Imperial Life in the Emerald City

  • Title: Imperial Life in the Emerald City
  • Author: Rajiv Chandrasekaran
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 423
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City Best Read || [Rajiv Chandrasekaran] - Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Imperial Life in the Emerald City An unprecedented account of life in Baghdad s Green Zone a walled off enclave of towering plants posh villas and sparkling swimming pools that was the headquarters for the American occupation of Ir
    Imperial Life in the Emerald City Best Read || [Rajiv Chandrasekaran] - Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Imperial Life in the Emerald City An unprecedented account of life in Baghdad s Green Zone a walled off enclave of towering plants posh villas and sparkling swimming pools that was the headquarters for the American occupation of Ir

    • Imperial Life in the Emerald City Best Read || [Rajiv Chandrasekaran]
      423Rajiv Chandrasekaran
    Imperial Life in the Emerald City

    About Rajiv Chandrasekaran


    1. Rajiv Chandrasekaran is an Indian American journalist He is currently assistant managing editor for continuous news at The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994 Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chandrasekaran holds a degree in political science from Stanford University, where he was editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.At The Post he has served as bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia, and as a correspondent covering the war in Afghanistan In 2004, he was journalist in residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


    647 Comments


    1. Baghdad s Green Zone is a world unto itself, with its own power supply, water, restaurants One need never leave, and many never do The author describes the separateness of the place but uses that as a base from which to foray out to related subjects Some of his examples are particularly poignant One enterprising fellow built a pizzeria just outside the compound, only to discover that the Americans all eat inside He talks much about the plague of outsourcing and how it resulted in oddities like s [...]

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    2. Alternate Titles for this book could have been 1 How not to rebuild a nation you just bombed the sh t out of2 How to F ck up everything you touch, the Neocon way3 Corruption, cronyism and good old fashioned incompetence on an unforeseen scale4 Southern Efficiency in the Middle East5 A Confederacy of Dunces6 Beavis and Butthead Do IraqYou get the message In other words, if 10% of what Chandasekaran writes is 10% true, then this was the greatest con job in the history of the American Republic Seri [...]

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    3. The short take bad organizational structure and writing that is really just mediocre journalistic prose.Although Chandrasekaran begins with a narrative I, he never really identifies himself, and then launches into details about things like relationships between State department members and Pentagon members back in Washington, making one wonder where the information is coming from There is little direct quotation, and his presentation and interpretation of events are so mixed that it s difficult [...]

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    4. A brilliant satire on the occupation of a Middle Eastern country.well it would be, if it weren t true This gives the reader a fairly shocking insight into the incompetency, arrogance and corruption involved in the Iraq occupation.The Coalition Provisional Authority sets up shop in one of Saddam s palaces and creates a little bubble of Americana called the Green Zone surrounded by a Baghdad teetering on and, subsequently, falling into an abyss The author, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, restrains himself f [...]

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    5. I knew the war was hatched by a fantasy driven cabal, but this book really laid it out in detail It s an interesting contrast to another book I recently read, titled Muqtada, by Patrick Cockburn Cockburn s book deals with the Iraq almost exclusively from the standpoint of anti U.S Iraqi Shias This book deals with the war almost exclusively from the standpoint of the U.S crew than ran Iraq up until the elections in 2005 Both compliment each other well The gist of the book is that as soon as the w [...]

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    6. This was a well researched and shocking look at the attempt to provide Iraq with a democratic, capitalistic government and way of life after its US invasion liberation That such a massive undertaking was began without a clear idea of the next step is a strange truth that is drilled home again and again Missteps, misguided actions, and good but not thoroughly thought through intentions make up most of this book, but the insights into day to day life in the green zone are no less compelling.Heavil [...]

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    7. Imperial Life in the Emerald City Inside Iraq s Green Zone is the compelling story about the U.S occupation in Iraq and the culture of inexperience, arrogance, and cronyism within the U.S Green Zone My previous impression of the Iraq war was that U.S officials were well meaning but sometimes misguided and the U.S media portrayed a sugar coated view rather than the reality of life on the ground Listening to this audiobook, I felt shocked by just how much worse the situation had been than I d prev [...]

