Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan
By Deepak Tripathi (Potomac, $24.95)
A former BBC correspondent (he opened the network’s Kabul office in the early 1990s), Tripathi has a sound grounding in the politics and myriad cultures that make up the Middle East, not to mention a stellar reputation as a fair-minded journalist. This book, though, is not for the conservative, Bush-ie camp (the title may have given that away already). It takes a thoughtful look at the legacy of two increasingly unpopular wars, focusing especially on the human toll. His thesis, which is arguable — and many will argue — is that the cost in terms of human lives lost and the enmity the aggression has sowed in the region will reverberate for generations to come, and perhaps could have been avoided if different choices were made. Whatever your leanings on this subject, one of Tripathi’s statements that seems irrefutable is that these wars will forever be linked with the name of our 43rd president, George W. Bush. For better or worse.
By Christopher Schoppa | March 17