Joy (cithra) wrote,
Joy
cithra

  • Mood:

books, war; books on war (not war on books, yet)

After breakfast yesterday I was moved to wander down to Bailey/Coy Books - just 'cause; one of those 'that's where my feet took me' things. I picked up a graphic novel called Blood Song: A Silent Ballad by Eric Drooker, which is interesting in that there are no words. With the exception of an epigram and the introduction, it is text-free. The art is magnificent, reminiscent of wood-cut work - the story didn't really grab me, especially the ending - but I've never been one to buy the theme that Babies Make Everything OK, go figure. But I am still happy I bought it, simply because the art is that good.

I also picked up a little book - not much more than a pamphlet, really - called War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know. Written by William Rivers Pitt, the majority of it consists of an interview with Scott Ritter, a former UN Weapons Inspector who was stationed in Iraq during the early 1990s.

It's a quick read, and a worthwhile one. The first chapter is on line at http://www.war-on-iraq.com, although that doesn't get to the interview portion. I passed my copy on to a gentleman at Aurafice who came over and asked me what I was reading - I'm almost feeling evangelical enough to go buy more copies and scatter them about.

Ritter is a former US Marine who was chosen to be part of the international inspection teams that were sent to Iraq to dismantle the weapons program there after the Gulf War. He's a conservative Republican who voted for Bush in 2000, so it isn't like he has a personal anti-administration ax to grind. He simply lays out the facts of the situation surrounding the inspections he was part of, discusses the shelf life of items like sarin, VX, and anthrax, explains how the inspectors detect things like nuclear weapons research or manufacture, etc. He has some very interesting things to say about the final set of inspections that resulted in the withdrawal of the UNSCOM teams - yes, the Iraqis were somewhat uncooperative, but the inspections were also not conducted according to previously agreed protocols, so the blame is not as one-sided as it might seem. (Oh look, something like this is complex and multifaceted. Quel surprise.)

He is most certainly not an apologist for Iraq - he outlines a number of circumstances where the UNSCOM teams were lied to by the Iraqi government, and talks about several occasions where he helped uncover deception and obstruction of the UN folks during their work. But he also is very clear about what those teams accomplished, and the honestly small chances that Iraq has managed to get their weapons programs back online in the intervening years.

It's worth checking out, even at eight bucks a pop. Lots of good links on the website, as well.
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