How we lost Iraq

Salon
by Paul McLeary

05/09/06

'Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq,' by the New York Times' Michael Gordon and retired Marine Gen. Bernard Trainor. It has none of the fleshy humanity that Shadid and Goldfarb -- and to a certain extent Packer -- brought to the story of Iraq. Nor should it. Gordon and Trainor, well situated with a bevy of sources inside the decision-making process at the Pentagon, never avert their gaze from the often politically inspired recklessness of the Pentagon brass leading up to the invasion; nor do they neglect to notice how the grunts on the ground carried out their orders with courage and professionalism. A good portion of the book is taken up with relating the smug, detached war plans hatched at the Pentagon by civilian commanders -- led, of course, by Donald Rumsfeld -- convinced the war could be fought cheaply and quickly. While the outcome of the conflict was never in doubt, in Gordon and Trainor's account, Rumsfeld, Gen. Tommy Franks and the ideological yes men they surrounded themselves with at the Pentagon often come off as almost fictional in their self-delusion... [subscription or ad view required]

//www.salon.com/books/review/2006/05/09/trainor/


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