As the dreadful reality of the coalition’s defeat in Iraq begins to sink in, one question dominates Washington and London: Why? In this controversial new book, Jonathan Steele provides a stark and arresting answer: Bush and Blair were defeated from the day they decided to occupy the country. Steele describes the centuries of humiliation that have scarred the Iraqi national psyche, creating a powerful and deeply felt nationalism and spreading cultural landmines along the road to winning Baghdad. Steele shows for the first time how the invasion and occupation were perceived by ordinary Iraqis, whose feelings and experiences were completely ignored by Western policymakers. The result of such arrogance, Steele demonstrates, was a failure that will forever resonate with such dark chapters of American and British history as the Vietnam War and the Suez Canal crisis. Blending vivid reportage, informed analysis, and sweeping historical narrative, Defeat is the definitive post–mortem on this pivotal catastrophe.