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Iraq: Deja Vu All Over Again? Part I

As a Vietnam Veteran, I find the Iraq situation fascinating. (More after the jump.)

jp%20vietnam.jpg
Joe in Tan Am, Vietnam, 1969


Before "9-11," Vietnam was still a growing topic for books, articles, and films. Some things carry over from all wars: fear, loneliness, homesickness, and valor, and unfortunately brutality. Many of the terms, policies and arguments from Vietnam apply to the Iraq War. And the lessons "learned" or "not learned" in Vietnam still apply in Iraq.

You can find many books on the Iraq War in the Van Pelt Library and many here in Biddle on our 5th floor at DS79.

Government Documents: Biddle has many government documents on Iraq available as electronic resources. During the Vietnam War the term “winning their hearts and minds” was a key idea to winning the war.

"Iraq: winning hearts and minds." Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, June 15, 2004.
This resource is available through Biddle’s online catalog. This Congressional report notes “our continuing oversight of US efforts to reach the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people” during the current conflict.
[LOLA record]

"Securing, stabilizing, and rebuilding Iraq." GAO audit approach and findings : testimony before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives. Statement of David M. Walker.
[Connect to government document]

"Operation Iraqi Freedom : preliminary observations on Iraqi security forces' logistical capabilities." Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Statement of William M. Solis.
[Connect to government document]

Historical: These cover mostly policies, assumptions and decisions made.

The assassins' gate : America in Iraq, by George Packer.
Biddle DS79.76 .P33 2005
A first-person narrative, he covers the full range of ideas and emotions stirred up events leading to and during the Iraq War. Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker.
[LOLA record]

The Torture papers : the road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Karen J. Greenberg, Joshua L. Dratel.
Biddle DS79.76 .T676 2005
Consists of the torture memos and reports that the Bush Administration officials wrote to authorize coercive interrogation and torture.
[LOLA record]

Shaping the plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom : the role of military intelligence assessments, by Gregory Hooker.
Biddle DS79.76 .H66 2005
Hooker was senior intelligence analyst for Iraq at US Central Command. He established the National Intelligence Center in Baghdad in late 2003.
[LOLA record]

Autobiographical/Personal Narratives:

All American: why I believe in football, God, and the war in Iraq, by Robert P. McGovern.
Van Pelt KF373.M3954 A3 2007
A personal narrative about Iraq. McGovern played in the NFL and was also a Captain in the army in the Iraq War.

Blood stripes: the grunt’s view of the war in Iraq, by David J. Danelo.
Van Pelt DS79.76 .D354 2006.
Danelo was a marine in the Iraq War who chronicles the exploits of real marines offering a sobering tale of the war in Iraq.

Women as subjects:

Dancing in the no-fly zone : a woman’s journey through Iraq, by Hadani Ditmars.
Van Pelt DS79.76 .D57 2006
Ditmars is a freelance writer who reported for the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., and the New York Times.

Oral histories:

Eyewitness to war : the US Army in Operation AL FAJR : an oral history, edited by Kendall D. Gott.
Biddle SuDocs D 110.2:W 19
Composed of 37 first-hand accounts of combat in the Iraq War.
[LOLA record]

Aftermath of the conflict:

After the Iraq war : the future of the UN and international law, edited by Bernhard Vogel, Rudolf Dolzer, Matthias Herdegen.
Biddle DS79.76 .A356 2005
Contains articles presented earlier at a conference held in Bonn in November 2003, focuses on the future prospects of the UN and international law after Iraq.
[LOLA record]

Other resources: I was surprised to find that besides monographs it was easy to find other materials on Iraq: reference books, movies, websites, and physical collections. We do not YET have a memorial for the Iraq Conflict.

Gunner palace [videorecording], produced, written and directed by Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein.
Van Pelt DVD DS79.764.U6 G86 2005
Featuring interviews with the soldiers of 2/3 Field Artillery who carried out their mission from a bombed out palace once owned by Saddam Hussein.

Many of the military units that served in Iraq have their own websites. These can usually be found by going to a search engine and searching "11th cav" or whatever the unit is.

For example the 2d Battalion, 11th Marines who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom has its own website.

The different types of material: historical, oral histories, movies, war memorial, or websites each have their own flavor.

Next time, I will cover some materials on Vietnam. Then you can find a genre you are comfortable with and look at the materials on both wars. You might discover some interesting parallels.