Former Iraqi official says U.S. mismanaged war
NEW YORK (AP) — In a rueful reflection on what might have been, an Iraqi government insider details in 500 pages the U.S. occupation’s “shocking” mismanagement of his country — a performance so bad, he writes, that by 2007 Iraqis had “turned their backs on their would-be liberators.”
“The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order,” Ali A. Allawi concludes in “The Occupation of Iraq,” newly published by Yale University Press.
Allawi writes with authority as a member of that “new order,” having served as Iraq’s trade, defense and finance minister at various times since 2003. As a former academic at Oxford University before the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq, he also writes with unusual detachment.
It’s an unsparing look at failures both American and Iraqi, an account in which the word “ignorance” crops up repeatedly.
First came the “monumental ignorance” of those in Washington pushing for war in 2002 without “the faintest idea” of Iraq’s realities. “More perceptive people knew instinctively that the invasion of Iraq would open up the great fissures in Iraqi society,” he writes.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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