Best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and journalist Laila Al-Arian spent several months interviewing Iraqi war veterans to expose the patterns of the occupation and how it affects Iraqi civilians. The testimonies of these soldiers and marines provide a disturbing window into the indiscriminate killing of unarmed and innocent Iraqis that is carried out daily by the occupation forces.Collateral Damage is organized around key military operations on the battlefield - convoys, checkpoints, detentions, raids, suppressive fire, and "hearts and minds". Hedges and Al-Arian uncover how the very conduct of the war and occupation have turned the American forces into agents of terror for most Iraqis. The military convoys that speed through the centers of towns, often driving on the wrong side of the street or on sidewalks, have become trains of death. Soldiers fire upon Iraqi vehicles with impunity at checkpoints; pregnant women being rushed to the hospital have been killed at roadblocks when their husbands failed to slow down, and children have watched in horror as their parents have been killed.Hedges and Al-Arian show how this widespread pattern of civilian killing has fueled the insurgency in Iraq, giving rise to instability, sectarian violence, and total chaos.More
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Vivid and Relevant: one of the best war books...
Chris Hedges is a much-respected war journalist and deserves those merits. In terms of war-related writings, I would put this up there with "Shake Hands with the Devil" in terms of impact and clarity.
This book, unlike Shake Hands, is not a first-person narrative; it relies on interviews of those directly affected by the Iraq Occupation, from Iraqi civilians to American soldiers. This format is tremendously effective!
I've read several of Mr. Hedges' books, including "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning" (first-person narration) and "Death of the Liberal Class" (tremendous book with larger scope of topic). All amazing, but this book is the most vivid in my memory... powerful and "must-read" status for sure.
Great pace and clarity, perfect narrating performance.
Gripping and fluid narration, this would be easy to finish in one sitting.
All of Chris Hedges' books should be narrated and available on Audible (several already are, even "I Don't Believe in Atheists", which ironically I do not believe in, but interesting debate nonetheless). Not many people have managed to crack mainstream intellectual status and have/maintain some integrity.