April 8, 2007
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Prince of the Marshes

by Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart, an ex-foreign service officer turned travel writer, was called back into Her Majesty’s service in 2003 to serve as Deputy Governor of Iraq’s Maysan province. He candidly confesses to all his lack of qualifications for the job, and then pitches in with enthusiasm, good will, and guarded optimism, seeking to do what he can to improve Iraq and to hand a better province back to Iraqi government. This is the tale of the Green Zone years from outside; Stewart works with Iraqis while his masters deal in theories and PowerPoint presentations, and Stewart faces bullets and grenades while headquarters accepts daft Italian reports that everything is quiet.