TImely, Deep Historical Insights, Some Gaps & Biases, May 29, 2011
I would normally wait but in the absence of any reviews want to just praise this book as timely, with deep historical insights, and a few gaps and biases as well as no index, the latter almost always causes me to remove a star. The book has been rushed into print and suffers from that rush, but I fully anticipate that a second edition will be fleshed out, add an index, and be a full five star contribution. This is a print on demand book (Amazon's superb CreateSpace offering) and only 78 pages, it is properly priced and that I find especially commendable.
The author is nothing less than a superior analyst with very high integrity, and his historical knowledge, as well as his historical contributions to non-fiction literature, cannot be denied.
Among the core findings that I appreciate are the author's early focus on the complete ignorance of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [and of course also the Departments of State and Defense] with respect to both the opposition leaders (all of them, not just the normal suspects] and the underlying preconditions of revolution across all dimensions.
I am a little uncomfortable with the author's imposition of his own tried and true framework and his somewhat shrill condemnation of the West as “imperialist” but being guilty of the first flaw myself, and increasingly radicalized by what I see as an out of control US Government committing war crimes “in our name” and without Constitutional authority, I have to give this author and this book the benefit of the doubt and call this “required reading” for anyone who wishes to understand both the FAILURE of the Arab revolt and the ROLE of the US in undermining what the US SHOULD BE striving to support–the emergence of dignity and democracy for all.
I think of Howard Zinn as I finish this short and totally incomplete review–public power is a power no government can repress, but the US Government lacks both intelligence and integrity, so it keeps on doing the wrong thing as expensively and as hatefully as it can. I pray the American people will wake and and realize that the USA is a two-party political tyranny in the service of Israel and Goldman Sachs and European banking families, and has zero commitment to the public interest at home or abroad.
Buy the book–write strong critical reviews–this book certainly needs to be re-issued again in a year, fleshed out, but in the meantime, it is as good a starting point as exists.
Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire
Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia
New Turkish Republic: Turkey As a Pivotal State in the Muslim World (Pivotal State Series)
The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century
Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics
Shooting the Truth: The Rise of American Political Documentaries
Long Strange Journey: An Intelligence Memoir
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA