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Plan of Attack

Posted - May 10, 2004 at 8:05 a.m.



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PLAN OF ATTACK By Bob Woodward

“For the peace of the world and the benefit and freedom of the Iraqi people, I hereby give the order to execute Operation Iraqi Freedom. May God bless the troops.” Those were the exact words President Bush spoke via secure videophone to General Tommy Franks and his top commanders before the president left the room with tears in his eyes. These are the kind of details that will captivate you in Bob Woodward’s new best-selling book.

Woodward takes an in-depth look at the sixteen months leading up to the war in Iraq, and I found it fascinating. There are times when the details of conversations are so intimate you feel like you’re a fly on the wall in the situation room eaves dropping on President Bush and Condoleezza Rice talking about the wording of a speech to be given to the nation.

Woodward’s book is based on interviews with 75 key participants in the decision to go to war and the planning of the attack. You will read about how General Tommy Franks responded with shock to the suggestion that he get a war plan together for Iraq right in the middle of his campaign in Afghanistan. You’ll learn more about the intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction and how the language changed from President Bush saying Iraq “may” have such weapons to Vice President Cheney saying they “did” have such weapons.

Secretary of State Colin Powell described the Vice President as “feverish” in his desire to get Saddam Hussein. The tension between Powell and Cheney is unsettling in the book. Cheney was frustrated with the process before the United Nations and considered every moment spent there a waste of time. Powell, the former soldier, felt that the case for war was not sufficient and wanted to pursue peaceful resolutions more fully first.

While some of the detail can get a little laborious, most of the book is compelling for any student of history, especially such recent history. I recommend Bob Woodward’s latest bestseller, Plan of Attack. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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