I’ve been building out the Books section of The Jeffersonian, with three pages total. Genesis of World War III is the third of three. It covers two books, Ugly War and Soldier of Misfortune. Ugly War started as a 7,000-plus word essay I wrote one night not so long after our invasion of Iraq in March 2003. I was indignant as ever about that war, and my indignation spilled out in the essay. Chalk up another therapeutic essay. The essay turned into the book, after I wrote a number of other essays on the subject.
As often is the case, you follow up one book with more thinking. You don’t stop writing, because you have more to say. Arguments have multiple threads, and evidence multiple sources. Moreover you’ll remember the war continued year after year, so it was easy to have more to say. So I collected the second set of essays under the title Soldier of Misfortune, a reference to George W. Bush.
The problem with the second book is that it frequently refers to al Qaeda as the perpetrator of 9/11. How could we attack Iraq instead of al Qaeda? It’s a false question, however, when you realize that the 9/11 involved more than nineteen bin Laden henchmen with box cutters. Somehow it involved people who brought down World Trade Center 7 in a controlled demolition. It certainly involved people not mentioned in the 9/11 Commission’s report on the crime. So to question the war on Iraq because it attacked the wrong enemy may be correct, but the argument’s confusing when you point to al Qaeda as the correct enemy. It was not.
So I’ve thought about rewriting Soldier of Misfortune, to remedy the confusion. That would take some work, though, and the war is more than a decade past now. I’ve also thought about combining both books, under a new title like Genesis of World War III. That’s the significant development that so many people recognize now: that a war of astonishing proportions has developed from the conflict we started in 2003. We need an analysis of this war that relates its beginning to the state of the region in 2016 and beyond. I don’t have knowledge required to write a book like that, but few others do either. We need more good thinking on the subject.
Let’s leave the discussion there for now. Soldier of Misfortune is available at Smashwords, so click the link below. You can open a PDF for Ugly War if you click the link at the bottom of the page. I have another edition with out images, that I used to produce a paper copy, the but the digital version with images is good. I recommend it, even with the slightly funky format. If you’d like to the paper copy of Ugly War, let me know. It has an ugly cover to go with the title and the subject matter.
Soldier of Misfortune
Soldier of Misfortune (TBD)