Betrayed

I've been meaning to signal George Packer's article "Betrayed" in the New Yorker from 2 weeks ago. I know the issue has been out for a while now, but this article is the definition of a must-read. Everything about it, including the accompanying photographs, is stellar reporting. Packer tells the stories of different Iraqis working for the US forces in Baghdad and through these stories captures the nuances of the relationship between Americans and Iraqis and many of the reasons the occupation has been a failure. He also justly indicts those American politicians (including most Democratic presidential candidates) who are currently perfecting the "blame-the-Iraqis-for-not-getting-their-own-occupation-right" argument for withdrawal. On top of everything else, this unwillingless to take any moral responsibility for what we've done in Iraq and for the lives of Iraqis who believed in our "liberation" rhetoric is shocking.
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Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.