Review: The Politics of Haunting and Memory in International Relations

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Atrocities & Genocide, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual), Justice (Failure, Reform), Truth & Reconciliation, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Jessica Auchter

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Extraordinary — a Pioneering Book — Builds on Others But Original and Compelling It Its Own Right, April 27, 2014

I took an interest in books on trauma and dealing with refugees a month or so ago, and this is one of the books that I included in my list easily found online Worth a Look: Books on War and Torture Victims, Asylum and Refugee Trauma. The other book I have reviewed from that list is Peter Levine’s In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.

The author has rendered an extraordinary work. While building on the works of others this is a pioneering book that helps open the door toward holding states [and I would add corporations] accountable for the dead [and I would add amputees]. I found this book compelling, engaging, and original.

The bulk of the book and the bulk of the value is in the literature review and the author’s conclusions. Three case studies are provided — on Rwanda where the state “erased” the victims; on illigal immigrants who die on US soil or are “exiled” into non-person status; and on 9/11 where the state and its corporate controlled media “excised” all photographs of the vicitms, particularly those who jumped to their deaths from the towers.

I’ve read a lot of academic books and dissertations, and found that the manner in which this author reviewed the works of others, and personalized that review by artful use of the names of the authors being cited in text, was for me a most professional and yet also humanizing and engaging exercise.

This is a very subversive book is you have the courage to actually contemplate holding a state accountable for both those it has killed or allowed to be killed by legalized crime and elective war and deliberate non-intervention; while also contemplating how the state relegates so many to the status of “virtual dead.” At root, this book opens a super-highway into the heart of the deep state (I would add deep corporation including those that practice eugenics), one that could inspire the living to challenge the faux legitimacy of states that are in the view of one author, Greogry Sams, long overdue for deconstruction, see his just released book that I have ordered and will review, The State Is Out of Date: We Can Do It Better.

I am an intelligence professional focused on correcting the corruption and myopia of the craft of intelligence as it now is practiced so badly by all eight tribes of information (academia, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit. My latest views are in the book edited by Rob Dover el al, Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies, with my chapter free online by agreement with the publisher, search for 2013: The Evolving Craft of Intelligence 3.6 As Published. What this author has done is taught me that I have completely missed a MAJOR means of defining the true cost of state corruption and idiocy, by focusing on the voices of the dead and ensuring that the dead are represented in all future deliberations. This is a non-trivial accomplishment.

The author is to be complemented for the lovely manner in which she builds on the work of others from biopolitics to memory studies to ethics, personhood, identity, ethnographics, discourse analysis, etcetera. For me, this is a stunningly effective PhD level examination of original thinking by others enhanced by new original thinking that I as a lay person could easily grasp and then exploit.

This book is important far beyond its focus on major atrocities. In the USA, for example, the FBI does not do pattern analysis on murders and “suicides” across the USA, or they would have found and confronted the reality that hundreds are killed to cover up political and corporate crimes, or to eliminate activists intent on stopping high crimes against the public. Nor does the government actually represents all those whose voices are silenced (see my entire category of Amazon reviews in this arena at Phi Beta Iota, 237 books once I add this one, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized).

The author can be credited with being a reflexive practitioner in the mold of Dr. Russell Ackoff, for the latest book on this topic see Dr. Kent Myers’ Reflexive Practice: Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World. The author’s blended justification for how she chose to combine ethnographics and discourse analysis is a model for others to follow.

I learn a new work on page 95, “abjection,” which means that which has been cast off or thrown away.

I learn on page 102 about new forms of augmented reality in which one can see the corpses related to any given point on the earth with a new application that is site specific (you have to be there for the application to trigger).

The author’s treatment of 9/11 is judicious — see my Amazon reviews 9-11 Truth Books & DVDs (50) for comprehensive coverage — in suggesting that 9/11 was about both the state manipulating the event to legitimize its subsequent actions, and manipulating the media to obscure the actual facts.

I put the book down, as one who considers most history idiotic trash written by those pandering to the victors, thinking to myself that ghost history is the ultimate revisionist history. This is a deeply ethical and professional work, strongly recommended for every library that wishes to be current with the best of the new thinking.

With my remaining six links I want to honor three books in the series of which this book is a part, and three books cited by the author — for all the rest, buy the book.

Series Companion Books of Note to Me:

Governing Sustainable Development: Partnerships, Protests and Power at the World Summit (Interventions)
The Politics of Speed: Capitalism, the State and War in an Accelerating World (Interventions)
Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate Governance: (De)constructing the Greenhouse (Interventions)

Three of Many Books Cited by Author

The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979 (Lectures at the College de France)
Missing: Persons and Politics
Alternative Accountabilities in Global Politics: The Scars of Violence (Interventions)

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability