Pdf The Forever War Autor Dexter Filkins – Paydayloansnsi.co.uk
only the dead have seen the end of warThe Forever War is a treasure A reader could find most of what is worth saying about the What, Why and Wherefore of America s engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq.Dexter Filkins spent 3 and a half years in Iraq, from the beginning of the invasion to the sad state of civil war and the collapse of that society resulting from that conflict and was essentially fearless in going where he needed to go and talking to whom he know needed to be interviewed, plus a tern as Embedded Journalist during the Marines storming of Fallujah He knew The Story was evolving and he pursued it.He was in Afghanistan before the invasion working there for the Los Angeles Times when the Taliban where in control and OBL and the Arabs where training for Jihad Returned when the reaction to 9 11 launched the Allied invasion and stated until moved by the New York Times to Iraq He never seemed to have lost the journalist quest for finding all components of The Story that is the beauty of this book.The Bad Guys are to him Insurgents but as he notes Insurgent is a necessary but imprecise term and its meaning was in a state of flux as time passed.Returning home and having the time and support to write this book he notes that he had to greatly simplify his response to the question What was it like over there , because eyes would began to glaze over Do we really want to know For those who do this summary is a must. National BestsellerOne Of The Best Books Of The Year New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, And TimeAn Instant Classic Of War Reporting, The Forever War Is The Definitive Account Of America S Conflict With Islamic Fundamentalism And A Searing Exploration Of Its Human Costs Through The Eyes Of Filkins, A Foreign Correspondent For The New York Times, We Witness The Rise Of The Taliban In The S, The Aftermath Of The Attack On New York On September Th, And The American Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq Filkins Is The Only American Journalist To Have Reported On All These Events, And His Experiences Are Conveyed In A Riveting Narrative Filled With Unforgettable Characters And Astonishing ScenesBrilliant And Fearless, The Forever War Is Not Just About America S Wars After , But About The Nature Of War Itself A must read for everyone interested in the Iraq war Filkins personal experiences add much depth to the story I highly recommend it I was mesmerized by this book I was horrified by this book Dexter Filkins ground level accounts of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq bring a visceral immediacy to what is going on over there The book does not task the reasons we are there It examines the impact this chaos and slaughter has on the lives of the people who still live there and the U.S soldiers prosecuting this fiasco.The Shia and the Sunni factions of Islam have fallen on each other like rabid dogs They don t just seek to murder each other That would be far too prosaic They prefer new forms of torture the electric drill being one of their favorites As the author says in one of his quotes, It s in their DNA And into this hell are injected American forces to help promote democracy a democracy that will transform this region into a fourth century caliph.The neocons that got us into this war are not stupid There is veniality in their thinking and an absence of reality It is great theory I have read most of their works It is hard to imagine that thinkers like Francis Fukuyama did not grasp how horrific the enterprise he was promoting would become As a country we became victims of our own arrogance We got caught in the riptide of history at a time when our political leadership was both villainous and vain And into that mix there was this ideology, this doctrine that did not want to deal with facts but which had the clarity of a prophecy It folded in so nicely with the rapture and the end of times It worked as the final struggle between good and evil In so many ways those who produced this hell are no different than their counterparts in Taliban.A new culture has been imposed on us We have broken our sword because the only blow we could strike was against the ancient rock of hatred Our soldiers are randomly mutilated by suicide bombers and road side bombs This book brings to mind something Tim Welsh told me about his experience in Viet Nam When you have to build a 360 degree perimeter you have lost the war.The following is part of a review from the New Times Book ReivewNow, in the tradition of Dispatches, with the publication of Dexter Filkins s stunning book, The Forever War, it seems the journals of the brave correspondents assigned to the Middle East will take their place as the pre eminent record of America s late imperial adventures, the heart of these heartless exercises in disaster, maybe some consolation to those maimed and bereaved in them.It is not facetious to speak of work like that of Dexter Filkins as defining the culture of a war The contrast of his eloquence and humanity with the shameless snake oil salesmanship employed by the American government to get the thing started serves us well You might call the work of enlightening and guiding a deliberately misguided public during its time of need a cultural necessity The work Filkins accomplishes in The Forever War is one of the most effective antitoxins that the writing profession has produced to counter the administration s fascinating contemporary public relations tactic The political leadership s method has been the dissemination of facts reversed 180 degrees toward the quadrant of lies, hitherto a magic bullet in their never ending crusade to accomplish everything from stealing elections to starting ideological wars Filkins uses the truth as observed firsthand to detail an arid, hopeless policy in an unpromising part of the world His writing is one of the scant good things to come out of the war.The old adage holds that every army fights the previous war, learning nothing and forgetting nothing, as someone said of the restored Bourbon dynasty in France The United States military did learn one strategy for preventing the public relations disasters of Vietnam, and this was the embedding of correspondents with military units engaged Michael Herr in Vietnam could not have been alienated from the United States government s P.R handouts, but his sharing the fortunes of American troops made his compassion, sometimes his plain love, for them available to thoughtful Americans It s hard to imagine that Donald Rumsfeld s politically intimidated brass had Dispatches in mind when they decided to embed correspondents with American units, but it started out as an effective policy One of the memorable bites of the early days of the Iraq invasion was the exultant embedded