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Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism 2nd Edition

20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0745316918
ISBN-10: 0745316913
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Cooley, an ABC correspondent who has spent many years in the Middle East, calls his book a "narration," and indeed it reads more like a conversation than a traditional book. He focuses on the numerous riots, uprisings, and terrorist acts in the Arabic-speaking parts of the Middle East over the last two decades, which began when freedom fighters in Afghanistan returned to their home countries after the Afghan war. Cooley carries such ties even to the World Trade Center and Kenyan and Tanzanian embassy bombings. Since the CIA (and others) funded the fighters in Afghanistan, we are reaping a strange harvest for our efforts. Although there are minor factual errors and some of the movements may have fewer ties to Afghanistan than Cooley implies in his more sweeping statements, this provocative book certainly will provide insight into many events in the Middle East for the general reader.ADonald Johnson, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Minneapolis
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Great many details of value and interest . . ." -- New York Times Book Review

"Important and timely . . ." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Pr; 2nd edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745316913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745316918
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,083,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on April 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
This author can say more in 5 words then I could say in 50. To say this book is dense and jammed packed with detail may be an understatement. This book is the authors attempt to detail the creation and support of the Afghanistan freedom fighters in the 1980's and how these fighters then went out in the 90's to form the base of the Al - Qaeda terrorist group. The author takes us through the different countries and ways that the Afghani fighters were funded and supported. It then covers the terrorist acts these same fighters have been committing over the last ten years.
We get a very good look at the other nations involved in this issue and how the internal politics of one nation may effect the world. For example the help that China provided the Afghani fighters to keep the Russians busy then turned into an issue for China when those same fighters started working with separatist organizations in Western China. The books main point is that if you use mercenaries to fight a war for you it tends to have far reaching repercussions.
What I did not like about the book was the bone-dry writing. He managed to take an interesting topic and turn it into a story with all the excitement of an economics lecture. This is good stuff, punch it up a bit and get me excited to move to the next page. I also wanted a bit more background or links to other events - we get a blizzard of facts, dates, places etc, but it is not tied together very well. And if you are a nut on typos (you probably would get mad at my typing) then watch out because it does not look like too much editing was done on the text.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Chapulina R on October 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Former President Jimmy Carter was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize for his Middle East peace efforts. Yet Carter's Central Asian policies were directly responsible for the spawning of international terrorism as we know it now. On Juy 3, 1979, Carter, acting on the recommendation of his National Security Advisor, cold-warrior Zbigniew Brzezinski, began clandestinely supporting Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan. Carter may rue this now. But at the time, he believed Afghani Islamist rebels were simply fellow Believers denied their religious freedom by the "godless" Marxist government in Kabul. Brzezinski knew better. But as he stated in a 1998 interview: "This secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap." When the Soviet Army entered Afghanistan in late December 1979, Brzezinski gloated, "Now we can give the USSR its own Vietnam War!" Brzezinski and Carter's CIA Director Adm. Stansfield Turner freely acknowledged that "possible adverse consequences of the anti-communist alliance with Afghan Islamists (and shortly afterward with their radical Muslim allies around the world) -- the growth of a new international terrorist movement and global outreach of Central Asian drug-trafficking -- did not weigh heavily, if at all" in their calculations. Brzezinski, asked later whether he regretted arming and training future terrorists, retorted: "What was more important in world history? The Taliban or the fall of the Soviet empire? A few over-excited Islamists, or the liberation of eastern Europe?" Brzezinski's native Poland was, of course, in eastern Europe... Carter encouraged Islamist incursions into the Central Asian republics of the USSR, ostensibly to foment religious rebellion in those secular Islamic states.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James R. White on November 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
At a friend's advice, I read this book. It is so full of amazing history and facts, I highlighted so many passeges, some pages are yellow! This book has information about every Middle East and Central Asia conflict, and the amazing thing is that many of the ones who are our enemy now are the ones we supported with arms and money! I had forgotten that we supported Saddam and Osama, and even the Taliban. All the terrorism you see in the news today: Sept 11, Iraq, Chechnyans, el Quaida, Bali. Do you want to know how how and why it happened, how we contributed, and how we could have prevented it? This is a difficult book to read. Not only because it is packed with facts, but because it can give you nightmares!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R. Kahn on April 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After September 11th, the American left was caught off balance.
For the first time, we were facing the prospect of protesting
American military intervention based on an attack on American
The warmongers quickly seized the high ground with all the trappings of phony patriotism. Overnight, the nation was covered with wall-to-wall flags. Dissent died daring not to raise its head.
Yet, like the beginnings of the Vietnam protest, the resurgence
of the left must begin with information. Freely admitting to an
absymal ignorance of the situation in Afghanistan, I inherently
knew from past experience with the U.S. Government that Bush and Company could not be trusted to give a truthful account of events except to engage in spin doctoring.
"Unholy Wars" places September 11th into its proper place in the time and space continuum of American history. Based on the well-founded principle of blowback, as described in Chalmers Johnson's excellent work, the vents of September 11th have brought home the activities of the CIA in the Middle East and how the arming of the Afghan resistance to the Soviet invasion of 1979 has now come home to roost in a permanent and never-ending "war on terrorism."
Certainly, the domestic portion of the ground war at home comes now in the form of a war on the civil liberties of Americans under the guise of a "war on terrorists" (nevermind that these same 'terrorists' were equipped and trained by the CIA).
Under the current thinking, the only view of post September 11th events comes from the corporate media and its sycophants in the entertainment industry, such as "Sir" Paul McCartney.
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