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A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  344 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
One of our most respected and controversial liberal thinkers makes the case for war in Iraq. Written in his trademark contrarian voice, Untitled on Iraq is comprised of Hitchens' essays on the justification for war in Iraq and other related issues written for Slate.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and more, as well as 25% new material on the war
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 3rd 2003 by Plume (first published 2003)
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Don
May 24, 2009 Don rated it liked it
The 'pro-war Left' has been an interest of mine for the last year or two, and I finally got around to reading this collection of essays by Hitchens, who is probably the most famous pro-war Leftist in the Anglophone world.

This book is a defense of the war in Iraq written in the lead-up to the war and immediately after the ground invasion began. I did not read these when they were initially published, so it was a fun prism to look through and remember what I was thinking and doing a few years ago
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Zach Burton
Sep 30, 2007 Zach Burton rated it it was amazing
This is quite possibly the most eye-opening portrait of the build-up to, and ensuing criticism of the Iraq war. A truly intelligent and sound example of apologia.
Keith
Mar 24, 2014 Keith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American liberals
This pamphlet completely flipped my viewpoint of American military intervention in Iraq on its head. I am by no means conservative (neither is Hitchens) or pro-military/pro-state. However upon reading these hundred pages, largely focusing on the intolerable and inexcusable suffering of the murdered and dispossessed Kurdish Iraqis and their aggravated dictator Saddam Hussein, only an ethically daft, intellectually weak person could argue against American eradication of the Saddam regime.

Christop
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Ben
May 29, 2012 Ben rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly recommend this book to those interested in this controversial conflict. Hitchen's as always does a wonderful job of defending his views with reason, evidence, experience and increasingly uncommon these days eloquently. However in 2012 it is patently obvious that the politicians he ultimately convinced to launch this intervention did not have anywhere near as noble intentions as he did. There again as is demonstrated in elegant style in this collection of essays a lot of those oppose ...more
Nita
Aug 16, 2007 Nita rated it liked it
He makes it clear that he is documenting his reasoning before the results are in, which is a brave and honest move. The more people who commit their opinions unrevised, the more honest the historical analysis can be.

Hitch might just be arrogant enough to believe he couldn't possibly be wrong, and this was him making his early reservation to gloat, but I don't really believe that. I think the man has a high regard for critical thinking, and is brave enough to put his reputation on the line for th
...more
Yvonne
Aug 22, 2012 Yvonne added it
Accademic yet relevant
Yas
Feb 20, 2015 Yas rated it did not like it
Rubbish. I tried to be open-minded but this was the impression I got after reading it.

Hitchens justified this war on the ground it is both "retaliatory and preventive". It was neither. Saddam's regime was so weak (the author himself says so later!!) that such justification falls flat.

There is also a bit of conspiratorially thinking that the writer derides in his detractors like "the collusion between Milosevic/serbia, Saddam and North Korea regimes" that has no track in any reports or analysis a
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Mr.
Oct 07, 2008 Mr. rated it did not like it
This is an unbelievably terrible effort at polemicisism by a usually brilliant journalist. Hitchens was, and still is in favor of regime change in Iraq. He accepts the hard-line Neo-Conservative agenda of Wolfowitz and Cheney, and doesn't seem to have any problem with accepting each and every one of their lies.

-To begin, Hitchens has no problem with the knowledge that the US has supported Hussein throughout his worst atrocities, and somehow believes that the sudden desire to remove him is the p
...more
Maamar Huq
Aug 15, 2016 Maamar Huq rated it did not like it
Did he see the deliberate funding, arming, training and other forms of empowerment of Salafi-Jihadists and Kharijites, as exposed by various independent journalists and later by Wikileaks? What would he say of the Chilcot Inquiry?

