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{ "item_title" : "Confronting Saddam Hussein", "item_author" : [" Melvyn P. Leffler "], "item_description" : "A vivid portrayal of what drove George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003--an outcome that was in no way predetermined. America's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 is arguably the most important foreign policy choice of the entire post-Cold War era. Nearly two decades after the event, it remains central to understanding current international politics and US foreign relations. In Confronting Saddam Hussein, the eminent historian of US foreign policy Melvyn P. Leffler analyzes why the US chose war and who was most responsible for the decision. Employing a unique set of personal interviews with dozens of top officials and declassified American and British documents, Leffler vividly portrays the emotions and anxieties that shaped the thinking of the president after the shocking events of 9/11. He shows how fear, hubris, and power influenced Bush's approach to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. At the core of Leffler's account is his compelling portrait of Saddam Hussein. Rather than stressing Bush's preoccupation with promoting freedom or democracy, Leffler emphasizes Hussein's brutality, opportunism, and unpredictability and illuminates how the Iraqi dictator's record of aggression and intransigence haunted the president and influenced his calculations. Bush was not eager for war, and the decision to invade Iraq was not a fait accompli. Yet the president was convinced that only by practicing coercive diplomacy and threatening force could he alter Hussein's defiance, a view shared by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other leaders around the world, including Hans Blix, the chief UN inspector. Throughout, Leffler highlights the harrowing anxieties surrounding the decision-making process after the devastating attack on 9/11 and explains the roles of contingency, agency, rationality, and emotion. As the book unfolds, Bush's centrality becomes more and more evident, as does the bureaucratic dysfunctionality that contributed to the disastrous occupation of Iraq. A compelling reassessment of George W. Bush's intervention in Iraq, Confronting Saddam Hussein provides a provocative reinterpretation of the most important international event of the 21st century.", "item_img_path" : "https://covers3.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/0/19/761/077/0197610773_b.jpg", "price_data" : { "retail_price" : "27.95", "online_price" : "27.95", "our_price" : "27.95", "club_price" : "27.95", "savings_pct" : "0", "savings_amt" : "0.00", "club_savings_pct" : "0", "club_savings_amt" : "0.00", "discount_pct" : "10", "store_price" : "" } }
Confronting Saddam Hussein|Melvyn P. Leffler
Confronting Saddam Hussein : George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq
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Overview

A vivid portrayal of what drove George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003--an outcome that was in no way predetermined.

America's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 is arguably the most important foreign policy choice of the entire post-Cold War era. Nearly two decades after the event, it remains central to understanding current international politics and US foreign relations.

In Confronting Saddam Hussein, the eminent historian of US foreign policy Melvyn P. Leffler analyzes why the US chose war and who was most responsible for the decision. Employing a unique set of personal interviews with dozens of top officials and declassified American and British documents, Leffler vividly portrays the emotions and anxieties that shaped the thinking of the president after the shocking events of 9/11. He shows how fear, hubris, and power influenced Bush's approach to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. At the core of Leffler's account is his compelling portrait of Saddam Hussein. Rather than stressing Bush's preoccupation with promoting freedom or democracy, Leffler emphasizes Hussein's brutality, opportunism, and unpredictability and illuminates how the Iraqi dictator's record of aggression and intransigence haunted the president and influenced his calculations. Bush was not eager for war, and the decision to invade Iraq was not a fait accompli. Yet the president was convinced that only by practicing coercive diplomacy and threatening force could he alter Hussein's defiance, a view shared by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other leaders around the world, including Hans Blix, the chief UN inspector. Throughout, Leffler highlights the harrowing anxieties surrounding the decision-making process after the devastating attack on 9/11 and explains the roles of contingency, agency, rationality, and emotion. As the book unfolds, Bush's centrality becomes more and more evident, as does the bureaucratic dysfunctionality that contributed to the disastrous occupation of Iraq.

A compelling reassessment of George W. Bush's intervention in Iraq, Confronting Saddam Hussein provides a provocative reinterpretation of the most important international event of the 21st century.

This item is Non-Returnable

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780197610770
  • ISBN-10: 0197610773
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: February 2023
  • Dimensions: 9.27 x 6.42 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.54 pounds
  • Page Count: 368

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On February 28, 2003, as President George W. Bush prepared to authorize military action, he turned to his advisers and asked if they had thought enough about “what they hoped to achieve in Iraq.” Plans were made and carried out, but in a short time, the Iraq policy went awry. Historian Melvyn P. Leffler explores the many reasons why in his enlightening, detailed Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq. After 9/11, the president felt some responsibility for the attacks (there had been warnings not heeded), along with guilt, anger, fear, a sense of political expediency and a need for revenge, the mixture of which led him to declare war on terrorism. After the decision to invade Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda was based, other potential dangers were considered. The president said repeatedly “that his most compelling fear was the prospect of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction from rogue regimes,” Leffler writes. Eventually the Bush administration turned its focus to Saddam Hussein, a ruthless tyrant in Iraq thought by some to have weapons of mass destruction.  The Bush national security team was often regarded as unified and militant, Leffler explains. But in reality, the members were pragmatists with different approaches and interests who feuded with one another. Leffler shows that there was not a careful assessment of their proposed strategy for dealing with Hussein and Iraq. Hubris was a major factor, and no one person can be blamed. The president acted with the best of intentions, but his advisers who urged caution did so too hesitantly and ineffectively. Contrary to other accounts, Leffler claims that the president was not manipulated by others but was in charge at all times. He merely delegated too much authority and was indifferent to acrimony among his advisers, which adversely affected his policies. As Leffler writes, President Bush “failed because his information was flawed, his assumptions inaccurate, his priorities imprecise, and his means incommensurate with his evolving ends.” Based on prodigious research, this superb account helps readers understand the many complexities of America’s attempts to keep our citizens safe in the face of very real dangers after 9/11.

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