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The War Over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   150
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   0.88 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 25, 2003
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1893554694  
EAN  9781893554696  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
As the crisis with Iraq continues, Americans have questions. Is war really necessary? What can it accomplish? What broad vision of U.S. foreign policy underlies the determination to remove Saddam Hussein? What were the failures of the last couple of decades that brought us to a showdown with a dictator developing weapons of mass destruction? What is the relationship between war with Iraq and the events of 9/11? The answers to these questions are found in this timely book by two of America's leading foreign policy thinkers. Kristol and Kaplan lay out a detailed rationale for action against Iraq. But to understand why we must fight Saddam, the authors assert, it is necessary to go beyond the details of his weapons of mass destruction, his past genocidal actions against Iran and his own people, and the U.N. resolutions he has ignored. The explanation begins with how the dominant policy ideas of the last decade-Clintonian liberalism and Republican realpolitik-led American policymakers to turn a blind eye to the threat Iraq has posed for well over a decade. As Kristol and Kaplan make clear, the war over Iraq is in large part a war of competing ideas about America's role in the world. The authors provide the first comprehensive explanation of the strategy of "preemption" guiding the Bush Administration in dealing with this crisis. They show that American foreign policy for the 21st century is being forged in the crucible of our response to Saddam. The war over Iraq will presumably be the end of Saddam Hussein. But it will be the beginning of a new era in American foreign policy. William Kristol and Lawrence Kaplan are indispensable guides to the era that lies ahead.

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More About Lawrence F. Kaplan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lawrence F. Kaplan is a senior editor at the New Republic.

Lawrence F. Kaplan was born in 1969.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Sales pitch sadly out of date, but good for training material  Sep 17, 2008
This book should be kept in print, and indeed it will (or should) be studied for years to come for those who'd like to form an understanding of the (second) Iraq War.

The years since the appearance of his book have perhaps given it a more extreme tone. It's essentially a selling guide for the war, which was launched about two months after the release. This should be reprinted with an invoice, or perhaps an order form, for body armor and ammo; Kaplan's tome amounts to a clear call to war and a catalog on how to justify it.

There is a lot of info about Saddam Hussein and his awful regime, his atrocities, and all of the evil he represented. But the arguments, where there are any, collapse on the first page, where Kaplan comes out swinging with his reminder that "evil exists", but "luckily, it can be defeated", and that after careful review, he believes Saddamn personifies real evil. Wonderful, a great effort.

Perhaps it's taken five more years of cynicism to build on the American people, perhaps nobody believed it to begin with. There are a lot of bad people in the world, and sometimes they make good allies, so you help them by giving them cash and weapons, etc, etc. And you don't want to see atrocities and gassings and torture, but they happen. And they're awful.

But how can Kaplan pretend such a level of outrage, and indeed, moral authority , by justifying another war to remove a monster we readily assisted for so long? Just stop pretending, and perhaps Americans would appreciate the honesty. And these assumptions, hammered home right away, make the book difficult to read, perhaps many times more difficult than it was to begin with (before the war). If the US government was not up in arms about Saddam's awfulness in the 80s, why is anyone pretending people were upset in 2002-2003? They weren't, and yet Kaplan dutifully keeps the facade up. It must be tiring.

This won't convince as many people now about Iraq (after the fact) though it's still a case for the Bush doctrine, which is something about spreading democracy in the Middle East, etc, etc. And no doubt Kaplan believes it himself, that a reverse domino effect of democracy will help us better absorb the Middle East into a sphere of influence.

But it's the same old. There are plenty of books out there about what America should do now, etc, etc, but this one is straight for the history pile, and wouldn't even make a good propaganda book for the army. Or maybe not. Kaplan acknowledges that supporting bad guys to fight other bad guys is necessary, a necessary cynicism to justify fighting a larger evil. But he is not really convincing when discussing this larger evil (terrorism, naturally). Because the policies are so cynical, perhaps people might not really like or take kindly to it. And therein lies the problem, that you won't ever convince some people that you're not a fanatic who is probably very paranoid. And Kaplan won't be convinced that it's not the right thing to do to invade Iraq and etc, etc, etc.

Not essential anymore, unless you want the quintessential neoconservative account of why we must go to war. Or did go to war. Perhaps he's penning the followup.
Kristol has seen the horrors of war first hand. His calls for war must be heeded.  Sep 1, 2008
As the founder of the influential conservative think-tank American Patriots who Never Fought In War But Advocate Violent Imperialism In the New American Century (APNFWAVINAC), Kristol successfully promoted the idea that a group of draft-dodging muddle-headed bureaucrats should be the main decision makers when it comes to America going to war. APNFWAVINAC made it a primary goal of the U.S. to liberate the good people of the Arab and Muslim countries that Kristol loves so much from their tyrannical leaders, just so long as none of their own children had to fight. APNFWAVINAC published the historic open letter to George W. Bush titled Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iraq, advocating the violent overthrow of the Iraqi leader in order to free the good people of Iraq. John McCain used the letter as the source of a hilarious and much beloved joke during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Among the high level members of APNFWAVINAC who were signatories to the famous letter were other great intellectuals and patriots such as Paul "never served in the military but I have a girlfriend at age 62" Wolfowitz, Douglas "f***ing stupidest guy on earth" Feith, John "kiss-up, kick-down" Bolton, Dick "no bid contract for my war profiteering Haliburton pals and we're in the last throws of the insurgency" Cheney, as well as many other brilliant and highly accomplished warriors and scholars of world history and military strategy. These APNFWAVINAC members were so deeply troubled by reports of Iraqis being terrorized by Saddam that they felt they had to intervene with their carefully researched and passionately presented plea to Bush to bomb Iraq. Kristol even volunteered to join the Army in order to defend the Iraqi people that he loved so dearly and to support the military that he has revered all of his life. Even though the Army had dropped many of the enlistment requirements to attract recruits, Kristol still failed the physical because of his disproportionately large mid-region.

