Review: To Be A Friend is Fatal – Kirk W. Johnson

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (September 3, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476710481
ISBN-13: 978-1476710488
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A former worker in Iraq details his years of struggle in bringing Iraqi refugees who’d worked for our government to safety.


I was disappointed after reading this book. Not in the book, it was excellent, but in our government. During the years of the Iraq War, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens worked under contract for our government. There were paid dirt poor wages at times, treated great at first, and later treated with distrust and disrespect. Then when the troops began to pull out they were abandoned. Many faced death threats due to helping the U.S. Many were assassinated.

Kirk Johnson worked in Iraq and around many of these Iraqis. When a freak accident during a vacation kept him from returning, he eventually turned to writing an Op-Ed about those left behind. When word of this Op-Ed reached Iraq he started receiving e-mail after e-mail asking for his help.

In To Be a Friend is Fatal he details the struggles he went through to set up a non profit to aid these refugees. The government bureaucracy, wasteful spending, and general attitude of neglect fill the pages.

While the largest section details events during the George W. Bush administration, the resistance to any help continued through to the Obama Administration. There are those who won’t read it, because they’ll think it attacks Bush, but in reality, it exposes the entire mess from the government in general.

To get an idea of how we do those who risk their lives and limbs to ally with us, pick up To Be a Friend is Fatal. I think you’ll find it very eye opening.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Alexsis at Simon & Schuster for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.