Review: National Insecurity – American Leadership in an Age of Fear

4 Star, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Force Structure (Military), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

David Rothkopf

4.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB Conclusion–Has Flaws But Still a Strong Contribution, February 25, 2015

Wow. I have met the author and I gave an earlier book of his, Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power a strong review, but I was not expecting the deep common sense and pragmatic observations that conclude this book. There are many aspects of our insecurity that the author is not willing to address — notably the deep corruption of our political system and undue influence by foreign “allies” that are in fact enemies but that pales in light of his deep evaluation of how badly we are doing as a government. There are many flaws in the author's arguments better covered by Reviewer Frank J. Wassermann, I put this down to the author trying too hard to not completely alienate all the mandarins he still meets for lunch and at evening events. I embrace most of Reviewer Wasserman's comments but still give the book four stars instead of his two.

Mel Goodman's book by the same title National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (Open Media), published a year earlier, strengthens the emerging field of critical scholarship and joins earlier books such as General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier and Chalmers Johnson's The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project) and most recently James Risen's Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.

We have been a corrupt, grubby little nation whose policies and practices range from stupid to criminally insane. The system is broken across the board, at both the process and policy level, and the political level. Although this has been the case, more or less, for over a century, it was not until after WWII, when we combined an embrace of resettled Nazis into the USA (see The Nazi Hydra in America: Suppressed History of a Century) with off-budget criminal conspiracies financed by captured gold (see Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold) that we became the modern 900 lb village idiots wreaking havoc around the world.

It is important to emphasize that the US Government is the lesser of two great evils, the larger evil is represented by Wall Street and particularly Goldman Sachs, alone with a multinational corporate culture that destroys entire cultures and economies for its own convenience. Matt Taibbi's Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History and John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man are just two among many references I have reviewed here at Amazon.

What strikes me as important about this book, apart from the author's presentation of facts and opinions based on his real-world experience, is that for the first time a number of serious people that in the past would have hovered quietly in the wings, fearful of criticizing the hand that feeds them, are speaking up. I have never had a problem with speaking up but I have indeed felt very lonely. That has now changed. Truth-telling is now in fashion, and I dare hope that the recent Army publication “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession,” is, along with this book, a clear sign of change.

It will get worse in the balance of the Obama-Biden Administration — see Tom Englehardt's Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World — but I do believe the times they are a'changing — and with the Internet, this time we cannot be silenced. The voice of an honest hard-working 99% is rising, at the same time that the elite 1% are breaking ranks, witness Lday Lynn Rothschild's “Inclusive Capitalism,” the Mars Family “Mutuality Economics,” and the West Coast and South European Black Sheep Billionaire's “Redemptive Capitalism.” The best and the brightest have figured out that a 100% corrupt government doing great evil at home and abroad is NOT WORKING. That split is a decisive first step toward remediation.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
OPEN POWER: Electoral Reform Act of 2015 – Open Source Activists' Toolkit

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