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State of Denial

de Bob Woodward

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Bush at War (3)

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1,742237,910 (3.8)28
A secret Pentagon assessment sent to the White House in May 2006 forecasted a more violent 2007 in Iraq, contradicting the repeated optimistic statements of President Bush. This book examines how the Bush administration avoided telling the truth about Iraq to the public, to Congress, and often to themselves. In this detailed inside story of a war-torn White House, Woodward answers the core questions: What happened after the invasion of Iraq? Why? How does Bush make decisions and manage a war that he chose to define his presidency? And is there an achievable plan for victory?--From publisher description.… (més)
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» Mira també 28 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 22 (següent | mostra-les totes)
bush and rumsfeld were (even) worse than you imagined ( )
  burningdervish | Nov 29, 2016 |
Woodward's third book on President Bush II. The narrative begins from the first days George W. voiced his inclination to run -- even though no other candidate in history had less actual service or experience. The book runs through the series of "wars" -- documenting the empty suit appointments and war profiteering -- and the political struggles on the home front. A fair and full account of the road Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the GOP walked, while forcing America into a deep hole. How this administration converted world alliances and good wishes into hostilities and shame.

Bush: "I know that some of my decisions have led to terrible loss..." [435]

Bush and Cheney "declined to be interviewed for this book", but material was drawn from public and past interviews. Woodward interviewed Bush's national security team, their deputies and key players in the administration responsible for the military, diplomacy, and intelligence on the Iraq War. [493]

The details damn the Bush administration but leave it to citizens to arrive at our own conclusions. The stark incompetence is damning. The relentless lying to the American people, and to the Iraqis and the world, is unforgiveable.

"With all Bush's upbeat talk and optimism, he had not told the American public the truth about what Iraq had become." [491] ( )
1 vota keylawk | Sep 4, 2013 |
State of Denial is the third in a series of books by reporter Bob Woodward about President George W. Bush and his handling of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. I have not read the others and did not have any particular interest in doing so. State of Denial focuses on the period that led up to Iraq until just before the surge. That's what I wanted to know more about and Woodward certainly delivers.

The book follows the distinct narrative style Woodward is known for. There's a lot of information packed in, but the clearest star of the story is Donald Rumsfeld. The book certainly doesn't portray him in a positive light. Unimaginative, arrogant, and fussy are the best words to describe this portrait of the former Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld enters Washington with a plan to streamline the military without their cooperation. I say without not because they refused, but because Rumsfeld did everything he could to ensure they would not be onboard. He seemed to bully everyone, even those that agreed with him. He micromanaged, yet seemed paralyzed by important decisions. These are the insights State of Denial provides, and while Rumsfeld comes out the worst, all the major players are addressed in full.

The bigger question is whether or not any of it is true. Woodward, true to his history, does not cite sources. He relies on extensive interviews with key players. Woodward claims he does not accept anything as true without multiple source confirmation. He has a reputation that backs him up. But nevertheless, given the nature of this book, there are people who will disbelieve its contents and Woodward doesn't give them a compelling reason not to.

I believe it is mostly accurate however. And for this reason, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to see the decision making that led to the Iraq War and its mishandling. The hard truth seems to be mistakes were less about evil intentions and more about apathy and incompetence at the highest levels. ( )
  Radaghast | Apr 4, 2012 |
This was the third of four books journalist Bob Woodward wrote about the Bush Presidency and its conduct of the War on Terror and by this time the luster had well and truly worn off. The picture that emerges is an interesting one. The President actually does not come off as badly as one might imagine. He has a hands-off approach in which he delegates a great deal to his team. He sees his role as that of setting broad goals and leadership as providing moral support and resolve. The problem seems to be that when the people around him aren’t functioning well, he seems to lack the insight and incisiveness to understand where things are going wrong and who is responsible.

