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Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim Worldby Nir Rosen
Synopses & Reviews
Nir Rosen’s Aftermath, an extraordinary feat of reporting, follows the contagious spread of radicalism and sectarian violence that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ensuing civil war have unleashed in the Muslim world.
Rosen—who the Weekly Standard once bitterly complained has “great access to the Baathists and jihadists who make up the Iraqi insurgency”— has spent nearly a decade among warriors and militants who have been challenging American power in the Muslim world. In Aftermath, he tells their story, showing the other side of the U.S. war on terror, traveling from the battle-scarred streets of Baghdad to the alleys, villages, refugee camps, mosques, and killing grounds of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and finally Afghanistan, where Rosen has a terrifying encounter with the Taliban as their “guest,” and witnesses the new Obama surge fizzling in southern Afghanistan.
Rosen was one of the few Westerners to venture inside the mosques of Baghdad to witness the first stirrings of sectarian hatred in the months after the U.S. invasion. He shows how weapons, tactics, and sectarian ideas from the civil war in Iraq penetrated neighboring countries and threatened their stability, especially Lebanon and Jordan, where new jihadist groups mushroomed. Moreover, he shows that the spread of violence at the street level is often the consequence of specific policies hatched in Washington, D.C. Rosen offers a seminal and provocative account of the surge, told from the perspective of U.S. troops on the ground, the Iraqi security forces, Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents that were both allies and adversaries. He also tells the story of what happened to these militias once they outlived their usefulness to the Americans.
Aftermath is both a unique personal history and an unsparing account of what America has wrought in Iraq and the region. The result is a hair- raising, 360-degree view of the modern battlefield its consequent humanitarian catastrophe, and the reality of counterinsurgency.
"Journalist Rosen (In the Belly of the Green Bird) distills seven years of reporting on the Middle East into a scathing study of U.S. policy in the region--with a focus on the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. Rosen argues that the 'brutal' occupation inflicted daily violence and humiliation on civilians, 'divided Iraqis against one another,' catalyzed a devastating civil war, and reinvigorated regional sectarianism. While he acknowledges that the insurgency has been defeated, Rosen fears that 'a new phase of violence and factional fighting would likely begin' after an American withdrawal. The author charges that the Bush administration inflated a 'war against two hundred unsophisticated extremists' into a global war on terror and that ' McChrystal and the military... wanted billions of dollars and a war without end so they could experiment with COIN .' Rosen has traveled throughout the region, often off the beaten path, and interviewed hundreds of ordinary people; the result is a provocative indictment of American policy and policy makers. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
As Iraq falls apart and the war spreads throughout the region, an award-winning journalist shows how the crisis will permanently reshape the Middle East.
As Iraq confronts a bleak and uncertain future and instability spreads throughout the region, an award winning journalist describes the new shape of the Middle East
Aftermath examines the centrifugal forces that the invasion of Iraq and the ensuing civil war have unleashed in the Middle East. Challenging all preceding narratives of the conflict, from the left and the right, acclaimed journalist Nir Rosen, thanks to his unprecedented access to the belligerents—including terrifying encounters with jihadists and hair-raising experiences with the US military—provides a vivid x-ray of the American military and its opponents in the Middle East.
Now that the Western media has moved on from Iraq, Rosen doggedly follows the contagious spread of the conflict throughout the region, traveling with the refugees displaced by the violence, and witnesses the radicalization of the Sunnis of Egypt, Jordan, and elsewhere. Aftermath is an unsparing account of what America has wrought in Iraq and the region.
Aftermath examines the centrifugal forces that the invasion of Iraq and the ensuing civil war have unleashed in the Middle East. Through vivid reportage, Nir Rosen brings the reader onto the streets of the region, into the mosques, and within the alleys where militiamen hide, following the contagious spread of the conflict throughout the region. He travels with the refugees displaced by sectarian violence and witnesses first hand the radicalization of the Sunnis in Egypt, Jordan, and elsewhere, mingling with the terrifying new militias that have emerged.
But unlike many Western commentators who see these dynamics as part of the eternal picture of the Middle East, Rosen argues that the U.S. occupation produced the sectarian fissures that now bedevil the region. He argues that Iraqis are merely adapting to Americas view of the region as a collection of sects.
Aftermath combines vivid and courageous frontline reporting, taking the reader to places that very few Western journalists dare tread, with a bold and innovative analytical framework to understand the volatile and violent events that are destined to mark the Middle East for years to come.
About the Author
Nir Rosen is the author of In the Belly of the Green Bird and has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Harpers, The Atlantic, Time, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and Rolling Stone. A fellow at the NYU Center on Law and Security, he lives in Beirut and New York City.
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