What it’s like being bubbled in a state of denial

state of denial hardcover

Finally managed to get through Woodward’s third book about the Iraq war, which is one hell of a tome with a whopping 45 chapters. And yes, he does deliver the killer knockout blow offering in every minute detail how Iraq became a morass in the absence of a coherent Phase IV strategy of nation building (the idea of which is not as thorough scrutinised as other authors have done). State of Denial is not so much about Bush as it is about Rumsfeld, and as the narrative progresses, Woodward’s increasing frustration and incredulity about the ‘dysfunctional’ Secretary of Defense builds up to an almost uncharacteristically caustic climax in the final pages of the book. Whether Woodward will pen another volume remains to be seen, since it is quite clear that he has fallen out of favour with the Top Two in the administration, but reading this brought back all the familiar anger and angst that reading Ricks first elicited from me and prompts me to wonder: when the dust finally settles, how should the main players be held accountable for the tragic mess that they’ve helped to create?

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