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Drinking the Kool-Aid

Was the Iraq adventure doomed to fail or did the US administration mess it up? A new crop of books suggests that the nation-builders of Iraq were fighting the right war in theory but not in practice

By Mark Leonard   February 2006

The Iraq war started as a war of ideas. It erupted from the most divisive clash of ideology since the end of the cold war. Every facet of the case for war became a site of conflict. And now that the war is over, the battle to interpret its legacy is every bit as fraught. After the polemics arguing for or against invasion, and the “fly on the wall” accounts of the run-up to war, a third generation of books asks a simple question: was Iraq doomed to fail or did George Bush mess it up?

As the casualties mount…

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