Kristol fought bravely for his country in Viet Nam and in the Persian Gulf (I'm guessing). And if he had children, they would have been the first to volunteer to fight and die in Iraq. He sacrificed his life and lost a large part of his brain on the battlefield in Hanoi (I'm guessing on that one too). His extended tours in both wars testify to his deep sense of patriotism and duty to his country. So when he repeatedly calls for the U.S. to go to war with Iraq, Iran, Korea, France, Germany, New Zealand, and against the radical leftists in Boston and Seattle, he is speaking as a man who has seen first-hand the horrors of war and does not make such recommendations lightly.

Although he has been wrong in every single prediction and observation he has ever publicly made, we must remember that he is a genial commentator on the FOX channel with a charming sense of humor and he is a brave veteran who served his country with great honor and continues to maintain the attractive APNFWAVINAC website calling for war with all non-American countries so we should heed his valuable, if completely wrong advise.
Why does anyone listen to this guy  Jan 5, 2007
Everytime he makes a predictions or shares his "expertise," only a few months later he is shown irrefutably to have been wrong. Why does he still get on any talk show as a specialist or knowledgeable about ANYTHING?

He said our invasion of Iraq would quickly lead to good things, and the more we get involved, the more we follow KRISTOL'S advice, the more the place spirals into chaos.
Because Conservatives Aren't Plagued By Moral Relativism  Jul 18, 2006
This book was written prior to the invasion and was along the lines of making the case for US intervention in Iraq. It definitely has a conservative bent and from that angle is reflective of the administrative running the execution of the war.

The books perspective deals primarily with the geopolitical reasons surrounding the war and not the specific interdepartmental issues that surround the massive machinery that is the United States Government. It focused primarily on principal and not application of those principals as well. I feel this is the strong point of the book and in hind sight can see how these authors were very spot on in many of their observations.

While I felt the book was well researched and quoted, the documentation relating to the references was geared toward a casual political reader and to dive a bit deeper into the research on exact quotes was a bit harder to do than other comparable works. I enjoy the stylistic writing of both of these tremendously talented writers and while not as documented as I would have enjoyed, their prose contained something quotable almost every other page. These little quips of knowledge were smooth flowing and provided enlightenment and understanding on an issue that has captivated the minds of our greatest men and women now for a couple of years.

The most significant aspect of this book outlines the policies of the Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II presidencies and how they are all a bit different. This political perspective was again a great strategic perspective in diplomatic style and allows the reader to then understand America's stance toward the Iraqi régime in a better light. The styles outlined for Bush I were a narrow realism. The Clinton years were wishful liberalism and Bush II had Distinctly American Internationalism.

The book also addressed some interesting political perspectives of preemption and régime change. These are key changes in our modern world with different sets of consequences that the writers adequately address.

This is a great book to focus not on the departmental interchanges but how the focus of the administration in office dealt with politics of Iraq specifically and what challenges were presented as a result of these stances. This is a good read even for liberal minded folks because it offers many of the pros and cons for each of these points of view.

I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take a look at what people were saying just before the war and how to have a proper historical perspective to see who was right! Kaplan and Kristol were spot on in many ways! Great Book!
Deception and No More  Jun 17, 2006
Bear in mind that this book was written after Dubya Bush had been President for two years. So Kaplan and Kristol begin with a defense of Bush's use of the term "evil" as in "axis of evil." President Reagan used the term "evil empire" in reference to the Soviet Union and for K and K this term was key in the downfall of the Soviet Union, so is "evil" a key term in identifying regimes which have records of aggression, arsenals of WMD's, and support organizations of terrorism which threaten the United States.

For K and K, the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq fits this definition to the T. Hussein routinely violated the 1948 Gencide Convention forbidding the use of chemical weapons. In fact Hussein used WMD's against his own people. Hussein is a "predator of the 21st century" who flaunts his destructive powers. "Iraq's efforts to acquires WMD's long predate the Gulf War..." (page 27).

In the 1990's the US did nothing to confront a tyrant bent on conquest. The senior President Bush halted the Persian Gulf War prematurely. The Clinton adminstration simply failed to confront the moral and strategic challange of Hussein. K and K call these modes of thinking "narrow realism" and "wishful liberalism." K and K claim that the US policy toward Iraq was simply one of ambivalenceabout the use of force as an instrument of policy (page 51). It was the fate and duty of Dubya (a nickname he has accepted for years) Bush to watch Hussein's arsenal grow ever more threatening and to deal with it.

This book is so full of deception that I don't know where to begin calling its authors a couple of liars. Let's try here: Kristol is identified in the blurb on the dust jacket as a political analyst for the Fox News Network. It is more important that Kristol is chairman for a political think tank founded in 1997 called the Project for a New American Century. Other members of this think tank include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, John Bolton, the current ambassador to Iraq, and *Jeb Bush*.

Web searches will show that PNAC maintains a militaristic view of US policy toward the world. Web searches will also show that Hussein received some of his WMD's from the US in the 1990's, that he reduced them in the latter 1990's (which K and K don't mention), and that the CIA told the Dubya admin that Iraq had no WMD's six months before the attack on Iraq, etc.

PNAC has the idea that the US can set its own destiny in the 21st century by being militarily aggressive and by maintaining a moral high road. So far PNAC has gotten the rest of us Americans lots of grief over lost loved ones and an incursion into Iraq with no end in sight... and a huge national debt.

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