Friday, October 24, 2008

A new Iraq book you really should read

I thought I was tired of Iraq books. I read most of the War Within and some of Tell Me How This Ends, but couldn't muster the full engagement. I thought it was Iraq book fatigue and very nearly took Dexter Filkins Forever War back to the library unstarted. Good choice on my part.

Most of the Iraq books I have read have been DC or CENTCOM focused. Filkins reports from the ground and very often from the Iraqi viewpoint. His stories are mostly tragic, but occasionally comic. He relates one short lived but successful tactic for clearing weapons. This one unit had an attractive blond female soldier. She would poke her head out of Bradley while someone else shouted "Blond for sale!, Blond for sale!" All the men on the village would run to the Bradley and start bargaining for the woman. While this was going on, other soldiers snuck into the houses and took away all the guns. They did it three times before the higher ups said to stop.

On a (much) more serious note, he notes that the Iraqis from the beginning told American what they wanted to hear and then helped the insurgency. It is not a happy read, but it is a good one so far.


Anonymous said...

Try "Voices from post-Saddam Iraq" from Praeger Security International... another book written mainly from the Iraqi perspective.

Tripp said...

Thanks, that looks valuable.