The Iraq War, 1998-2018: Quagmire in Babylon
W. Joseph Wyatt
Although President Bill Clinton rebuffed a neo-conservative request that he initiate a military overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 1998, with the rise of the Bush-Cheney administration and the tragedy of 9-11, the drumbeat for invasion of the land of Babylon escalated. The book details the Bush administrations’ insistence that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq had participated in the 9-11 attacks, as well as the evidence that revealed those claims to have been false. As post-invasion reality set in, what followed was the breakdown of hope that proponents of the war had envisioned for the easy transition of Iraq from an Islamic theocracy to a western-style secular culture. The book describes the invasion, the push to Baghdad and the valor and integrity of the troops who did the fighting. The ensuing sectarian violence in the streets and countryside and the parallel Sunni-Shia infighting in the Parliament signaled a war that should not have been fought and could not be won. The Iraq story is brought to the present as it details the war’s costs to the U.S. in terms of troops killed and wounded, the economic costs and damage to U.S. esteem that followed revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. The book includes a number of eloquently authored letters from the author’s son who served two tours in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps and who authored the book’s Foreword.