Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Gamble by Thomas Ricks

"Obama is stuck in Iraq."  So said Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas Ricks on Hardball the other night. Ricks is the author of 'The Gamble,' his assessment of the Petraeus-led surge in Iraq 2006-2008.

LA Times book reviewer Tim Rutten says of the book:

  Ricks begins this sober -- and deeply sobering -- account with the military's heretofore secret report on the massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines at Haditha, an incident that stands as exemplar for a strategy that not only was failing tactically but also seriously eroding the morale and morality of the American forces deployed to Iraq. The author then goes on to document the previously untold history not only of the failure of the White House and the Pentagon under then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld but also of the Joint Chiefs and the commanders.

The failure.  Perhaps that would have been a great subtitle for the book.

Surprisingly,  there are still many Americans who 'believe' that the preemptive invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do and they give Bush high marks for this war. The pre-war propaganda was intense and many absorbed it like a sponge.

Thank goodness, for our democracy, that the truth of this misadventure is getting out in many recent publications.  Those cheerleaders for war ought to get their hands on a book like this and read it.  Then, I'd like to hear their confession.

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