We Meant Well

How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People
Product Number: EB00095034
Released: Oct 28, 2013
Business Term: 52 Circ / 730 Day
ISBN: #9781429995238
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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Description

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 cafEs 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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Author(s): Peter Van Buren
Original Publish Date: Sep 27, 2011

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