A vile book. I understand Hitchens' sympathies for his Kurdish friends and I understand that Saddam was a "not so impressive" dictator. However, was this war worth it? Do people still believe that Iraq has been "liberated"? Hitchens whines about the Kurds, I wonder what
...more
Ben Bush
Reading this back-to-back with Zizek's Iraq book, I couldn't help but notice the repetition of a rhetorical strategy: a) Zizek: "The true utopia is that things can go on indefinitely as they are." Zizek refutes his critics who call him utopian by claiming that the true utopia is Fukuyama and the belief that liberal global capitalism can continue indefinitely. He uses it in various forms in different texts including his Iraq book and his speech at OWS, b) Hitchens describing the semi-independent ...more
James
Mar 07, 2012 James rated it really liked it
It's always been strange that Hitchens would stand with GW Bush on anything, but after reading this book it's clear that his reasons for AN Iraq War, as envisioned in 1991 as the final crushing blow, are not the stated reasons for the 2003- Iraq War. The case he makes in a series of articles is intelligent and thoughtful, and is not a contrarian viewpoint at all. Worth reading for a slice of history-as-it's-being-lived and for the perspective that there could have been a much better made case fo ...more
Tim
Aug 07, 2007 Tim rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: historians
I just have such a hard time believing the Hitch means any of this. If he is to be taken at his word, it is commendable that he is so steadfast in his support of his Kurdish friends. But what of all the other repressed people of the Earth? Do we roll their corrupt government as well? That's whats so confounding about Hitchens right now. Of course, I doubt he saw the incompetence of what would follow. An interesting look at some of the lesser celebrated altruistic reasons for invading Iraq.
Evan
Mar 28, 2015 Evan rated it really liked it
This book is a fascinating look into the 2003 thought of the left leaning Christopher Hitchen's support for the war and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. In a well argued piece, Hitch makes a decent, although not air tight, support for the regime change. Although it's easy to see now, 12 years after the publishing of the book where he was wrong, it's an excellent book overall, and a (long, in my case, as I was preoccupied with other thing) short read.
Justin
Jul 25, 2011 Justin rated it it was ok
Hitchens' profession of friendship with convicted swindler (and purveyor of Arizona beachfront property) Ahmed Chalabi does not reflect well on his reasoning for toppling Saddam Hussein at all costs. Rarely has a more agile mind been deployed in such an array of intellectual gymnastics to justify something that was so mind-numbingly stupid.
Sam
Jun 05, 2007 Sam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: johanna thomsen, my love
for johanna
Lee Scoresby
Sep 12, 2011 Lee Scoresby rated it really liked it
Hitchens supported using military force to topple Saddham Hussein. I don't agree with him, but I wouldn't want to get in a debate with him about it.
Craig
Apr 03, 2012 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's well written, but this book of essays is unhelpfullly short: good arguments aren't fleshed out enough to be really insightful and bad ones just hang there, desperately empty.
Konstantinos Sapardanis
Sep 10, 2013 Konstantinos Sapardanis rated it really liked it
If anybody is gonna make you ambivalent about the Iraq war, it's Christopher Hitchens
David
May 08, 2010 David rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, nonfiction
Well written, makes one think. Thinking maybe Bush I SHOULD have finished the job in 1991. I wish I could use obscure references like Hitchens.
stew
Jan 04, 2008 stew rated it it was ok
An annoyingly sound case made for altruism that makes little to no sense when cast in the reality it unfolded in.
Kevin Kosar
Apr 22, 2012 Kevin Kosar rated it it was ok
Hitchens wrote so smoothly---but in this short book he never seriously addressed...(read more)
Matthew Pike
Matthew Pike rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2013
Peter
Peter rated it liked it
May 09, 2010
Ahmed
Ahmed rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2017
Mark Coffey
Mark Coffey rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2009
Sean
Sean rated it it was ok
Mar 22, 2008
Mitch
Mitch rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2014
Dan Wascher
Dan Wascher rated it really liked it
May 08, 2014
Steven  Passmore
Steven Passmore rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2015
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Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. He was ...more
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“At the evident risk of seeming ridiculous, I want to begin by saying that I have tried for much of my life to write as if I was composing my sentences to be read posthumously. I hope this isn't too melodramatic or self-centred a way of saying that I attempt to write as if I did not care what reviewers said, what peers thought, or what prevailing opinions may be.” 12 likes
“Some say that because the United States was wrong before, it cannot possibly be right now, or has not the right to be right. (The British Empire sent a fleet to Africa and the Caribbean to maintain the slave trade while the very same empire later sent another fleet to enforce abolition. I would not have opposed the second policy because of my objections to the first; rather it seems to me that the second policy was morally necessitated by its predecessor.)” 5 likes
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