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    8. I read this during Spring Break A very informative book It is kind of depressing to see how the U.S Government has allowed private contractors carte blanche as well as establishing a bureacracy in the middle of the war zone in Iraq that would compare with any on Capitol Hill It made this die hard Conservative wonder about the effectiveness of our involvement in Iraq.

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    9. A review of the book when it first came out a few years back Rajiv Chandrasekaran is with the Washington Post he has spent time in both Afghanistan and Iraq since the American missions in both places His experiences in Iraq as well as his interviews with those in Iraq during the time of the CPA Coalition Provisional Authority, under the control of Paul Bremer and the precursor organization under Jay Garner provide important bases for this work The picture is not pretty, and ties in with argument [...]

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    10. Rajiv Chandrasekaran s book is journalism at its best, and the loss will be irreparable if newspaper journalists fade into extinction The Emerald City is an image reminiscent of the Raj Americans relaxing around a swimming pool, in a 7 square mile enclave, enjoying drinks, eating American food, relaxing in clean clothing in the middle of Baghdad The segregation from the real Iraq was genuine the relaxed lifestyle an illusion The occupation of Iraq brought a flood of ill prepared, idealistic visi [...]

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    11. Rajiv Chandrasekaran brings depth to the story behind the headlines He has certainly taken a large body of knowledge and distilled it for easy consumption.Now I know why stories of reconstruction were so fuzzy and few Tommy Thompson Secy of Health and Human Services provides a photo op for a new hospital opened in the Green Zone but not presented as such Now I know how Casey son of Cindy Sheehan and 7 others died Bremer closed Moqtada al Sadr s paper without alerting the US patrols of that area [...]

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    12. Imperial Life In The Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a journalistic recounting of the disastrous American attempts to rebuild Iraq as a mini America in the aftermath of the second Gulf War I am British and have read numerous historical accounts of our monumental Empire building cock ups, however it would have been nice to believe that such heavy handed imperialism was a thing of the past Chandrasekaran s book shows that it certainly isn t and I spent much of the first half in a state of [...]

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    13. This book was well done however, a lot of focus was on the negative MSM tends to already be trying to drag down what is going on there Not saying it s all rosy, but as a retired Military person, I know exactly what the cost is in combat and occupation force, and really would like to see someone not use this war and that s what it is for political badgering because you don t like how the administration is doing things, so much as an opportunity to observe and report and let smart people decide wh [...]

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    14. I started reading on a Friday night and could not put it down until on reaching page 274 I simply couldn t keep my eyes open.This is a shocking, damning picture of the idealogically driven attempts of the Coalition Provisional Authority to rebuild Iraq after the fall of Sadaam Hussein The utter naivity of some at the highest levels is sad, but unforgivably there is also deliberate refusal to engage with the country s actual situation in lieu of creating a utopian America of the Middle East Chand [...]

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    15. A brief history of catastrophe I m glad that this long national nightmare is coming to a close, although what remains of America s imperial ambitions is yet to be seen.

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    16. Given the historical context of American intervention into foreign government, and their foreign policy achievements, the invasion of Iraq appeared very much to be the latest attempt by the U.S empire to extend itself and its considerable resources into a country that didn t need the clumsiness of Americans, but ought to have had the autonomy to rebuild itself Chandrasekaran s writing is compelling and restrained, although with such a vast cast of characters, sometimes his ability to steam ahead [...]

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    17. We set out to build Iraq with minimal, if any, preparation We contracted many people who had little to no experience in post conflict rebuilding and some with no qualifications for the project they were hired to run We largely ignored the Iraqi population We didn t listen to contrary opinion What could possibly go wrong The result is a Catch 22 like atmosphere without the laughs It would be hilarious if it was a novel but unfortunately it s non fiction Some may read it as a political jab at the [...]

