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Capsule Review

Arrows of the Night: Ahmad Chalabi’s Long Journey to Triumph in Iraq

In This Review

Arrows of the Night: Ahmad Chalabi's Long Journey to Triumph in Iraq
Arrows of the Night: Ahmad Chalabi's Long Journey to Triumph in Iraq
By Richard Bonin
Doubleday, 2011, 320 pp. $27.95 Purchase

 

This is the most thorough telling of the story of Ahmad Chalabi, the scion of an upper-class Shiite Iraqi family who spent most of his life in exile but played a significant role in convincing the administration of George W. Bush to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein in 2003. It is, equally, the story of the domestic American roots of the war. Bonin reconstructs the relationships between Chalabi and his now-famous (or infamous) neoconservative allies in the Bush White House and also examines the roles played by members of Congress (Democratic and Republican), academics, and journalists eager for a scoop. The dwindling few within the Beltway who maintained that Chalabi and his opposition movement enjoyed more support along the Potomac than the Euphrates proved to be correct, but only after the fact. Arrows of the Night is a first-rate case study of both Middle Eastern émigré politics and the American way of dealing with the Middle East.

 

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