As the dreadful reality of the Coalition's defeat in Iraq begins to sink in, one question dominates Washington and London: why? In this controversial new book, award-winning journalist Jonathan Steele provides a stark and arresting answer: Bush and Blair were defeated from the day they decided to occupy the country. Iraq had enough of foreign armies. Steele describes the memories of centuries of humiliations that have scarred the Iraqi national psyche, creating a powerful and deeply felt nationalism. Drawing his unique access to senior Western policymakers, Steele shows how the key players in the occupying coalition totally failed to inform themselves about this smouldering backhistory of resentment and suspicion. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with ordinary Iraqis, Steele shows for the first time how the staging posts of the conflict so familiar to Western newspaper readers were seen by the Iraqis themselves.Blending vivid reportage, informed analysis and sweeping historical narrative, "Defeat" is the definitive anatomy of an historic catastrophe.
Jonathan Steele is Senior Foreign Correspondent and in-house columnist on international affairs for The Guardian. Educated at Cambridge and Yale, he has reported for The Guardian since 1965. In his present role he travels frequently to the Middle East and has contributed to the Guardian's coverage of Iraq since the start of the war. Steele has won numerous prizes for his foreign news reporting, including the James Cameron and Martha Gelhorn awards. A frequent broadcaster on the BBC and CNN, Steele has written several books on international affairs.