Synopses & Reviews
Best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and journalist Laila Al-Arian spent the past year interviewing over fifty veterans to expose the patterns of the occupation in Iraq. The testimonies of these soldiers--many of who remain deeply traumatized by their experiences--uncover how the very conduct of the war and occupation have turned the American forces into agents of terror for most Iraqis.
Collateral Damage is organized around key military operations--Convoys, Checkpoints, Detentions, Raids, Suppressive Fire, and Hearts and Minds. Military convoys traveling at tremendous speeds through towns have become trains of death. Civilians are routinely run over or shot to death. Soldiers fire upon Iraqi vehicles with impunity at checkpoints. Late-night detentions based on shoddy intelligence terrify women, traumatize children, and radicalize the young men caught in their dragnet.
These soldiers have found the moral courage to speak out about the true nature of a war that has become one long, unchecked atrocity, and has given rise to the instability, sectarian violence and chaos that we witness today in Iraq.
brings together testimony from the largest number of on the record, named, combat veterans who reveal the disturbing, daily reality of war and occupation in Iraq.
Through their eyes, we learn how the mechanics of war lead to the abuse and frequent killing of innocents. They describe convoys of vehicles roaring down roads, smashing into cars, and hitting Iraqi civilians. They detail raids that leave families shot dead in the mayhem. And they describe a battlefield in which troops, untrained to distinguish between combatants and civilians, are authorized to shoot whenever they feel threatened.
About the Author
is a Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist. He spent nearly two decades as a correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times
. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion
; Death of the Liberal Class
; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning
; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
, which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Laila Al-Arian has written for The Nation, United Press International, and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. She lives in Washington, D.C.