“Zaid Al-Ali’s book, spread over nine chapters, is the definitive account of Iraqi politics in the last decade, constitutional or otherwise. Though a depressing read that at times may be unbelievable for a reader less familiar with Iraq since 2003, the book’s power comes from an intentional effort to highlight the effects of Iraq’s dysfunctional politics on ordinary Iraqis. Al-Ali sets the scene of the Kafkaesque reality in Iraq by describing in his introduction the use of bomb detectors by Iraq’s security forces to detect explosives at the myriad checkpoints that dot Baghdad’s urban landscape. These purported security devices, sold to the Iraqi government by since-convicted British fraudster Jim McCormick, have proven to be entirely ineffectual. However, the Iraqi government continues to insist they work and still uses them—to the dismay of virtually everyone suffering through Baghdad’s choking rush hour traffic (and unabated violence). The voices of Iraqis living through the country’s challenges colour the entire text and demonstrate the impact of Iraq’s defective politics. […]
“The walled-off ‘Green Zone’ in Baghdad which houses Iraq’s political elites remains ubiquitous and symbolises the disconnect between politicians and the citizenry they purport to represent. Al-Ali’s The Struggle for Iraq’s Future shows the repercussions of this divide. His rewarding approach—telling the stories of ordinary Iraqis living outside the emerald city, while in the process describing the constitutional and political debacle that the country has become—brings human meaning to constitution making in Iraq with devastating effect”. Read the full review.