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This book uses the Coalition Provisional Authority's Green Zone Headquarters in Baghdad to detail "the incompetence and arrogance that bedevilled the [American government's]effort to reconstruct and govern Iraq in the crucial first year after the fall of Saddam Hussein's government." Chandasekaran's sources included former CPA employees who had returned to the U.S. after sovereignty was re-established in Iraq.
Powell draws from all over the Islamic world for this story. It profiles the family of Mohammed Shakr, whose son is edging toward fundamentalism and jihad. Powell takes a look at the "civil war" that has raged within Islam for years, intesifying since 9/11. Powell finds that "the number of Muslims expounding radical beliefs is clearly growing; the global war on terrorism has fueled perceptions that Islam is under attack; and America's war in Iraq has made it more difficult for patient voices inside Islamic states to be heard."
Bingham spent ten months in Baghdad, interviewing fifteen active members in the resistance against US and coalition forces in Iraq. She finds the reasons that motivate these people to fight back -- "they're people fighting for their country and their faith. And they will not relinquish that fight until they view themselves as independent of external control."