The major problems seem to lie in the Pentagon. Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense) comes across as petty, petulant and more interested in bureaucratic territory-marking and trying to prove a point to his subordinates in uniform. Douglas Feith (Undersecretary of Defense for Policy) , who was ostensibly responsible for Post-war planning in Iraq appears to be an utterly incompetent toady. Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Secretary of Defense) seems to be an ideologically-driven academic with a naïve faith in impractical socio-political theoretical frameworks which never really quite matched the reality of what he thought they described. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard B. Myers seems to have been a ‘yes man’, deliberately picked by Rumsfeld because of his submissive demeanor, and who is faulted for not pushing the warnings, questions and requests of his uniformed subordinates further up the chain of command more assertively. Tommy Franks' behaviour is frankly bizarre. After leading the army to Baghdad and declaring victory, he flies off to vacation and then retirement with narry a care about the mess he had left behind. Finally there is Paul Bremer, who was picked to replace Jay Garner as the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority seems to have been responsible for several dreadful decisions such as the De-Baatification programme, the disbanding of the Iraqi army, and the shutting down of state-run industries, which helped to push a chaotic and disorderly Iraq into open revolt against the American occupation.

A couple of things that come across strongly which still surprise is that firstly the repeated claims by members of the government that no one could have foreseen the problems that would be encountered during the occupation was patently false. Plenty of people foresaw the problems and spoke out about them, but they were mostly sidelined or ignored. Secondly its frankly amazing how once things were very obviously going wrong, how unwilling or unable people were to try and deal with the problems. It was as if by refusing to acknowledge that things were not going well they thought it would simply go away. It was extraordinary behavior by people who had pushed hard for war and sent thousands of young men and women into harm’s way and now wanted nothing to do with the mess that they had created.

Bob Woodward's account if based on numerous interviews with White House, Pentagon and State Department insiders, as well as others. Certainly people will try to spin events to make themselves look better and their bureaucratic opponents worse, but he seems to have done a fairly good job of noting different interpretations of events and conversations, where they occur. In his own words, Rumsfeld comes across as unhelpful, prickly and obfuscative, which seems pretty much in keeping with his character as portrayed. Its worth keeping in mind that Bush and Cheney refused to be interviewed for this book (unlike for the first two books about the presidency by Woodward).

All in all its an interesting account, though of course these kinds of books can never be called completely comprehensive when they are written so close to the events they are describing. Still, its an insightful look into what was happening at the top of the U.S. government in the period 2002 to 2006 with regards to the Iraq War. ( )
1 vota iftyzaidi | Jan 22, 2012 |
השלישי בסדרה המדהימה של וודוורד בתור "זבוב על הקיר" על ממשל בוש ומלחמותיו. קריאה חובה לכל מי שרוצה להבין למה צריך כל שנתיים מהפיכה אלימה נגד השלטון. לא חשוב איזה שלטון. ( )
  amoskovacs | Dec 27, 2011 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 22 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In this volume, his third on the Bush presidency, America's preeminent print reporter tells in numbing detail how, in his view, the Bush administration mismanaged the aftermath of the Iraq war, and then avoided admitting that fact, both to the public and even to itself.
 
. . . the angriest book Woodward has written since his first, All the President's Men . Like that masterpiece, State of Denial feels all the more outraged for its measured, nonpartisan tones and relentless reporting. It is nothing less than a watershed.
 
In Bob Woodward's highly anticipated new book, ''State of Denial,'' President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (13 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Bob Woodwardautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Bessières, MichelTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hel-Guedj, Johan-FrédérikTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kleiman-Lafon, SylvieTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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A secret Pentagon assessment sent to the White House in May 2006 forecasted a more violent 2007 in Iraq, contradicting the repeated optimistic statements of President Bush. This book examines how the Bush administration avoided telling the truth about Iraq to the public, to Congress, and often to themselves. In this detailed inside story of a war-torn White House, Woodward answers the core questions: What happened after the invasion of Iraq? Why? How does Bush make decisions and manage a war that he chose to define his presidency? And is there an achievable plan for victory?--From publisher description.

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