• Review: We Meant Well in The Nation

    February 7, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Military

    Founded in 1865, The Nation is one of America’s oldest magazines. It recently ran a review of We Meant Well, that while behind a paywall, I can share here with you.

    The Nation said about We Meant Well:

    Despite the risks of such frankness for Van Buren—he is currently the subject of a State Department investigation—he writes with the sardonic candor of a man too intent on recounting the absurdities he has witnessed to worry about what he has to lose.

    The virtue of the telling is, of all things, its hilarity, the politically incorrect, pop-inflicted gallows humor exposing the litany of bungles through the damning lens of farce. “It is like I am standing naked in a room with a big hat on my head,” Van Buren quotes an Iraqi as saying. “Everyone comes in and puts flowers and ribbons on my hat, but no one seems to notice that I am naked.”

    If the image suggests a tea party held at Abu Ghraib, it may prove as representative of the flippancy and ineptness of a State Department-run Iraq as the photos of torture were of an earlier phase of a shapeless, unnecessary war.

    Read the entire review to learn more, or grab the current issue of The Nation at your fave bookstore.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Lisa said...


      THAT is how a book review is done (and makes me want to take the bull by the horns next time we do one 😉

      They recognized you well.

      02/10/12 5:13 AM | Comment Link

    • Damon said...


      Please correct date of The Nation magazine’s founding. It was 1865, not 1965 (typo, obviously).

      02/10/12 12:30 PM | Comment Link

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