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The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist 2006.

In March 2003, Patrick Cockburn secretly crossed the Tigris river from Syria into Iraq just before the US/British invasion, and has covered the war ever since. In The Occupation, he provides a vivid and disturbing picture of a country in turmoil, and the dangers and privations endured by its people.

The Occupation explores t
Hardcover, 229 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Verso (first published 2006)
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Josephus FromPlacitas
Jul 06, 2008 Josephus FromPlacitas rated it really liked it
I actually had been hoping to read Cockburn's Muqtada!, but my local library didn't have it available, so I checked this out instead. Maybe it's better that I ended up with The Occupation, since I may have been attracted to Muqtada! out of excessive interest in the rise of a single charismatic leader figure, while this focuses a little more (although not comprehensively) on the different factions and sectors in the un-unifiable nation of Iraq.

It's not exactly a must-read if you've more or less
Simon Wood
Sep 26, 2013 Simon Wood rated it really liked it

Patrick Cockburn, long time Independent correspondent in the Middle East, wrote this account of the occupation of Iraq and the resistance to that occupation in 2006. Cockburn writes from the point of view of his own experiences and observations, beginning in the north of the country on the eve of invasion to his time in Baghdad, with increasingly limited and dangerous excursions into other areas of occupied Iraq.

One can't but admire his bravery, as a non-embedded journal
Amar Pai
Nov 21, 2012 Amar Pai rated it really liked it
Masterful reporting from Cockburn as always. This book is so infuriating I get exhausted just thinking about it. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bremer and their cronies all slunk back into their holes hoping the world will forget their crimes. I hope someday they go on trial for lying their asses off to get us into a pointless, unbelievably expensive war that made us less safe than before. Their extreme arrogance, greed and stupidity ensured the outcome before it started. Do you remember Bus ...more
Feb 27, 2014 Dr. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-warfare
Excellent and easy to read, this book is a collection of Cockburn's personal experiences in Iraq. He is someone who knows a lot about the country and does a great job of putting things into context.
Yonis Gure
Jul 31, 2014 Yonis Gure rated it really liked it
Iraqis have endured more suffering and hardship over the course of nearly half a century than most people can even begin to imagine. A country that has been plagued by a U.S backed dictator for decades, that blighted the lives of generations of ordinary Iraqis and who instilled an atmosphere of evil that haunted and seeped into almost every crevice of Iraqi’s civil and economic life. They went through a ferocious war with it’s “unfriendly” neighbour Iran (Saddam was backed and armed by the U.S, ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Yas rated it liked it
The 2nd half of the book is better than the first half. mainly because alot of what is said in the first half is better and more thoroughly explained in Cockburns's Muqtada al Sadr book. The second half however deals with the insurgency in Fallujah, the awful corruption(8 billion unaccounted for under Bremer's watch), the "official civil war" between Sunnis and Shias after 2006(the twin Imam al- Askari bombings). The deterioration of all essential life necessities, especially the lack of electro ...more
David P
Nov 28, 2012 David P rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-events
Now at the end of 2006 the entire world is painfully aware that something has gone terribly wrong with the US intervention in Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction were an illusion, while the reality was murderous sectarian hatred between Shi'a and Sunni populations, both sharing hostility towards America. How did it happen? Was it inevitable?

