The War We Could Not Stop (Randeep Ramesh - Editor) is one of the first books about the Iraq conflict to be published since the end of the war and is the result of a collaborative effort by Guardian journalists that seeks to explain the historical background to the war, why it happened when it did and how it finished. Some of the reports come from "embedded" journalists, some from free agents. There are also contributions from American reporters with Arabic speakers from around the region bringing different perspectives.
The first-third of the book in many respects is the most interesting part. Chapter one looks at the 12 years since the first Gulf War, a period that saw a small group of neoconservative American politicians, policymakers and intellectuals--including Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice among others--evolve a theory of America's place in the world that had as its first great objective the ousting of Saddam by American military might. Chapters two and three look at the dilemma faced by the United Nations, at Tony Blair's management of the cabinet and his own personal battle to persuade the country of the real and present danger presented by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Chapter four deals with the first few days of the war and the following chapter with the popular opposition to the war in Britain manifested by the largest ever war-time demonstration in Britain's history.
The final two-thirds of the book are dominated by the eye-witness accounts of the war itself. It has the immediacy of first-hand accounts, the balance provided by solid historical background and it reads extremely well--as you'd expect from veteran reporters. Try reading this alongside Dilip Hiro's excellent Iraq: A View from the Inside. --Lary Brown
It took just three weeks for the second Gulf War to shake the world. Despite public protest and months of international negotiations, the bombs fell on Baghdad. Now, we can see the full picture. Guardian journalists - some of them in the heat of battle, some of them at a more reflective distance around the world - have assembled the story of the most controversial war of modern times. Launched by the mightiest military force on the earth to topple Saddam Hussein, the devastating attack on Iraq brought havoc to the cradle of civilization. It showered horror, pity, death and despair on a people whom history has already burdened with oppression and tyranny. Whether the disorder wrought was justified is for the future to decide. This book is the history of destruction that was the war we could not stop.
This book published in association with THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS in the UK is available from Amazon and other booksellers.