correspondent citing Churchill on camera There s nothing exhilarating than being shot at and missed A far cry indeed from being shot at and hit.All that worked for a while Filkins opens The Forever War with a prologue describing the attack on the Sunni fortress of Falluja by the First Battalion, Eighth Marines Embedded and how with Bravo Company, Filkins shares the deadly risks of street fighting in a hostile city in which the company, commanded by an outstanding officer, takes its objective and also a harrowing number of casu alties The description makes us understand quite vividly how we didn t want to be there and also makes ever so comprehensible the decision by George W Bush and Dick Cheney to give our last excursion into Asia a pass Bring em on said the president famously about this one Filkins had been covering the Muslim world for years before the invasion of Iraq, and his book proper opens with a scene beyond the grimmest fiction, a display of Shariah religious justice staged in a soccer stadium in Kabul during the late 90s Miscreants are variously mutilated and killed before a traumatized audience that includes a hysterical crowd of starveling war orphans whose brutalized, maimed futures in an endlessly war ravaged country can be imagined.For the reviewer perhaps for the selfish reason that it takes place closer to home the most dreadfully memorable witness that Filkins bears takes place not half a world away but in Lower Manhattan on Sept 11 Filkins is making his way past Battery Park My eyes went to a gray green thing spread across the puddles and rocks Elongated, unrolled, sitting there, unnoticed An intestine It kind of jumped out at me, presented itself It s amazing how the eyes do that, go right to the human flesh, spot it amid the heaviest camouflage of rubble and dirt and glass In Tel Aviv, Filkins recalls, he watched Orthodox Jewish volunteers seeking out the same sort of item in the aftermath of a suicide bomb.Filkins takes shelter from the cool night in the Brooks Brothers store in One Liberty Plaza Later that night, he writes, I was awoken many times, usually by the police Once when I came to, a group of police officers were trying on cashmere topcoats and turning as they looked in the mirror There was lots of laughter Nice, one of them said, looking at his reflection, big smile on his face Look at that Dexter Filkins, one of The New York Times s most talented reporters, employs a fine journalistic restraint, by which I mean he does not force irony or paradox but leaves that process to the reader Nor does he speculate on what he does not see These are worthy attributes, and whether their roots are in journalistic discipline or not they serve this unforgettable narrative superbly.Someone, Chesterton it may have been, identified the sense of paradox with spirituality Though Filkins does not rejoice in paradoxes, he never seems to miss one either, and the result is a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war s history He entitles his section on Manhattan Third World, and he leaves us feeling that the history he has set down here will not necessarily feature in our distant cultural recollections but may rather be history the thing itself come for us at last. With the recent mess in Syria I decided it was finally time for me to become informed about the Middle East It is something I have wanted to do for a long time I have felt embarrassed for a long time about my lack of understanding of the region, the cultures, the history, and the meaning of current events I have sort of a compulsive brain so whenever I decide to study anything I generally try to adopt a systematic plan begin with broad introductions that are balanced then dive into interesting details and explore partisan viewpoints But I decided with the Middle East to just go with my gut and start with whatever book seemed most appealing to me at the moment so I decided to begin with Dexter Filkins s book on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.After the first couple of chapters I was worried that I had made a mistake I could tell that Dexter Filkins was a good writer, and the narrative was going to be interesting, but it became quickly apparent that the book was going to be made up of a series of vignettes, and I was afraid that I would not get enough of the context to understand what the vignettes meant As I went along, however, I eventually decided this was an excellent place to start precisely because Filkins does such an excellent job portraying the complexities of what actually happened on the ground.I will just give one example One of the stories he tells is about a doctor in a hospital in Iraq after the invasion At the time of his visit the hospital was without power due to the war and a lot of babies were not surviving because of it Filkins was talking to the doctor about it and the doctor was explaining how these power outtages did not happen under Saddam Filkins wondered how many babies were dying and the doctor explained that they did not have good records any because without the discipline instilled by Saddam s regime the hospital staff was not bothering to do their job But then Filkins asked the doctor if he thought it would have been better to leave Saddam in power and the doctor said no, things were bad under Saddam, and they would eventually get better now that he was gone.What was interesting to me about this story was that it did not fall neatly into any of the standard ideological positions on the war in the United States It does not fall easily into the pro war narrative of the US as liberators spreading democracy but it also does not fall easily into the anti war narrative of the US as a colonial power that should have left well enough alone It would be very hard for either side to use this story in their propaganda I am convinced that the world is too complex and multi dimensional to fit into the two dimensional narratives we try to foist upon it and I think Filkins s book does an excellent job of portraying the complexity without filtering it through a simplistic ideological lens.For that reason and also because it was just a really absorbing narrative, Filkins knows how to spin a good yarn, and there are many genuinely moving and heart breaking stories in this book I wound up feeling like this was actually an ideal place to begin my studies of a very complex region I might even return to it, and read it again, once I do have of the context just because it was such a good read. into maybe the world s greatest chaos of our time A tour de force of competent journalism and at the same time a monument for all those people to suffer behind the abstract news in the papers, on the web and on tv. has managed to create a wonderfully nuanced and raw look at the way it FEELS to live in the Middle Eastern societies we usually just pity or bomb or both.