"The defining calamity of the post-cold war era," in Peter Oborne's words, took place in 2003. The invasion of Iraq led to the collapse of the state system in the Middle East. Iraq is shattered, Syria will never be put back together again, and Lebanon hasn't functioned as a unified state for a long time. And the great wave of refugees unleashed by this breakdown is threatening what is left of democracy in Turkey and the very existence of the European Union. Oborne provides a forensic examination of the way evidence was doctored and the law manipulated in 2002 and 2003 in order to justify a war for regime change. The government bent facts to fit its determination to join the US invasion, Parliament failed to scrutinize evidence, the intelligence service was perverted, and the media lost its head. This is a masterly account of the making of a disaster, written by a passionate British democrat.