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    18. Imperial Life In The Emerald City Inside Iraq s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a fantastic look into the failures of nation building by bereaucrats and politicians who tried to bring only American ideas and policies to Iraq, without taking into account what the citizens of Iraq might want The book shows in clear detail what not to do, not to try, and not to enforce upon a people with their own culture and customs However not everything done was a bad idea, some things were widely benefici [...]

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    19. Everyone knows the American occupation of Iraq has been anything but a success, but if you really want to know how and why it spiraled into a free fall, read Imperial Life in the Emerald City It s an enraging document of spectacular failure about how, during the first year of the occupation, virtually every effort to restore food rationing, medical care, electricity, factory production, traffic law, the university system, the police force, the Iraqi news media, and the writing of a new constitut [...]

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    20. Hey, I ve got an idea We ve got a big project An important one Actually, an impossible one But we re Americans, and we ve done some great things in the past Let s grab our friends and head out No need to hire selectively and look for highly qualified people There are 300 million people in this country, but our friends are probably as good as it gets, so we ll use them No need to train them Now that they re over there, let s make sure that they can t possibly get their hands on the resources they [...]

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    21. This is primarily a collection of anecdotes of the tenure of the Coalition Provisional Authority under Bremer in Iraq, and to a lesser extent the shorter tenure of Jay Garner preceding the CPA The purpose of the book is to illustrate how badly the U.S screwed up the occupation of Iraq While a few of the anecdotes don t strike me as being nearly as negative as the author colors them, on balance this book basically makes one ill, just by emphasizing how badly we were served by our government The l [...]

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    22. Never in all of the years of reading have I been as outraged as I was while reading this book The matter of fact recitation of the never ending list of inept post Iraq war decisions, incompetent staffing, corrupt contractors waste of now sorely needed tax dollars caused me fits of apoplexy.Beyond defeating Saddam there were few other identifiable victories during the period covered by the book Post war planning occurred organically, as messes developed strategies were eventually devised to count [...]

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    23. Written by the former Baghdad bureau chief of the Washington Post, this book is simply what he saw in Iraq between the end of combat in 2003 and Paul Bremer s ignominious departure in 2004 Mostly what he sees is the complete mismanagement of basic postwar planning the first raised, then dashed, hopes of Iraqis who have already suffered through the destructive rule of Saddam Hussein and the arrogant approach of American political appointees, institutions and companies that are intent on transform [...]

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    24. Although not a supporter of the US administration that entered Iraq under the pretense of finding and destroying WMDs that never existed, this author expresses an unabashed bias against the administration and virtually everything the team in Iraq, and Washington, did during the days immediately following the invasion and the chaos that ensued.At times the author was contradictory Criticizing in earlier chapters that some things moved too quickly, the author would, in later chapters, criticize th [...]

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    25. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, assistant managing editor of the Washington Post and its former Baghdad bureau chief, knows the landscape in Iraq as well as anyone, having spent two years in country as a reporter His careful, evenhanded reportage amplifies the seriousness of the problems that America still faces in Iraq As Adam Dunn points out, the Iraqis don t fare much better than their occupiers under Chandrasekaran s judicious gaze The book covers ground similar to that of Larry Diamond s Squandered V [...]

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    26. An outstanding, and darkly comic, inside look at America s false hope and ill intentions toward rebuilding Iraq As someone who came of age during the run up to the Iraq invasion and subsequent years, this book took me back to 2003 and 2004 as the Coalition Provisional Authority CPA set out to remake Iraq in Bush s vision of America This book delves deep into the CPA s Green Zone and explores the horrible irony of setting up shop in Saddam s former palace grounds with all the trappings of moderni [...]

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    27. who needs satire when you have the coalition provisional authority

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    28. without a doubt, fred flinstone would have done a better job in iraq that paul bremer

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    29. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the author and narrator of Life in the Emerald City, describes his experience in the Green Zone of American occupied Baghdad, Iraq The Green Zone was originally used for the Ba ath Party s administrative headquarters lead by Saddam Hussein However, after the Americans invaded, it was used as the headquarters for the American military Jay Garner, the head of the Office of Reconstruction for Humanitarian Assistance ORHA , was transferred to Baghdad to set up his headquarters [...]

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