Four on one side as useful propaganda, three in larger context, September 27, 2008
Ronen Bergman Ph.D.
I was torn between three stars (the book is terribly flawed in the larger scheme of things) and four stars for the very interesting and well-presented details that while they are strictly from an Israeli perspective and the book is almost certainly an Israeli propaganda operation against the US public in general and US Congress and generals more specificially, are in and of themselves correct.
The author focuses exclusively on painting the Iranians in the worst possible light, while ignoring the Saudi Arabian and Egyptian misdeeds, and never mentioning the 42 of the 44 dictators that the US Government regards as its best pals because they pretend to support the Global War on Terror (GWOT) which is the ninth high level threat to mankind.
I settled for three because this book is completely out of context, grossly exaggerates the Iranian threat, and fails to demonstrate any semblance of the relative costs and benefits of waging peace. Just prior to sitting down with this book for a few hours I read a much shorter monograph (free online), “U.S. Counterterrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding Costs, Cultures, and Conflicts” by Donovan C. Chau. His top-level premises are instructive, and condemn the book on Iran to three stars: Dr. Chau suggests that our three priorities for defeating sub-saharan terrorism must be:
1. Seizing and holding the moral high ground
2. Winning the stuggle for perceived legitimacy
3. Pursuing restrained counterterrorism responses
I will not belabor the point further–it is flat out NUTS for the USA to be spending $60 billion a year on the 4% it can steal with largely worthless technology and largely incompetent human spies; and $600-900 billion a year on a heavy metal military that is next to useless in 90% of the situations we face into the future.
Israel, the US neocons that were party to the 935 lies that led America to war in Iraq, now an occupation, and both of the political parties in the USA that share the spoils while looting the US taxpayers, have become cancers on humanity. In no way does this condone terrorism or excuse the terrible depravity and dereliction of the Arab regimes, but in the larger context, I see very clearly that the US and Israel are pursuing their own terrorist tactics “in our name,” while completely abandoning the much more sensible and much more likely to succeed grand strategy (neither country has a strategy, only campaigns of tactics) of striving for a prosperous world at peace.
For the single stupidest book ever created by US Generals that totally agrees with this book:
Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror
For additional information helpful to those who wish to be fully informed and not be held hostage to one point of view:
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change [this book is free online search for title]
Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography) [This book is free online search for title.]
The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
The Lessons of History
Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Vintage)
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History
Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude