Imperialism in the Emerald City

In Imperialism in the Emerald City, Rajiv Chandrasekaran provides a detailed picture of America's mismanagement of Iraq after conquering it. Along with Fiasco by Thomas Ricks and The Forever War by Dexter Filkins, Chandrasekaran's work reveals the extreme incompetence of the American effort to turn Iraq into a successful democracy. Here's an excerpt:

From the earliest days of the occupation, the CPA [the Coalition Provisional Authority, responsible for governing occupied Iraq] had labored under the assumption that Iraq would be a quiescent terrarium in which to cultivate democracy and a free market. ...

"You couldn't share things with your Iraqi colleagues. You couldn't travel outside the Green Zone. You couldn't stay at the al-Rasheed [a hotel in the Green Zone that was considered too dangerous after insurgents attacked it with Katyusha rockets]," a CPA friend told me. "We felt like we were under siege." He paused. "You can't run a country that way," he said. "You can create the illusion that you're running things, but you can't actually do it."

- pp. 205-206

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