We Meant Well

We Meant Well

How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People

Book - 2011
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From a State Department insider, the first account of our blundering efforts to rebuild Iraq. A shocking and rollicking true-life tale of Americans abroad, and a vividly rendered tale of ineptitude and corruption.
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780805094367
0805094369
Branch Call Number: 956.70443/VAN BUREN
Characteristics: x, 269 p. ; 22 cm.

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StarGladiator
Mar 16, 2015

I would not go along with Publishers Weekly use of the description // shocking \\ as I've also read the SIGIR Report [Special Inspector General's Report on Iraqi Reconstruction - - on arrests of officers, senior noncoms and contractors for various financial fraud and crimes] as well as the facts surrounding that missing $8.7 billion in Iraqi oil funds [went missing somewhere between the Coalition Provisional Authority, Chase Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York], et cetera. It is a good read, and important to recall that Buzz Krongard was a high-level member of the CIA during that time, while his brother was the Inspector General at the State Department. [Buzz is now on the board of the CIA's venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel.]

bookwormabc Nov 05, 2013

A very interesting and thought-provoking book written by someone who was involved in the humanitarian work on the ground. It is one thing to defeat an enemy who is a danger to you, but quite another to be successful in helping the people there, especially in the middle-east. The book raises the question, is it better just to let the people cope by themselves, rather than to try to impose our way of life? Do we just make things worse? The lesson is not just for Iraq, the subject of this book, but can also apply to Afghanistan.

JeremiahSutherland Feb 11, 2012

If the only thing Jean Chretien did for Canada was keep us out of Bush 2's Iraq war, he earned his pay.

This book, written in a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone by an American foreign service officer is a depressing account of the insanity, fecklessness and waste that characterized American attempts at "reconstruction" and "winning hearts and minds" after invading that luckless country.

The title is a reminder that a road paved with good intentions leads to somewhere other than heaven.

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