Sunday, September 02, 2007

The End of Iraq

From Publishers Weekly:

Galbraith, a leading commentator on Iraq thanks to his recent articles in the New York Review of Books, presents a clear-eyed and persuasive case against the Bush administration's nation-building project there. As a former U.S. diplomat with long experience in Iraq, he offers an insider's view of the American occupation's failures—the poor preparation for post-invasion chaos, the cluelessness about Iraqi politics, the incompetence and corruption of the occupation authority—while advancing a deeper critique...

...Deeply skeptical of attempts to reunify the Iraqi state, he proposes that the U.S. withdraw from Arab Iraq and "facilitate an amicable divorce" between the fractious sections. Galbraith advised the Iraqi Kurds during recent constitutional negotiations and is palpably sympathetic to their national aspirations; his argument sometimes feels like a brief for Kurdish separatism...

Galbraith is pretty damning in his description of the Bush Administration's lack of readiness to take on the Iraq war. For instance, he relates (second handedly) an account of a discussion between President Bush and some Iraqi leaders where Bush didn't seem to realize that Iraq is made up of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis.

Also, Galbraith lists many of the U.S. adminstrators who were selected for important posts in Iraq after the invasion based upon patronage and neopotism rather than knowledge and experience.

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