Bad Days in Basra: My Turbulent Time as Britain's Man in Southern Iraq

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I. B. Tauris, Apr 15, 2008 - Political Science - 240 pages
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This is the story of Sir Hilary Synnott’s time as Britain’s most senior representative in Southern Iraq, from 2003 to 2004, trying to keep the region together as the rest of the country descended in to murderous violence. By turns wryly comic, revealing and heart-breaking, it offers a never seen before glimpse in to the high politics of the occupation. Shuttling between the gilded palaces of the Green Zone and the Coalition HQ in Basra, Synnott had to deal with his American counterpart Paul Bremer's brash indifference to what was going on in the South, the fickleness of his London masters, who could never make up their minds, and the brutal political realities of a country under occupation. Bearing witness for first time to the chaotic fashion in which the coalition was run and the disastrous impact of its policies, Synnott's unique insider account is the most important primary source yet on how Southern Iraq spun out of control. It is also an entertaining and witty portrait of the absurdities of life inside the occupying coalition.

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Synnott attributes the mess of post-invasion Iraq to Washington, London, the Foreign Office, Bush, Blair, the Department for International Development, the US State Department, the US military, Bremer ... Read full review


Its a Bloody Mess
The Green Zone
Adapting to Ground Reality
Basra Al Muthanna Dhi Qar
Bugs and Bodyguards
A Tower of Babel? The Challenges and Delights
Plans are Nothing
Promoting Security and the Rule of Law
The Realities of Reconstruction
BigPicture Politics
CPASouth Its Role and Purpose
CPA Organisation Chart

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About the author (2008)

Hilary Synnott was the Coalition Provisional Authority's Regional Coordinator for Southern Iraq from July 2003 until January 2004, working alongside his US counterpart Paul Bremer.  Before then he was British High Commissioner in Pakistan from 2000 until 2003, in which role he helped broker the resolution to the India-Pakistan nuclear stand-off of 2002.  He has appeared in numerous documentaries about the Iraq war.  He lives in West Sussex, England.

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