October 30th, 2005

Chris Keeley

Our 27 months of hell - By Joseph C. Wilson IV

Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 16:06:32 -0500
Subject: Our 27 months of hell - By Joseph C. Wilson IV

Our 27 months of hell
By Joseph C. Wilson IV
JOSEPH C. WILSON IV was acting ambassador in Baghdad when Iraq invaded
Kuwait in 1990. He is the author of "The Politics of Truth" (Carroll &
Graff, 2004). He was a diplomat for 23 years.

October 29, 2005

AFTER THE two-year smear campaign orchestrated by senior officials in the
Bush White House against my wife and me, it is tempting to feel vindicated
by Friday's indictment of the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis
"Scooter" Libby.
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It has been, as Gen. William Odom suggested, the greatest strategic blunder
in the history of our country.

We anticipate no mea culpa from the president for what his senior aides have
done to us. But he owes the nation both an explanation and an apology.
Chris Keeley

Key Book on Iraq - 'The Assassins' Gate': Occupational Hazards

'The Assassins' Gate': Occupational Hazards

IN "The Assassins' Gate," his chronicle of the Iraq war, George Packer tells the tale of Drew Erdmann, a young American official in Baghdad. Erdmann, a recent Harvard Ph.D. in history, finds himself rereading Marc Bloch's classic firsthand account of the fall of France in 1940, "Strange Defeat." He was particularly drawn to a few lines. "The ABC of our profession," Bloch wrote, "is to avoid . . . large abstract terms in order to try to discover behind them the only concrete realities, which are human beings." The story of America in Iraq is one of abstract ideas and concrete realities. "Between them," Packer says, "lies a distance even greater than the 8,000 miles from Washington to Baghdad."

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Above all, he emphasizes the fatal cost of arrogance, closing his book with the injunction of Oliver Cromwell in 1650 to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." No one in the Bush administration ever did, and so we are where we are in Iraq.

Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International, the author of "The Future of Freedom" and the host of the PBS show "Foreign Exchange."

If they question why we died,
Tell them because our fathers lied.
-- Rudyard Kipling