Patrick Cockburn is a veteran British journalist familiar with Iraq, and his slim book is by far the most intelligent and insightful report on the war to re
David Stephens
Apr 09, 2013 David Stephens rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foreign-affairs
"Great nations do not have small wars." So said the Duke of Wellington about Britain at the height of its power and so it rings true about America during its failed attempt to "liberate" Iraq from the tyrant Saddam Hussein. What was supposed to be a quick, painless mission turned into a long, bloody disaster. What was supposed to stabilize the region led to more instability. Herein, Irish journalist Patrick Cockburn slices through the misinformation to deliver everything from personal accounts t ...more
Les Dangerfield
Dec 20, 2015 Les Dangerfield rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the mess which Bush and Blair made of the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent attempts at political settlement. Makes me feel shame by association. It also makes it pretty clear how this mess led to the rise of ISIS and the problems the world is currently facing in both Iraq and Syria.
Oct 09, 2008 Evan rated it really liked it
Like most of the recent books about Iraq, this book covers familiar ground (Which is inevitable. The gross incompetence of the post-invasion CPA is too much to gloss over.). That said, it offers something that some of the other books I've read don't - "man on the street" interviews with real Iraqis who, in large part, feel like they're worse off because of the American invasion than they were under Saddam Hussein and endorse attacks on American soldiers. Things may have improved since 2006 when ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Chad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-this-thing
Perfect. Read this thing.
Ben Rand
Aug 07, 2011 Ben Rand rated it liked it
More documentation about how ineptly the occupation of Iraq was handled. Didn't like this as much as The End of Iraq. It's really hard to follow any timeline. The author frequently jumps anywhere between 2003-2006, which weren't necessarily equivalent in the short history of the occupation to that point, or even more confusingly, back to the 1991 Gulf War. For all that, you have to admire the author's willingness to get out and talk with ordinary Iraqis at enormous personal risk.
Aug 02, 2007 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: pretty much anyone
Excellent overview of the horrendous experience of Iraq and Iraqis since 2003. Mostly he wisely lets the facts -- and many, many tragic stories he's witnessed and heard about -- speak for themselves. I wouldn't say that his writing style is outstanding, but it's certainly crisp and clear, and the reportage is superb -- incredibly, dangerously thorough.
May 10, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Awesome and sincere account of an embedded journalist. This book offers a lot of insight into what went on post-invasion, and how Iraqis were dealing with life among armies and insurgents. Cockburn really uncovers all that was left behind the curtains of American media. The language in the book is also very easy to digest, making for an easy read.
Jan 27, 2008 Declan rated it really liked it
I had frequently read this author's reports from Iraq in the daily newspaper, the English Independent, and had admired his journalism. This guy really put his life on the line to try to deliver the truth about what was going on in Iraq from 2003 onwards. A really educating read.
Jan 15, 2008 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was educational. I didn't know much about the American occupation in Iraq but after reading this book, I feel even more strongly that we should not be in this war. The only gripe is all the names. I couldn't keep them all straight.
J Fay
Feb 18, 2008 J Fay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want to like this book, but it was well written and I don't think Cockburn was lying or exaggerating. For anyone who enjoys a good Bush-bashing this will probably be a 5 star publication.
Sep 01, 2007 Lindsey rated it liked it
Depressing and frustrating of course, but nothing particularly nuanced, except for the occasional discussions and analyses on sectarian relations over the past several decades
Jan 26, 2008 Charles rated it really liked it
a quick, short look at around the first two years of the US occupation of iraq. full of telling anecdotal stories and written in a simple, non-encumbered style.
David Tykulsker
We need information on Iraqis, but this way too hastily put together pastiche needs a good editor and something like narrative coherence.
Aug 29, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing
A perceptive and detailed volume of a British journalist's observations in Iraq from 2003-2006; even-handed and memorable.
May 11, 2009 Inprise marked it as to-read
I must have to read it.
Phil Demers
Feb 11, 2013 Phil Demers rated it it was amazing
Best stuff on the war.
May 02, 2009 Ingrida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the book is great!!! can not imagine a person-a foreigner, who could know Iraq and it's multiplicity better.
but the things you learn are frustrating...fucking stupid American Administration's decisions.
Mar 19, 2009 Paul rated it liked it
a journalist with the liberal British daily newspaper, The Independent. Patrick Cockburn wrote the book after spending several years in Iraq and composed most of his writings based on journal entries he was making since the invasion of Iraq by the United States. Cockburn has spent more than 20 years covering the Middle East and he had written two books about Saddam Hussein before the invasion of Iraq. Patrick Cockburn offers a very personal view of the war in Iraq and his book is very easy to re ...more
Elle rated it liked it
May 30, 2016
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Patrick Oliver Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent.

He has written four books on Iraq's recent history. He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006 and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009.
More about Patrick Cockburn...

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