News & Events

REVIEW: Iraq: The Outlaw State

By Max Rodenbeck, New York Review of Books,  September 5, 2014

“Zaid al-Ali’s [book is a] well-researched study of how Iraq has gotten into its current, worsening, and possibly terminal mess. The Struggle for Iraq’s Future is not a pretty story. Indeed it seems to be populated entirely by villains, from Saddam Hussein to criminally stupid or negligent American occupiers to the rapacious, self-serving, bloody-minded, and frequently murderous group of Iraqi politicians who have insinuated themselves into power in the Americans’ wake. […] Ali’s analytical clarity and his inside knowledge fill the gap in understanding Iraq that, for non-Iraqis at least, has widened markedly since America pulled out of its misadventure, abruptly withdrawing its last occupation troops in December 2011.

Ali proves his case with lawyerly aplomb. What he shows is that while history may have dealt Iraq a hard hand, and perhaps also subtly inculcated destructive pathologies of power and violence, the terrible failure of post-invasion Iraq is mostly a product of specific policy choices made by particular individuals”.

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