Top positive review
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Why stick to false understanding when you can read such a fair and well informed book about the Iraq War?
on July 30, 2016
Packer is one of those writers that, if I see his name on anything printed, I'll stop to read his thoughts. This book, which does a great job at taking the reader through all the stages that lead to the Iraq War and then through the mismanagement of this great achievement (to topple Saddam with very little bloodshed on both sides) did something very meaningful for me. I didn't support the war when it took place and was dismayed to see what has happened to Iraq under, during, and after the American involvement. But I was fairly ignorant of the who and why and for what. If you'd have asked me in real time I would have most likely said that the war is (only) about oil and that president Bush is, to quote Packer, "not very curious about the world". Now I know better, the war was (also) about oil, but also about big ideas and the future of the world and simple faith that America can make great and positive things happen in our complex and bogged down world. I'm not sure much of that faith will be around in the next decades. In a very bleak and ashen way this book makes the reader believe once more that big ideas do actually matter, perhaps because of the time given in it to Kanan Makiya. Who remains a powerful figure throughout the years this book covers.