and bite you right from the start in any... Read more
This is an nicely written book and a must read for anyone interested in the "War on Terror".Published on December 8, 2009 by Damon