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Publisher Description


A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title

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

Charged with rebuilding Iraq, would you spend taxpayer money on a sports mural in Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhood to promote reconciliation through art? How about an isolated milk factory that cannot get its milk to market? Or a pastry class training women to open cafés on bombed-out streets without water or electricity?

According to Peter Van Buren, we bought all these projects and more in the most expensive hearts-and-minds campaign since the Marshall Plan. We Meant Well is his eyewitness account of the civilian side of the surge—that surreal and bollixed attempt to defeat terrorism and win over Iraqis by reconstructing the world we had just destroyed. Leading a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team on its quixotic mission, Van Buren details, with laser-like irony, his yearlong encounter with pointless projects, bureaucratic fumbling, overwhelmed soldiers, and oblivious administrators secluded in the world's largest embassy, who fail to realize that you can't rebuild a country without first picking up the trash.

Darkly funny while deadly serious, We Meant Well is a tragicomic voyage of ineptitude and corruption that leaves its writer—and readers—appalled and disillusioned but wiser.

GENRE
Politics & Current Events
RELEASED
2011
September 27
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
288
Pages
PUBLISHER
Henry Holt and Co.
SELLER
Macmillan
SIZE
967.8
KB

Customer Reviews

E.L.S.G. ,

Mr.

The egregious lack of preparation for the aftermath of the initial invasion of US Forces in Iraq reflects miserably on the US government. President Bush and Vice-President Cheney should be held accountable in a court of law as the mismanagement plus the unnecessary loss of life can mainly be attributed to their actions and inactions.

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