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The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq by Kenneth Pollack
Baghdad has fallen, and no chemical weapons have been found. Why, then, would Kenneth Pollack's "The Threatening Storm" still be relevant?
"The Threatening Storm," though seemingly outdated, is still an excellent read. Even if Pollack's evidence for WMD has now been refuted, it at least gives some insight into the developments and modes of thought which guided the intelligence agencies in coming to their conclusions.
The book's biggest strength is its history of contemporary Iraq and how American policy towards the Middle East was shaped. Rather than making simplistic statements like "Saddam bad" or "U.S. bad for helping Iraq fight Iran,"… Read more
No One Left Behind by Amy Yarsinske
No One Left Behind by Amy Yarsinske
Amy Waters Yarsinske must first be commended for her six-part series in The Virginian-Pilot that lead to the reclassification of Michael Scott Speicher, the Persian Gulf War's first casualty, as "Missing-Captured." Those articles eventually formed the basis for the astonishing "No One Left Behind," a chronicle of a military tragedy and an unbroken chain of mistakes.
"No One Left Behind" works on many levels. The beginning of the book is a detailed look at the opening stages of the first Persian Gulf War. The middle of the book deals with the fascinating forensics that went into investigating and re-constructing what really happened to Capt. Speicher… Read more
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
3.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre epic, Sept. 3 2002
"Red Mars," the first of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, is a derivative work of science fiction that redeems itself through its epic scale and variety of characters. The basic plot is rather simple: earth has gone to hell in a handbag, and Mars is mankind's new hope. The story begins with the arrival of 100 settlers in 2026 and spans roughly sixty years following the first expidition. During this time, rivalries among the settlers lead to dramatic changes in both the planet and the characters.
Robinson's pace makes the sixty years go by very briskly; he does not waste time giving too many details about how the planet was colonized and insead focuses on the characters. With… Read more