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Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement Paperback – April 25, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (April 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568583281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568583280
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,154,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former U.N. weapons inspector Ritter (War on Iraq) is that rarity, a peacenik who's also a gung-ho ex-Marine besotted with the leatherneck's romanticized warrior ethos. In this eccentric manifesto, he critiques the antiwar movement in the light of military-philosophical chestnuts gleaned from Sun-Tzu, Marine Corps maneuver warfare principles and aerial combat guru John Boyd's OODA-loop theory. His mission, couched in a repetitious blend of stolid Pentagonese and bloody-minded exhortation, is to militarize the peace movement's organization (A Type I Personnel Support Unit would be able to mobilize with a week's notice to deploy... for up to 7 days within a 500 mile radius) and attitude (Dominate and destroy your enemy). Unfortunately, Ritter's practical proposals are cumbersome and ill-considered, his political instincts hackneyed (proposed antiwar battle cry: reverence for the Constitution) and his intellectual conceits—which encompass everything from Newtonian physics to the centrality of conflict in life and shopping—unenlightening. The relevance of, say, dog-fighting doctrine to political organizing remains murky, except as a vague model of abstract virtues of speed, improvisation and initiative. Ritter raises cogent points about the peace movement's failure to think strategically, hone a compelling message and build bridges to mainstream America, but then obscures these issues in a fog of garbled war metaphors. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"What makes Iraq Confidential such an important and fascinating book is that Ritter himself was a key figure in the espionage maneuvers before the Iraq war began. He is not another journalist writing a book based on undisclosed sources or a former spy extolling his own career, but an American working for the UN who found himself plunged into a fight--not with Saddam, but with competing units of the American intelligence community." -- James Ridgeway

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Truth Insister on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Dont believe the back-handed Publishers Weekly review above. This must be diss-Ritter Week. Ritter is right to use Sun Tzu's Art of War as a working model [the military does and so does every major successful biz in the Pacific Rim] and his military analogies are just what the antiwar crowd needs to embrace.

What Ritter discusses is exactly what Hosnan Ozbekan, the brilliant Turkish Professor Emeritus, taught graduate students in strategic methodology at the Wharton School of Business. Prior to becoming a professor, Ozbekhan worked for International Harvester (US) and was responsible for its global expansion. He made one mistake in his strategic plan, and this resulted in thousands of Turks migrating to Germany where they became third-class citizens as a result. He had wanted to help his countrymen in the course of his international work; instead he brought them shame. Ozbekhan quit business, and devoted his life to teaching proper strategic planning. Ozbekhan's motto was "One idea can change the world" and he taught a distinct step-by-step system for achieving it.

Ozbekhan was the man IBM hired to bury AT&T when deregulation happened in the early 70s and IBM needed to make sure its UNIX system never saw the light of day in a desktop/workstation, even though IBM knew that UNIX was a vastly superior operating system to the young Bill Gates' early efforts. IBM maintained the lead for nearly 20 years as a result. And I know for a fact that IBM followed Ozbekhan's plan to a "T."

It is obvious to me that the Publisher's Weekly reviewer has no experience in this process, much less know about it. Scott Ritter does.
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Format: Paperback
This is a clever useful book. I *like* it. It is not pretentious nor is it convoluted. It does a very fine job of explaining to the non-military average activist or leader of activists the utility of Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, and John Boyd in developing a national and global strategy, national and global campaign plans, and local discrete tactical "events" that can achieve impact *only* if done in the context of a strategy and a campaign plan.

The author does a fine job of gently and respectfully pointing out that the current anti-war and pro-environment movements, projects, and individuals have a severe handicap in not understanding the connection between a strategy, and operational campaign, and tactical events planned and executed in the larger context.

The author does a tremendous job of clearly and concisely describing how the extreme right has managed to define its ideological war plan as "Guns, God, and Gays," while none of the thoughtful but complex, lengthy and somewhat disjointed progressive messages stand a chance.

The author understand that the war for the soul of America and for the stability of the rest of the world is about belief systems, and about capturing as many individual minds and hearts as possible. The extreme right is winning with ideological fantasy while the extreme left is losing in detail for lack of a message that can be adopted by the mainstream, which remains largely apathetic.

The author goes on to articulate a distress that I myself have experienced, politely pointing out that most progressive movements have too many self-named leaders, not enough disciplined followers (for lack of a strategy and campaign plan), and are generally too focused on feel good events or actions.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ken McCarthy on June 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
An intelligent, useful and highly perceptive work by a man of great integrity and courage.

I'm a business owner who, like all serious business people, specializes in making things happen. Given what's at stake, the disorganization and naivete of the US peace movement has been a source of great distress to me.

This book is the first I know of to face the problem squarely and offer suggestions that will work if implemented.

Step #1: Americans need to read and then defend the Constitution right here at home. This one step will stop the next illegal, immoral and insane US military adventure abroad.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Mcgehee on August 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am no fan of hierarchial structure; being an anarchist has that effect on me. But I think the criticism(s) Ritter gives can be useful even in a "horizontally" structured movement. You dont need a top-down form of authority to be organized or to resist some form of injustice. Just look at the militant examples of Anarchists in revolutionary Spain (they even got Orwell to fight).

What Ritter does with this book is offer constructive criticism on how an antiwar movement can be effective. It would do good for those opposed to war to read this book, think it over and find common ground where the "strategies" could be helpful.
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