Review DVD: The U.S. vs. John Lennon

5 Star, Culture, DVD - Light, Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Reviews (DVD Only)

US John LennonGive Peace a Chance,

May 26, 2007

John Lennon

I chose this movie for reflection, as I have come to the conclusion that the U.S. Government, at the policy level (Cheney & top political appointees) is insane, criminal, and destroying the Republic. Like Lee Iacocca, I keep asking myself, “where is the outrage?”

John Lennon, whatever his warts, got it right. Give peace a chance indeed (see the image I have uploaded, it represents the rest of my life’s work and illustrates what Lennon was hinting at).

I believe the Dick Cheney, Rudy Gulliani, and Larry Silverstein murdered most if not all of the victims of 9/11 in NYC, and that Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld put a missile into the Pentagon and separately orchestrated the murder of those on the airplane that crashed. I cannot prove it, but I can certainly say with authority that 9/11 has not been properly investigated; that Iraq was done on a web of lies and that Iran has played Cheney like fiddle, using US power and money and lives to get rid of Iran’s two arch-enemies, the Talban and Saddam Hussein.

We have gone NUTS as country. Martin Luther King, John Lennon, even “Hanoi” Jane Fonda were on target. Civil disobedience in long overdue in this country, and this film reminds us why individual morality and individual passion for justice matters.

It also reminds us of the lengths that entrenched power will go to silence and intimiate its legal ethcial opponents. The federal government, at the political appointee level, has no honor.

Why We Fight
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America’s Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Gandhi (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)
The Pathology of Power (A Challenge to Human Freedom and Safety)

Review: The Battle for Hearts and Minds–Using Soft Power to Undermine Terrorist Networks (Washington Quarterly Readers) (Paperback)

4 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Diplomacy

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Several excellent contributions, fails to connect to open source intelligence,

April 9, 2006
Alexander T. J. Lennon
This is a pretty good volume from 2003, with a good mix of academics, journalists, and practitioners. The most useful pieces for me personally were on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which manages the Voice of America.

On balance this is a solid reference on all but two of the aspects of soft power: it completely neglects the importance of getting a grip on historical and cultural reality through open source intelligence (OSINT) and also neglects the strategic bottom line that demands an educated American public that is fully informed about the real world and demanding of intelligent policy choices.

The book certainly does well with the limitations of military power, the importance of nation building, the urgency of having a massive capability to do stabilization and reconstruction operations as needed, and the critical roles that public diplomacy and foreign assistance could, but do not, play in winning hearts and minds.

Of special interest to me was the failing report card on the broadcasting board of governors, whose equipment is 30 years old in many cases. I applauded the informed judgement of the author who made the case, based on experience, for keeping the short wave and middle band capabilities that too few understand is essential for Africa and other locations.

Across the book it becomes clear that the US needs to upgrade the Combatant Commanders or mirror them with a civilian coordinator for non-military strategy, power, and resources. As someone who grew up overseas with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), and served in three Embassies overseas, it is crystal clear to me that we need to double the Department of State, in part by reconstituting USIA as a separate organization, and by placing USIA, the BBG, and a new Open Source Agency (for collecting and making sense of all public information in all languages all the time) in a tight partnership. We need to double and triple aid, develop a peacekeeping from the sea program, as well as the ability to do multiple Berlin Airlifts.

This is a good basic book for anyone thinking seriously about “soft power,” a term popularized by Joe Nye, whose varied books I have reviewed and recommend very highly.

Vote on Review
Vote on Review