Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

America's War Against Iraqi Civilians

Book - 2008
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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.

Publisher: New York : Nation Books, 2008.
ISBN: 9781568583730
Branch Call Number: 956. 70443 HED
Characteristics: xxxvii, 122 p. : ports.
Additional Contributors: Al-Arian, Laila


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IndyPL_JamesM Sep 06, 2019

Though I initially read this book (besides the fact that I am a huge fan of all of Chris Hedges’ writings) to gain some historical perspective on the Iraq War; the issues and anecdotes are just as relevant today as they were at the height of the War. This is not the usual rehashing of the grisly scenes of atrocities and the madness and confusion of war. It is a focused look at those who suffer most during all wars – the civilians. What this is also NOT is an anti-soldier or even an anti-war book. It discusses the confusions, fears and frustration U.S. soldiers experienced being sent into a foreign country with little support or guidance about the culture and social dynamics they would be dealing with. Inevitably, this would lead to hostilities and atrocities against the only people these soldiers could take their frustrations out on – the Iraqi civilians. They were sent half way around the world believing they would be doing something good and noble and just. It did not take long for the realization to set in that the only true mission was survival at any cost, as underscored by the phrase, “better to be judged by twelve men than carried by six."

Oct 04, 2015

Released in 2008, and probably long forgotten by Cdns, is a book where Hedges and Al-Arian interview 50 soldiers, where they tell stories you will never hear on the 6 O'clock news. You will walk in the shoes of Iraqi civilians and experience all the wonder and good work we have done (militarily) in the middle east since 2003. Maybe read this book AFTER the Oct 19th election.

redban Aug 28, 2014

Easily one of the best war books I have read. Enthralling, and so concise. The format of the book is first-hand interviews with various citizens and soldiers affected by the occupation of Iraq.

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