Review: The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace

5 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Government), Crime (Organized, Transnational), Culture, Research, Diplomacy, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Iraq, Justice (Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Religion & Politics of Religion, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Terrorism & Jihad, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal–Ref A Relevant to Everywhere Else
December 21, 2009
Ali A. Allawi
The author has achieved extraordinary synthesis and summation, with gifted straight-forward language.This book is not only a capstone reference, but demonstrates why we need to LISTEN–none of us could learn–in a lifetime–all that this author has in his head. That’s why multinational engagement is a non-negotiable first step toward the future.

Key notes and quotes:

+ Bush Senior should not have left Saddam Hussein off the hook in Gulf I, should have finished off the regime while we had enough troops on the ground to make the peace.

+ US blew Gulf II from the moment of victory onward. “Incoherent” is a word the author uses frequently in describing virtually every aspect of US operations in Iraq. The one element that gets high marks from him is the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) but the fact that the bulk of the “reconstruction” money was mis-managed by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) makes AID’s excellent a footnote in this sorry tale.

+ Book covers 2003-2006; the author was Minister of Defense and then Minister of Finance during the reconstruction period.

+ “Too few Americans actually cared.” Fred Smith (parent agency not clear) gets high marks from the author for caring and competence as the CPA-appointed advisor to the Ministry of Defense in the 2004 timeframe.

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Review DVD: Angels & Demons

Religion & Politics of Religion, Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised Me, Not a Typical Sequel

December 14, 2009

Tom Hanks, Ron Howard

Although I tend to shy away from sequels, I broke down and bought this at Giant to pass time away while completing a tediuous task. It was GREAT.

There is zero babe factor in this movie, which was a disappointment, it could have been scripted much more engagingly, but three things really blew me away throughout:

1) The staging or the access to ostensible Vatican inside and underground areas–presumably not actually within the Vatican, this was all done superbly

2) The twists and turns and the ending were great. I actually had tears of surprise at the end and will not spoil it.

3) Finally, Tom Hanks and the historical allusions still fascinate me. It would be great if history could be taught so ably, but more deeply and more thoroughly.

Absolutely recommended.

To browse all 86 of the DVDs that I recommend, visit Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, each links back to their respective Amazon page but only there can you see JUST my DVD reviews.  [Use Reviews (DVD Only) (86)]

Review: Threshold–The Crisis of Western Culture

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Censorship & Denial of Access, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Electoral Reform USA, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Religion & Politics of Religion, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean), True Cost & Toxicity, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Five for the Voice, Four for the Substance

December 12, 2009
Thom Hartmann
Thom Hartmann is one of a handful of individuals that I consider to be true guides for the rest of us, and I consider two of his earlier books, Cracking the Code and SCREWED, to have been instrumental in my own transformation from recovering spy to intelligence officer to the public.

The book does cover a lot of ground lightly, but it is coherent, and because it is Thom Hartmann, whose voice is hugely important to all of us, I settle on a five instead of a four. Other books that complement this one include Tom Atlee’s The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All, Jim Rough’s Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People, and The People’s Business: Controlling Corporations and Restoring Democracy.

Here are my notes:

+ Book may be missing pages, mine starts at page xi (Preface) so I am left wondering, what happened to i through x?

+ Book opens with quotes from Einstein and Schweitzer with respect to the urgency of widening our circle of compassion to include ALL living things, and explicitly ALL humanity.

Continue reading “Review: Threshold–The Crisis of Western Culture”