It was only when other journalists were permitted back into Baghdad that Arnett learned how controversial his reporting had been. He had been denounced on the floor of the US Congress as 'the Joseph Goebbels of Saddam Hussein's Hitler-like regime', and CNN bureaus had been picketed by protestors demanding that he be silenced. British MPs had called him a turncoat.
It is presumably the notoriety of Baghdad that has persuaded Arnett to publish in Britain. But however excellent a reporter he is, and however familiar his voice became during the bombing of Baghdad, it is doubtful whether this book will generate much interest here. Arnett offers no new insights into Iraq, where his minders kept him on a predictably tight rein, and focuses instead on the distant past, reserving almost three-quarters of his pages for Vietnam experiences already chronicled - brilliantly - by such former colleagues as Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam. Writing after them, Arnett all too often sounds not 'live', but a distant echo.Reuse content