22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When America does the terrorizing of other nations
Jeremy Brecher sifts through mountains of evidence to question how the United States can justify torturing people if we are trying to convince them that adopting a western-style democracy is in their own best interests.
Furthermore, he argues these events are not isolated incidents. Seemingly disparate events are connected. Many of America's public officials...
Published on November 4, 2005 by Robin Orlowski
3 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A little more authentic clarification on Saddam's days as ruler of Iraq and this book's take on it
In his own book (available on amazon)a former top Saddam aid. one Georges Sada, talks of how Saddam killed 182,000 of Iraqi Kurds in just one year! And a much lower but horribly tragic 8,000 in another year! It was back in the 1980's Saddam did this. Brecher's book fails to discuss what a mass murderer Saddam was and how stopping him was very appropriate. They use only...
Published on April 7, 2006 by G.D.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When America does the terrorizing of other nations,
This review is from: In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (American Empire Project) (Paperback)Jeremy Brecher sifts through mountains of evidence to question how the United States can justify torturing people if we are trying to convince them that adopting a western-style democracy is in their own best interests.
Furthermore, he argues these events are not isolated incidents. Seemingly disparate events are connected. Many of America's public officials convinced themselves, each other, and the troops that we are above the law because we are making the world safe for democracy. Couple the American government's jingoistic ideology with a solider's stress of being in a guerilla war--where anybody could be a combatant---and there is no surprise that some members of the American forces commit war crimes in the Middle East.
Brecher's ultimate analysis questions the ethics of many American policy holders. However, he believes in the American people to demand better behavior from their leaders. This makes the breadth of disturbing information in his volume easier to digest.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reasoned look at unreasonable policy,
This review is from: In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (American Empire Project) (Paperback)This well-reasoned and level-headed collection of writings about America's conduct of the "War on Terror" is a chilling indictment of U.S. policy. That we are willing to cede our most basic national principles in service of our fear and historical ignorance, and in the name of this administration's failures and fixations, is at once terrifying and heartbreaking. This is a call to moral action, no matter which side of the politcal aisle you seat yourself. At the core of this book lies this question, asked and paraphrased through many ages: Must we destroy our country in order to save it?
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Needed Introduction to War Crimes in Iraq,
This review is from: In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (American Empire Project) (Paperback)_In the Name of Democracy_ does a good job of explaining what constitutes war crimes (it's not just torture) and setting out the case that the U.S. invasion of Iraq violated international laws. There's a lot to digest in this book, not all of it pleasant, but I found the discussions of the importance of international law to be useful and not too over-scholarly: I learned a lot. The parts toward the end about resisters and how to put a halt to war crimes were interesting and inspiring and provide a more personal connection to a lot of the issues raised in the chapters. The book ends by looking at the connections between the subversion of international law and the subversion of U.S. law, which should be of interest to anyone who values democracy and liberty.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Collection of Top Minds and Real Facts,
I want to say up front, that as best I can tell; our brave and professional troops are in fact making lemonade from lemons, and doing the best they can. However, they all realize that they and all the world was lied to by the Bush Administration, that this is about oil, and that they are killing civilians and many children for no good reason, due to the horrible circumstances that we have created by remaining there. According to this book, suicides are up 40%, there are 6000 deserters, and seamen recruits are *winning* when court-martialed for refusing to obey illegal orders to go to Iraq.
The editors have done a superb job of bringing together a collection of proven individuals including President Jimmy Carter, Senator Robert Byrd, Daniel Ellsberg, Sy Hersh, a group of US Generals (retired) protesting the White House mandated torture, and a wide variety of individual experts on war crimes.
The book opens with a discussion of three kinds of war crime:
1) Wars of aggression, i.e. unprovoked, pre-emptive, unjustified
2) Violations of humanitarian law
3) Crimes against humanity
You can read the book for the details. Suffice to say that they set the stage with objective factual discussion, and then proceed to document, most ably, the reality that the United States of America is now a war criminal in the larger context of humanity. What is being done "in our name" is immoral, reprehensible, unconstitutional, impeachable, and--to my great dismay--largely ignored by the majority of our adult population.
A few highlights from this easy to read collection of relatively short (2-4 page) pieces:
Ellsberg: Loyalty to the Constitution must take precedence at all levels. Like Viet-Nam, we are now realizing that the current regime cannot be trusted and can blunder strategically because the balance of power is out the door. Only We the People can demand a restoration of liberty & justice for all, with respect for the Constitutional limits to federal power.
Carter: Iraq war is an unjust illegal war. He says this as a President and as a Christian and as a loyal American who reveres the Constitution.
Herbert: Pentagon is "shopping for wars" even as Iraq hollows it out. They have even discussed surprise unprovoked military attacks whose only justification is the possibility of collecting intelligence. As an intelligence expert, I can afford that the secret intelligence community is largely worthless and costs over $60 billion a year, but I can also assert that for less than $5 billion a year, I can not only provide 96% of all the intelligence we need from open sources in 183 languages, but I can also provide free online education and free cell phone answers from reachback help desks in India.
Hersh: we and Israel plan to invade Iran regardless of what the facts are and regardless of what the American people believe or desire. Talking to Pentagon sources, Hersh sees us funding and training death squads around the world, turning the world into what one senior official called a "global free fire zone."
