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Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit Paperback – May 12, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A very detailed analysis of US foreign policy and especially how its words run utterly counter to its actions... How does one convey the nature of a rapacious, imperialist state to all but the already converted without reeling off statistics or resorting to lefty versions of sound bites? Elich does it with a good deal of sarcasm laced with irony, and then pours the facts on top as a rich source for us to relish... Gaining access to the facts is akin to an archaeological excavation that few either have the skill, understanding or patience to undertake. Luckily, we have people like Elich to do the digging for us. -- William Bowles, "Illusion and Reality," Investigating Imperialism, September 23, 2006

Radical political scientist and historian Michael Parenti writes in his introduction to Greg Elich's new book, Strange Liberators: "The difference between what U.S. citizens think their rulers are doing in the world and what these rulers actually are doing is one of the great propaganda achievements of history." With his ambitious attempt to combat that propaganda, Elich confronts the lies of the U.S. government and its servile media as he takes on what he calls the "hard cases." North Korea's nuclear program, the imperialist assault on Yugoslavia and the machinations against Zimbabwe are his major topics. Even for people who have been following these conflicts closely, Elich has found material that sheds new light on the events. His work regarding the DPRK is especially on target now. -- John Catalinotto, "Countering Imperialist Propaganda," Workers World, July 20, 2006

From the Back Cover

"Gregory Elich is the model investigative journalist of the anti-imperialist left; tenacious, thorough, penetrating, meticulous and above all, uncompromising. On Yugoslavia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iraq, no one digs deeper, and no one uncovers more, than Elich."
Stephen Gowans, political commentator, What's Left

"Using a wealth of historic evidence and revelatory analysis, deep research and eye-witness investigation, Gregory Elich treats what lawyers call the `hard cases': Yugoslavia, Croatia, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and certain untouched questions about Iraq, issues that have been most thoroughly misrepresented in the corporate media and even by political commentators and activists who claim to be on the left. Elich wastes no time with genuflections to the dominant ideology. Instead he sticks to the awful facts and glaring truths that compose the underlying reality of the U.S. global empire. He ties in his deeply informed case studies to the wider issues of U.S. imperial policy, the broader questions of war and peace, and the general crisis that faces the entire world and the planet's ecology itself. Thereby he performs a most valuable service to persons all across the political spectrum."
Michael Parenti, author of The Culture Struggle, The Assassination of Julius Caesar and To Kill a Nation

"Gregory Elich offers a clear and vital analysis of the goals of private interests and their secret collusion with the Bush administration to cover up a broad range of dangers, from war to global warming. Scholars, researchers and the lay public interested in US foreign policy will find this book both vital and illuminating."
Lenora Foerstel,vice president of Women for Mutual Security, and author of Confronting the Margaret Mead Legacy

"Gregory Elich has dedicated himself to skillfully unearthing and disseminating the information that typically goes unsaid. He provides us with the well-researched fundamentals we cannot and should not expect to get from our newspapers or televisions. Put another way, Elich teaches us to identify the `gates' that restrict our freedom of thought."
Mickey Z, author of The Seven Deadly Spins and 50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know

"For years, Gregory Elich has made his mark as a journalist-historian who pairs a special literary flair with a talent for uncovering real time, tightly held intelligence secrets. In this profoundly ominous time of modern history, there are precious few contemporary writers who brook no compromise with the truth. This volume stands tall, and the author is a special breed."
Louis Wolf, publisher of Covert Action Quarterly


Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Llumina Press (May 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595265708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595265708
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,888,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Paul Lappen VINE VOICE on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
American foreign policy, especially during the Bush Administration, has been characterized as "incompetent" or "misguided," along with other such words. On the contrary, American foreign policy is actually very competent and works quite well, when its real purpose is to make the world safe for wealthy Western investors. Any country, no matter its size, that refuses to go along with America's demands is to be strangled into submission, by any means available.

Americans remember the Korean War as a limited "police action." North Koreans remember it as a time of total annihilation, when everything and anything was bombed. The seemingly irrational North Korean fear of an American invasion becomes much more rational considering that, in 1994, the Clinton Administration was very close to declaring war on North Korea, because of its nuclear program. The use of nuclear weapons to destroy North Korea's nuclear facilities would have spread radioactivity over most of the Korean peninsula, and killed hundreds of thousands of people, a fact which really didn't bother the Clinton Administration.

North Korea, in the midst of a huge energy crisis, has been willing to scrap its uranium reprocessing capabilities, in exchange for a couple of light water reactors (which are not good for reprocessing), and shipments of heavy oil until the reactors are finished. America and North Korea signed an agreement in 1994, which America promptly ignored. The American bargaining postition, from then until now, is full of bullying, and threats, and demanding that North Korea totally scrap its nuclear program, before America will agree to any kind of talks (with no guarantee that America will agree to do anything for North Korea).
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I have never read a book that educated me in such a plain and detailed way about the means and methods of Western imperialism. Mr. Elich, the author cuts right through all the theoretical discourse one could have on such subjects and gets straight to the concrete information a person needs in order to know how hegemonic power works in the current world order. Also, the fact that this book touches on a diverse array of examples/places within major areas of the world is also fantastic. Elich does so with meticulous research and intriguing literary style. This book is a demonstration of major insight by Mr. Elich to focus on some of the most misunderstood places in the world, on exactly those things that are most misunderstood about them, and how the powers that be systematically generate these misunderstandings. The title is completely fitting. Now Iam always recommending it anytime and anywthere i get the chance, Strange Liberators; Militarism, Mayhem and the Pursuit of Profit!
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Good source book for finding out what our corporate media doesn't tell us. The focus is on three pariah states-- North Korea, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe. If you take usual reportage at face value, you probably think these countries amount to charnel houses run by madmen and populated by fanatics. I may exaggerate, but not much.

What the book tells is the other side of the story, the one we never get to hear. Thus, Elich presents an in-depth profile of North Korea's stance on nuclear power,. Corporate media usually portrays their negotiations as irrational, at best, or bomb-happy, at worst. Actually, once the picture is filled in, Pyongyang's contributions to the seemingly endless rounds of multilateral talks become quite reasonable and rational. That alone is worth the purchase price, exposing, as it does, Washington's duplicitous game that none in our media dares report.

Similarly, we get a fuller picture of the events leading up to NATO's criminal invasion of Yugoslavia. The air bombardment proceeded, of course, under the guise of protecting Albanians from Serbian genocide. The KLA's provocative role is either ignored or minimized. Frankly, this story has been told better in other sources-- Parenti, for one. However, we do get considerable anecdotal accounts of Serbian suffering at the hands of the KLA, a key aspect minimized in Western reporting. Nonetheless, this section is the book's weakest.

Zimbabwe's inclusion is timely. Britain and the US are again turning up the heat in an effort to topple the stubbornly independent Mugabe regime. The book details the brutal economic warfare that has been waged against this former British colony over the last several decades.
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I was particularly impressed by Mr. Elich's exploration of Western perfidy in the dismantlement of Yugoslavia and its campaign to bring non-aligned Zimbabwe to its knees. His defense of the struggle to preserve socialist Yugoslavia and of Zimbabwe's program of equitable land distribution are powerfully documented and keenly argued. Mr. Elich is clearly a man of the left, and his book challenges misperceptions of important issues where the fate of entire peoples are in the balance.
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