This book looks inside the Iraqi resistance and shows how it is not only fighting the American occupiers, but also Al-Qaeda terrorists and the various private militias.A person can argue about the conduct of the war in Iraq, how well or how badly it was executed, and whether or not waterboarding is torture, etc. The central premise, that we are guided by noble desires, to help Iraqis enjoy the fruits of democracy, can not be questioned. Supposedly, Arabs are not ready for Western-style democracy. Opinion poll after opinion poll, including those done by US officials in Iraq, show that large majorities of Iraqis want US troops to leave, fully and immediately.
If a US ally was invaded and occupied by another country under false premises, and the invaders were unwanted by the local population, don't they have the right to resist that occupation? Unquestionably, the answer is Yes; such a person would be hailed as a freedom fighter. But, when America or an ally does the occupying, there is no legitimate resistance. Freedom Fighter automatically equals Terrorist.
The author entered Iraq through Syria in 2007, intentionally without the knowledge or consent of American authorities. He wanted to avoid the Green Zone in Baghdad, Potemkin (fake) villages set up by the American military and talking to "approved" Iraqis. He was able to meet with, and stay with, many Iraqis who told him exactly why they joined the resistance.A central principle of Islam is to never kill innocent people. That is the difference between resistance fighters and terrorists. Every family has lost someone during the occupation, some arrested and never to be heard from again. To the assertion that civil war will erupt if American troops leave; like that is so much worse than what is going on when this book was written (2007). If the American troops left, the Iraqi resistance could easily get rid of Al-Qaeda on its own. Early in the occupation, American troops in Fallujah fired on a peaceful demonstration of Iraqis upset that the troops had taken over a local school, killing 15 and injuring 65. American General Geoffrey Miller has been quoted as saying that Iraqi prisoners should never be allowed to think that they are anything "more than a dog." After a bomb blast in Baghdad, an imam asked for blood donations over the mosque's loudspeaker. The American response was to bomb the mosque, and shoot the imam. The reason given was that that district supported the resistance.This is an excellent piece of journalism of the type rarely seen in America these days. It easily reaches the level of Wow.