Review: Overthrow–America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (Hardcover)

5 Star, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, read with Zinni, Leebaert, Butler, and Johnson,

April 9, 2006
Stephen Kinzer
EDITED 27 June 2007 to add thoughts from second reading (accidental). While at the beach, ran out of books, bought this not remembering I had already read it, and found new value. Using the new link feature to insert links to the books originally listed.

This is a timely review, although the facts are well known to those who follow international affairs.

In this second (as if new) reading, the following quote stayed with me from page 317: “Most American sponsored ‘regime change’ operations have, in the end, weakened rather than strengthened, American security.”

I list the countries covered by this book: Hawaii, Cuba, Nicarague, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Guatemala, Iran, Viet-Nam, Chile, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq.

I focus more on Hawaii, in 1893, the first of a new range of intrusive overthrows (beyond the land expansion actions the author chooses not to cover). I am struck–moved–by the duplicitious immoral actions of both the white landowners and the white US government representatives against the people of Hawaii.

The author discusses how Hawaiians were at the time bound by obligations, ritual, and a reverence for nature. I am reminded of how we and the Spanish genocided the native Americans, north and south, individuals who had decades if not centuries of refined knowledge on how to shape and nurture the Earth in harmony with their needs.

This time around, the author’s emphasis on how the legal right to buy land led to the loss of local indigenous control and rights. I now firmly believe that foreign and absentee landlords should be eliminated.

This time around, I note the author’s emphasis on how corporations are a form of national army, capturing wealth in different ways from an armed force.

This time around, I think of how Dick Cheney has raped the American dream, in so violent and so public a fashion, that America’s “lost innocence” can not longer be denied.

This time around, I discover and reflect (being at the beach) on the superb bibliography.

For a broader and perhaps more disturbing overview of the costs to America of corporate-driven foreign policy, see
The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpose
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America’s Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
Why We Fight
The Fog of War – Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption

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