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We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People

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by Peter Van Buren
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We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren

A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title

From a State Department insider, the first account of our blundering efforts to rebuild Iraq--a shocking and rollicking true-life tale of Americans abroad

Charged with rebuilding Iraq, would you spend taxpayer money on a sports mural in Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhood to promote reconciliation through art? How about an isolated milk factory that cannot get its milk to market? Or a pastry class training women to open caf?s on bombed-out streets without water or electricity?

According to Peter Van Buren, we bought all these projects and more in the most expensive hearts-and-minds campaign since the Marshall Plan. We Meant Well is his eyewitness account of the civilian side of the surge--that surreal and bollixed attempt to defeat terrorism and win over Iraqis by reconstructing the world we had just destroyed. Leading a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team on its quixotic mission, Van Buren details, with laser-like irony, his yearlong encounter with pointless projects, bureaucratic fumbling, overwhelmed soldiers, and oblivious administrators secluded in the world's largest embassy, who fail to realize that you can't rebuild a country without first picking up the trash.

Darkly funny while deadly serious, We Meant Well is a tragicomic voyage of ineptitude and corruption that leaves its writer--and readers--appalled and disillusioned but wiser.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 288
Size: 627 KB
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Date published:   2011
ISBN: 9781429995238 (DRM-EPUB)

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This product is listed in the following categories:

Nonfiction > Political Science > International Relations > Diplomacy
Nonfiction > History > Military > Iraq War (2003-)

This author has products in the following categories:

Fiction > Humorous
Nonfiction > Political Science > International Relations > Diplomacy
Nonfiction > History > Military > Iraq War (2003-)

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