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Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (War and Peace Library) Paperback – March 4, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0742525221 ISBN-10: 0742525228

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Product Details

  • Series: War and Peace Library
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (March 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742525228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742525221
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and current English professor, analyzes an important aspect of U.S. foreign policy. Scott does point to sources and relationships that are often ignored by works relying on standard archival materials. (CHOICE)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott: The War Conspiracy A powerful analysis of the United States' persistent drive toward war..... (Franz Schurmann)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott: Cocaine Politics For the evidence that narcotics . . . have been instruments of U.S. foreign policy, you simply have to read Cocaine Politics. This, one of the most enlightening books of the year, will redefine your usage of the silly term 'drug war.'''' (Christopher Hitchens The Nation)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott: The War Conspiracy A meticulous and fascinating analysis. . . . The great importance of this book extends well beyond the new understanding it provides with regards to past escapades. Scott exposes an element in the American system of global power that poses an increasing threat to the victims of this system.... (Noam Chomsky)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott: Deep Politics and the Death of JFK Staggeringly well-researched and intelligent overview not only of the JFK assassination but also of the rise of forces undermining American democracy—of which the assassination, Scott says, is symptomatic.... (Kirkus Reviews)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott:The War ConspiracyA meticulous and fascinating analysis. . . . The great importance of this book extends well beyond the new understanding it provides with regards to past escapades. Scott exposes an element in the American system of global power that poses an increasing threat to the victims of this system. (Noam Chomsky)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott:The War ConspiracyA powerful analysis of the United States' persistent drive toward war. (Franz Schurmann)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott:Cocaine PoliticsFor the evidence that narcotics . . . have been instruments of U.S. foreign policy, you simply have to read Cocaine Politics. This, one of the most enlightening books of the year, will redefine your usage of the silly term 'drug war.' (Christopher Hitchens The Nation)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott:Deep Politics and the Death of JFKStaggeringly well-researched and intelligent overview not only of the JFK assassination but also of the rise of forces undermining American democracy—of which the assassination, Scott says, is symptomatic. (Kirkus Reviews)

No student of political science or political thinker dares overlook this thirty-year tour de force of the dark side of history and the para and deep politics that control so much of our daily lives. (Michael C. Ruppert, publisher/editor of From the Wilderness)

Peter Dale Scott takes us for a controversial tour along the dark side of American foreign policy. The book builds a powerful case that Washington's War on Drugs is at best futile and at worst criminal. The overall target is the militarization of our foreign policy. The facts and conclusions are chilling. (Ambassador Robert White, president of the Center for International Policy)

Praise for the work of Peter Dale Scott:Coming to JakartaComing to Jakarta is the most important political poem to appear in the English language in a very long time. (Robert Hass)

This is a brilliant, compelling, and startlingly original exposé of American foreign policy as oil policy with an addiction to drug trafficking as its adjunct. It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of the dreadful paradoxes of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children. (Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers)

About the Author

Peter Dale Scott was born in 1929 in Montreal, Canada. A former Canadian diplomat and professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, he is both a poet and an author of political analysis. His chief prose books include Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, The War Conspiracy, Cocaine Politics, and The Iran-Contra Connection (the last two in collaboration). His most recent book of poetry is Minding the Darkness, completing his trilogy Seculum. In 2002 he was awarded the Lannan Poetry Award. He is married to Ronna Kabatznick, and has three children by his former wife, Maylie Marshall.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is partly a rewriting of an older book of the author 'The War Conspiracy'.
Luc REYNAERT
He warns that America's recent restoration of the drug traffic in Afghanistan will help fuel an increased wave of terrorism in the region and the world.
Barbara Gates
I would recommend the author finding an editor to create an easier read for the material.
Rick Collins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on March 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding and revelatory book, a brilliant account of a drug-trafficking empire. He shows how US protection for their drug-runner allies has led to the huge increase in drug trafficking in the last 50 years.

