“War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.” —Colin Powell
From August 2 1990 to February 28 1991 the United States was involved with a United Nations coalition made up of 35 other countries to free Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion in an offensive called the “Gulf War.” Coalition ground troops were able to successfully enter Iraq with minimal casualties. Because of relentless bombings of Iraq by the United States Iraqi soldiers put up little resistance and surrendered. At the conclusion of the Gulf War to the chagrin of some President George H. W. Bush and his cabinet allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power as Iraq’s president.
On March 20 2003 the United States led “Operation Iraqi Freedom” a full-scale invasion of Iraq because Iraq failed to comply with sanctions designed to stop the production of so-called weapons of mass destruction and they failed to relinquish their weapons of mass destruction. (Many believe that Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction and that falsified CIA documents and misleading information was “leaked” to the media to gain popular support for a war effort against Iraq.) Four years later the war continues.
The above summary is a very very simplified version of only a few samples of events that have occurred in the Middle East during recent times. Dr. Jabbar Fazeli’s book Iraq Decoded: It’s Easier than You Think is a guide into the twisted labyrinthine turbulence of Iraq’s history and present-day including the inner-workings of contrasting tribes and varieties of religions that make up the region that may have been the site of one of the world’s first civilizations.
With easy to read maps accessible language and vibrant sometimes disturbing colored photos Dr Fazeli begins with a chapter entitled “Iraq for Beginners.” This first chapter he claims he wrote last “after watching a segment of “Jaywalking” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno…Jay asks questions of random people…posed to the general public to focus upon politics history and current governmental events. After viewing a clip in which the respondent was struggling…I realized that some people may require more basic information about Iraq…” Reading Iraq Decoded is like attending a lecture of a professor whose knowledge and wisdom cuts through the rhetoric and propaganda. Dr. Fazeli does not bash America or Iraq. He does not make accusatory statements or look for scapegoats. In Chapter two of Iraq Decoded “Early US Missteps in the Immediate Aftermath of the Invasion of Iraq” his criticism is broken down into eight sub-categories. For example in a sub-category called “Iraq Reconstruction Blunders” Dr. Fazeli writes “The reconstruction could also have offered a golden opportunity for improving the US image in the Middle East. It held the chance to erase any ill will created in the region from the invasion of Iraq under what seemed to Middle Eastern population to be false pretenses.”
Dr. Fazeli was born in Iran and was raised in Kuwait. He currently lives and practices geriatric medicine in Maine. He has written Iraq Decoded to be read and studied by the concerned and informed citizenry of planet earth.