Review (Guest): Goliath – Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

5 Star, Corruption, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Justice (Failure, Reform), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Max Blumenthal

5.0 out of 5 stars When tribalism trumps democracy, January 10, 2014

Herbert L. Calhoun

In the Middle East, another war of biblical proportions is taking place. It is the war between Judaism and democracy. This book tells us that the most famous outcome in the bible, the tale of David slaying Goliath, is now being reversed. This time around, David (Israeli democracy), loses, and loses badly to the Middle East's new conservative run, nuclear-armed Goliath of Israeli neocolonialism, tribalism and racism.

Whatever else this book does, it forces us to face straight up, one of our worse hidden fears about that besieged little middle eastern nation: Right before our eyes, little brother Israel, has become the 21st Century's first full-bred racist and fascist state. But how is it that in our life time, the collective guilt and heart-felt dreams for a Jewish homeland come true — one free of the evils of the kind of racism and anti-Semitism imposed on European Jewry by Adolph Hitler, has now been turned completely on its head?

This author tells us that it is happening because Israeli's demographic and racist fears about neighboring Arabs has metastasized into wanton crimes and embarrassing politically motivated violence against the Palestinians and other Arabs under Israel's occupation. The Israeli predilection for violence, coupled with justifications rooted in visceral racial fears, is systematically turning Israel into a modern-day race-based dystopia.

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Review: How Bush Rules–Chronicles of a Radical Regime

4 Star, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason

Sidney Blumenthal
Amazon Page

Opens with Summary, Good Series, Underestimates Cheney,

September 8, 2006
Sidney Blumenthal
By virtue of being an organized series of past short columns, most two pages to three pages in length, this book may be off-putting to the average reader, but for either insiders or those who care deeply about moral legitimate governance, this is a real page turner.

The author renders a valuable service in providing an original 23 page “tour of the horizon” that captures many but not all of the impeachable offenses of the Bush-Cheney team. In Florida, for example, his emphasis is on Bushophiles stopping the recount, not on the fact that Greg Pabst broke the story BEFORE the election that 35,000 people of color had been disenfranchised by Jeb Bush in a calculated plan to cheat the American public out of an honest election.

As someone who has read most but not all of the books covering this era (it merits comment that in its radical being, the Bush-Cheney Administration has inspired more books of the moment than any other previous President, as best I can tell), I found the collection of essays logical, reasoned, relevant, and depressing. This is a litany of high crimes and misdemeanors that demands the question: why hasn't this pair been impeached? The obvious answer is because they own Congress, which has abdicated its roles at the first (Article 1) branch of government, the less obvious answer is because the public has become both ignorant and inert, the worst nightmare of Thomas Jefferson and Justice Branstein combined.

A few highlights along the trail:

Intelligence wars, with Cheney first trying to intimidate the CIA, then ignoring it.

Cheney killing the policy process, ruling by dogma.

Rice negligent & incompetent, as well as disloyal to Scowcroft, subversive of Powell, and ultimately the “butterfly of the State Department.”

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence betraying the people's trust and its responsibility, the majority concealing and delaying accountability.

Bush leveraging religions, creating the first major violation of the Founding Fathers' insistence on a secular state with tolerance of all religions.

Government in crisis, Bush-Cheney at war with the professionals.

Iran, not US, winning in Iraq.

Bolton as a “neo-primitive” (for the cognoscenti, the author renders gifted turns of phrase at every turn).

Catholic Church as a neo-fascist extreme right element more in harmony with the Bush regime than any protestant might imagine.

The invisible shrinking president seeking to uphold a doctrine of presidential infallibility.

The summary at the beginning of the book is alone worth the price of the book, and takes this collection of insightful and well-sequenced essays from four to five stars.

My one thought in putting the book down was that the author may have been unduly kind to Cheney. If one reads the The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 it is clear Cheney has mounted an internal coup d'etat and is NOT briefing Bush, is actively WITHHOLDING from Bush critical information, and appears to be deliberately REVERSING decisions by Bush made in Cabinet sessions and the over-turned in the dark. The full story on Cheney's machinations remains to be told.

EDIT of 10 Dec 07: We now know that Dick Cheney is a nakely amoral person and has committed 25 documents acts of commission or omission that in my judgement demand that he be impeached. See, in addition to One Percent Doctrine, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency. My review there items 23 act, the other two are in One Percent Doctrine.

The book has an index, mostly of names.

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