As the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Aidan Delgado was in the process of enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserve. Two years later, he arrived in Iraq with the 320th Military Police Company. As he witnessed firsthand the brutality of the occupation and the abuse of unarmed Iraqis, Delgado came to believe that war was immoral and ran counter to his Buddhist principles. He turned in his weapon and began the long process of securing conscientious objector status. His book is urgent reading for anyone who cares about American ideals overseas, and for all those who understand why peace is patriotic.
The public at large and especially the many soldiers who have behaved honorably in Iraq deserve an honest answer . . . Mr. Delgado’s complaints and the entire conduct of this wretched war should be thoroughly investigated.—Bob Herbert, New York Times
“[Delgado] offers a welcome corrective to much of the aggressive rhetoric that has pervaded the debate over the war in Iraq.”—Publishers Weekly
“an absorbing and worthy story that offers one man’s perspective on a conflict that continues to divide our nation.”—Booklist
“A Buddhist GI inside Abu Ghraib prison, a witness to the horrors, a conscientious objector: Aidan Delgado is a keen observer and an eloquent writer, and he shocks us while also educating us about the reality of the war in Iraq.”—Howard Zinn, author of You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train and A People’s History of the United States
“Aidan Delgado is a powerful, eloquent writer. His description of how he was transformed by the horrors of Iraq is unforgettable. He is a diamond in the rough, sandblasted in the desert of Iraq.”—Amy Goodman, host and executive producer, Democracy Now!
“Delgado’s insight helps you understand the desperation of soldiers and the tragic and inevitable path leading to the photographs from Abu Ghraib. This book is sure to incite and renew demands for accountability.”—former brigadier general Janis Karpinski
“Reading The Sutras of Abu Ghraib is disheartening and at times horrifying. Delgado does not bring to light any shocking new revelations about the Iraq war; no scandal will emerge from the book’s publication. What is most disturbing is the routine nature of it all: The soldiers are everyday people who have been conditioned to brutality. Delgado was just one of the hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers who have served in Iraq, and his book offers glimpses into their everyday lives.” —St. Petersburg Times
“A fascinating story about the mundane struggles of modern military service, the dehumanizing effects of war, and the courage of one young man to live by his conscience.”—Shambhala Sun
“Sutras is a remarkable book, a searing tale of a young man in completely over his head.”—Creative Loafing Sarasota
“The Sutras of Abu Ghraib is engaging and emotional, and some of its best material is born out of the author’s time at the prison . . . His anecdotes about killing time in the desert are as interesting as those in which mortars rain from the sky.”—Dewey Hammond, San Francisco Chronicle