Retired Generals: Torture was "top down" decision and command, not a few bottom up "rotten apples."
Various: US using illegal weapons, including depleted uranium and napalm, in Iraq and elsewhere.
FBI emails (redacted): Military interrogators practicing torture impersonated FBI special agents, meaning that the FBI instead of DoD would be nailed in the public eye. FBI appears to have honored its own higher standards and not followed the idiot Gonzalez (then White House Counsel).
Center: detailed case against Donald Rumsfeld for ordering, funding, and knowing of war crimes at all levels of command. Why they did not go after Bush and even more so, Dick Cheney, whose 25 high crimes and offenses have been itemized in my reviews of ONE PERCENT and VICE.
Roberts: No one left to stop them (within the government)
Falk speaks about accountability.
The book ends with four recommendations:
1) Halt the war crimes
2) Bring the war criminals to justice
3) Draw the lessons (the most obvious: don't throw stones if you live in a glass house)
4) Establish barriers to future war crimes.
A one-page appendix lists 22 relevant substantive web sites containing additional information.
Sadly, as good as this book is, it is a cry in the wilderness. It is not being used by any major transpartisan organization (such as Reuniting America and its members Moral Majority, the ACLU, MoveOn, and others totaling 110 individual members in all).
I truly grieve over how low our Nation has gone. The Republic no longer exists--every politician--every single one--is in violation of the Constitution and impeachable for their dereliction of duty in allowing Cheney and his puppet Bush to wreak havoc on the world and on our own citizens, whose loss of moral standing, national treasure, and an assured future will take at least a quarter century to remediate.
See my lists for a fast survey of books relevant to impeachment, to judging Cheney, to the good and the bad of religion within affairs of state, on why they hate us, and so on. If there is one slim chance for our future, it is that on this 4th of July we will all declare our independence from this illegal White House, demand the immediate resignations of these two war criminals (who, not incidentally, stole two elections in a row), and reconstitute the government by forcing all those now in Congress to either pass Electoral Reform prior to November 2008, or be recalled and "ordered home."
The monkey is now on our backs. What are we going to do?
EDITED 4 Sep 07 to use new link capability to add other recommended books and DVDs.
Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory
9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Fourth Edition
9/11 Mysteries Part 1: Demolitions
9/11: Press For Truth
Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of US/British war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere,
Part 1 looks at the war crimes of illegally invading and occupying another country. It shows how the US-British occupation, an illegal continuation of an illegal war, has broken all the laws of occupation. "The occupation is basically one gigantic war crime." The occupiers sacked all the army and police force, deliberately causing chaos. There were 100,000 excess deaths in the year after the invasion (Lancet), mostly from US air strikes. The USA is waging war largely by massive, unreported, bombing: the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than 500,000 tons of bombs on Iraq between May 2003 and December 2005.
The occupying forces continue to commit war crimes - they attack and kill civilians, using cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells and napalm. They drove 200,000 residents out of Fallujah and killed more than 1,000 people; half of them women and children. They deny food, water, electricity and medical supplies to civilians and attack hospitals and ambulances. They demolish homes, a collective punishment outlawed by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. They create death squads to set Shia against Sunni.
Part 2 discusses the US and British forces' use of torture. The Washington Post wrote of the `documented tortures and killings of foreign prisoners by this American government'. The Department of Defense reported `systemic and illegal abuse of detainees'.
The US government blames `rotten apples'. But decisions by policymakers determine decisions by interrogators: those who take political decisions are responsible for the consequences.
Bush authorised interrogation techniques `beyond the bounds of standard FBI practice'. His Order of 7 February 2002 said that the USA would not apply the 3rd Geneva Convention to Al Qaeda members. He defined himself as above the law, and the detainees as outside the law, against the US Constitution's pledge to `government under law'.
Rumsfeld said, "Unlawful combatants do not have any rights under the Geneva Convention." In the real world, the Convention obliges captors to protect all persons captured in wars. Rumsfeld's ruling by contrast authorised any and all abuses, and is itself a war crime.
The Justice Department, like the Pentagon, issued statements purporting to justify the use of torture. Attorney-General Alberto Gonzalez advised Bush that the Geneva Conventions were `obsolete', the same word used by the head of Hitler's Wehrmacht, General-Field Marshal Keitel. At Nuremberg, the US prosecutor cited this as an aggravating circumstance in seeking and obtaining the death sentence for Keitel.
John Bolton, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, said, "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so ..."
These policies by Bush, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez and Bolton led straight to the killing, torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners in US custody in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. The buck stops at the top.
Moreover, the Blair government is complicit in all these crimes, since in law it is responsible for the war crimes committed by its ally, the Bush government. As the International Law Commission's Article 16 on Responsibility of States (2001) says, "A State which aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so if (a) That State does so with knowledge of the internationally wrongful act; and (b) The Act would be internationally wrongful if committed by that State."
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very concerned about war crimes in Iraq,
3 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A little more authentic clarification on Saddam's days as ruler of Iraq and this book's take on it,
1 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely left wing propaganda & garbage!,
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In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (American Empire Project) by Brendan Smith (Paperback - November 1, 2005)
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