- Series: War and Peace Library
- Hardcover: 408 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1St Edition edition (November 16, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0742555941
- ISBN-13: 978-0742555945
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (War and Peace Library) 1St Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Scott's view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This "overclass," often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott (The Road to 9/11) seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America's assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case; he asks readers to consider what actions taken in the last 50 years have not benefited America's military-industrial complex, such an integral part of the global economy. While Scott can get mired in minutiae, his carefully structured arguments never fail to interest or disturb. (Oct.)
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In Scott's view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This 'overclass,' often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America's assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the '80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case; he asks readers to consider what actions taken in the last fifty years have not benefited America's military-industrial complex, such an integral part of the global economy. . . . [His] carefully structured arguments never fail to interest or disturb. (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 2010-10-01)
Scott has written a provocative account of CIA machinations and their link to spikes in global drug production, war, and terrorism. His chapters on Thailand and the Far East are especially well-grounded and of great use to historians. . . . [Scott] is a creative thinker who deserves credit for delving into the netherworld of clandestine operations and global corruption which most academics choose to ignore. . . . At his core, Scott is an idealist who believes that in exposing the sinister forces accounting for the spread of unnecessary violence, an aroused citizenry can mobilize to rein them in. The stakes today are especially high, because if left unchecked, the pattern of warfare and destabilization which Scott describes may lead to a global confrontation of truly catastrophic proportions as well as irreversible environmental damage and the economic bankruptcy of the United States.
(History News Network)
There are certain books that, once read, alter one’s mind permanently. This is such a book. Naïve readers and patriots beware: You will never think about the world in the same way after you have read just the first two chapters of American War Machine. (The Erowid Review)
American War Machine explains how one of the principal techniques of [commandeering power in the United States by secret, undemocratic means] has been the CIA’s utilization of the drug traffic to combat communism, the governments and movements of the left, and, in our time, to maintain American supremacy in the world. . . . The demonstration is, one could say, stupefying. . . . This book reads like a real thriller filled with twists and suspense; a thriller for which one does not, yet, know the end. But can there be an end? In this world where the honest citizen is overwhelmed by mountains of data, this book must absolutely be read because it allows us to understand to what degree we have been so manipulated and misinformed. . . . [A] solid and convincing document, the mind-blowing reading of which truly leads to original and non-conformist elements of reflection, indispensable for attempting to understand the world which surrounds us, and for trying to discern where it is going. (Bernard Norlain Revue Défense Nationale)
Peter Dale Scott has published a book of stunning richness. . . . I know of no study that so precisely captures a period as dangerous as our own. . . . Indeed, empires, kingdoms, and republics have their state secrets, but when the entire state becomes a secret, when in so-called democratic nations everything is decided without the people, elections themselves being open to doubt, it is necessary that one escape from the fear of ordinary people in the presence of the powerful and try to understand where these decisions are trending that are contrary to our interest. . . . Peter Dale Scott is the Tocqueville of this era, helping us understand how we are sliding into a world that can only be revolutionary if it wishes to survive. . . . Buy this book, read it, make it known. (Ariane Walter Agoravox)
What I like most about Peter Dale Scott are his fierce intellectual curiosity, his willingness to investigate radioactive topics, and his tireless commitment to unearthing the truth. Over the years, he has done more than almost anyone to discover and chronicle the forces that covertly shape our policies. American War Machine may be his greatest work yet. (Russ Baker, award-winning investigative journalist and author of Family of Secrets)
Peter Dale Scott is our most fearless and illuminating chronicler of the lethal and mysterious web of unaccountable violence linking government to organized crime, the drug trade, state terror, and eventuating in disastrous wars. Read this extraordinary book to understand why this country finds itself gridlocked in Afghanistan, yet another costly quagmire, because a small cabal at the top is still dedicated to the mirage of American global dominance. (Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University)
Peter Dale Scott writes with his inimitable eloquence about the intersection between U.S. covert operations and international narcotics trafficking and its destructive undermining of American democracy. The past half-century of drug politics―and the country's complicit acceptance of the violence it has spawned―is an ominous portent for our present and future. American War Machine should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the upper- and underworld marriage that drives contemporary foreign policy. (Sally Denton, author of The Bluegrass Conspiracy)
Peter Dale Scott flashes a bright light on a dark illicit world of lowly thugs and high-placed political and moneyed cabals. Thoroughly researched and deeply informed, this book makes for an intriguing read. (Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism and God and His Demons)
I said of Scott's last brilliant take on this subject, Drugs, Oil and War, that 'It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children.' Now Scott has written an even better book. Read it! (Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers)
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Top customer reviews
WARNING: If you are an American, this book will cause cognitive dissonance. After reading chapter 2: "Mexico, Drugs...." I went to Amazon to find more current books, than the ones Scott quotes, on the topic. Mainly because of the increase in violence over the past 5 years, which is not covered in this book. I found it interesting that two different authors were critiqued with statements like; "Love the stories. Well written. But, the author is obviously a communist or socialist because he implies that the CIA and or American leaders are involved in the drug trade." If you want to sleep at night "knowing" that the corruption stops just North of the Rio Grande, West of California by a few thousand miles, and East of N.Y.C. by another few thousand miles, then this is NOT the book for you. Go read something written by a CIA shill.
He is also a bit careless in the over-use of generalized relationships: associated, alliance, partnership, cooperated, assisted, directed, etc. - without being sufficiently specific re data/facts to support or define those relationships.
Possibly my numerous previous reads of well-known books and authors on these topics has made me a bit over-critical. I might recommend this book as a (very) general initial exposure to these topics (CIA, international drug trade). But if one has read even a few of the other popular books in this subject area, then you might skip this one. Three-Stars is being kind and generous, at least on my personal scale.