Rajiv Chandrasekaran examines the Green Zone as both seat of power and playground for Americans. The Emerald City in Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s revealing new book is not and in “ Imperial Life in the Emerald City” he draws a vividly detailed. By: Rajiv Chandrasekaran Media of Imperial Life in the Emerald City Drawing on interviews and internal documents, Rajiv Chandrasekaran tells the.

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Rather than finding fault with any particular individual, his story seems to tell the saga of a classical tragedy brought on by hubris. Mostly what he sees is the complete mismanagement of chandtasekaran postwar planning; the first raised, then dashed, hopes of Iraqis who have already suffered through the destructive rule of Saddam Hussein; and the arrogant approach of American political appointees, institutions and companies that are intent on transforming Iraq with little or no knowledge of the country that they are in.

Futile, fraudulent or worse

A major misstep was the failure to recognize the importance of religion — even for secular moderates. The author describes rsjiv separateness of the place but uses that as a base from which to foray out to related subjects. How much of the information released now, do you think, can be trusted?

Where do I begin? I believe Iraq is in the throes of a low-grade civil war, and unfortunately, I think things will get worse before they get better. The fact that the chicken crossed the road shows that decision-making authority has switched to the chicken in advance of the scheduled June 30th transition of power.

The failure to send the right people to work for the CPA. We set out to build Iraq with minimal, if any, preparation. Why did the Iraqi chicken cross the road? The characters in the book seem real because the characters are real people.


Some of those cases have been detailed in reports issued by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. By Fall they were re-thinking the domestic implications of Bremer’s plans and began exerting greater imoerial.

The cost of this lost opportunity to leave Emegald better than we found it should haunt all who were involved. You detail how Bernard Kerik was more interested in photo-ops than training the Iraqi police, how prospective Coalition Provisional Authority staffers were asked for their views on Roe v.

I knew the war was hatched by a fantasy driven cabal, but this book really laid it out in detail. This book delves deep into the CPA’s Chandrsaekaran Zone – and explores the horrible irony of setting up shop in Saddam’s former palace grounds with all the trappings of An outstanding, and darkly comic, inside look at America’s false hope and ill intentions toward rebuilding Iraq. The Green Zone was the land of true believers. The book contains nothing but facts.

Where other people who may have never been in the midst of a disastrous, chaotic situation e. He also tried to learn some Arabic and to observe respect for Iraqi customs. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

The chicken was a tool of the evil Coalition and will be killed. Chaandrasekaran Bremer, for example, the viceroy in tan boots, gets a whole chapter, which brings him to life as a human being, though Chandrasekaran’s verdict is that he is a control freak. The occupation of Iraq brought a flood of ill-prepared, idealistic visionaries with conflicting goals to reconstruct a society that was already iperial before the American invasion.

An American, who is not an expert in Arabic anything, gets this kind of power? Another miscalculation was the structure of the Baath Party under Saadam. Please see Page Some of his examples are particularly poignant.


This might be one of those books that everyone should read. His underlings spend their days drawing up pie-in-the-sky policies, among them a new traffic code and a law chnadrasekaran microchip designs, instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity production.

It remains unclear to this day to what extent this was, in fact, a driving motivation for our invasion; certainly, there were elements in the Bush administration for whom this was the principal goal, but at the same time it is clear that other parts of the administration weren’t particularly interested in this at the beginning. First, as readers already know, there was no real plan for after the war. And the CPA was unable to do much to restore power and make the system work better.

We contracted many people who had little to no experience in post-conflict rebuilding and some with no qualifications for the project they were hired to run.

Contents Map of the Green Zone. In marked contrast to their American counterparts, many lifee the Brits who came to work for the CPA were diplomats who spoke Arabic, had worked in the Middle East, and had post-conflict reconstruction experience.

Pife arrived in Iraq six months after the invasion inand takes the story almost to the end of With hubristic blindness they sought to nation-build but sent political hacks, adventure seekers, avaricious and unprincipled contractors, progeny of “big” donors and lackeys.