The US strategy of opposing national self-determination involves alliances with drug-traffickers like the Sicilian Mafia, the Triads in South-East Asia, the Contras in Nicaragua, the Kosovo Liberation Army in Europe, the death squads in Colombia and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. As President Johnson's Secretary of State Dean Rusk said, the USA "should employ whatever means ... arms here, opium there."

From the 1870s to the 1960s, the British rulers of Malaya farmed the opium franchise to the Triads. The US state first copied this strategy in 1949, when it armed the defeated Kuomintang's drug networks in Burma and Laos, after the victorious Chinese revolution began to eliminate Chinese opium, then the source of 85% of the world's heroin.

The US state encouraged its allies to enrich themselves through drugs, while it blamed the communist enemy for the evils that its allies were committing. From 1949 until at least 1964, the US told the UN Narcotics Commission that China was responsible for drug imports into the USA. In fact, the drugs were trafficked from Burma and Thailand, under the protection of the Kuomintang troops backed by the CIA. The Hong Kong authorities stated that they "were not aware of a traffic in narcotics from the mainland of China through Hong Kong" but "quantities of narcotics reached Hong Kong via Thailand."

The US state assaulted the whole region of South East Asia between 1950 and 1975, just as it is attacking the Middle East today.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Paul Vitols on October 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
A hard-to-follow structure and a dry, academic writing style make this powerful and much-needed book less accessible than it should be.

Spurred in part by the near-unanimous 5-star acclaim among the Amazon reviewers, I bought this book. I was a bit disappointed. Not because of the content: Scott's authority comes through strongly as a concerned, longtime, and deep observer of the deliberately hidden dimension of U.S. foreign policy operating in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina. Writing since the time of the Vietnam War, he has dug and dug into these things, and we are the beneficiaries of his spadework.

My issue is more with the structure and presentation of the book. As other reviewers have noted, the book is in fact mostly a reprinting of some of Scott's earlier writings, with some new, brief introductions. This means the book is not really unified, but more a collection of essays with some overlap and repetition which I found sometimes confusing. Counterintuitively, it moves backward in time, starting with a discussion of Afghanistan in 2002 and progressing to Colombia in 2001 and Indochina from 1950 to 1970. The book is not a single narrative or a single argument, and its unity suffers for this.

Scott delivers what should be the most sensational pieces of information--such as that presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all had strikingly intimate ties to organized-crime figures--in a dry, unemphatic way that makes for a strangely subdued, scholarly tone (with copious end-notes), and thus a less engaging read than it should be.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Gribble on July 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina is an eye-opening journey into the deep politics of U.S. intervention in developing and third-world nations. Scott illuminates the connection between American business interests and American foreign policy with a factual depth that leaves little room for doubt. Scott also documents the CIA involvement--often via drug proxies--in furthering covert American interests. The details and references contained within the text add immeasurably to what is already an incredibly valuable and insightful history. This book is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the motivation behind American foreign policy and the military conflicts that have arisen out of American business interests on foreign soil.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Dale Scott illustrates clearly that one of the main aims of the US foreign policy is control of oil, because the US is heavily dependent on foreign oil and oil markets.

The Vietnam war was based on the Southeast Asia domino theory, which raised concerns about the Indonesian oil assets. The war was all about preventing communist regimes from taking control of oil reserves.

Other examples are Iraq, Afghanistan and Unocal's oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea, Colombia and Occidental Petroleum's oil fields or Kossovo and the Balkan oil pipeline.

In order to control oil resources the US backes armies and governments that are heavily involved in drug trafficking. The end justifies all means.

This kind of powerplay is exercised by covert means (parapolitics). Unfortunately, those policies tend to metastasize into deep politics. As the author states: 'they become an interplay of unacknowledged forces on which the original parapolitical agent no longer has control'.

The result is that the US and the world are inundated with drugs. One cannot find one dollar note without drug traces.

This book is partly a rewriting of an older book of the author 'The War Conspiracy'.

Although it is more confusing and lesser deep digging than his Magnum Opus 'Deep Politics', it is a disturbing and impressive report.

Not to be missed.
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