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The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's Paperback – Bargain Price, July 1, 2010
"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Engelhardt intends to raise public consciousness about the realities of our latter day American empire. Mr. Engelhardt detects a kind of Orwellian detachment where most Americans are at peace with the immense economic and social costs and the extreme suffering inflicted on others by Washington's perpetual wars. Mr. Engelhardt's description of a planet garrisoned by hundreds of U.S. bases whose arsenals include land, sea, air and space-based weaponry is a frightening description of an imperial America that has practically shed any semblance of its democratic past.
Lest anyone miss the point, Mr. Engelhardt writes how the Obama administration's war policies are all but indistinguishable from his predecessor's. It seems the institutional roots run too deep for the president to do much about the Pentagon, even if he wanted to. Consequently, while one might think that America's current economic crisis might hasten a dismantling of empire, the truth is that an enlightened and engaged citizenry represents our only hope for change; to which end this book makes an important and timely contribution.
I highly recommend this persuasive, eye-opening book to everyone.
This little heralded paperback masterpiece of only 216 pages should enlighten anyone who has not already come to the sad conclusion that the USA has turned into a dangerous empire. Be sure, after reading Tom Engelhardt's book, to read those books recently published with similar views such as Chalmer Johnson's "Dismantling The Empire: America's Last Best Hope" and Andrew Bacevich's "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War".
Yes, we lost 3000 lives on 9/11, plus over 4,000 men and women in the current wars, but we killed 3 million in Vietnam, then hundreds of thousands in Cambodia and now hundreds of thousands in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, including many women and children. Such civilian losses are commonly referred to as "Collateral Damage" by our military.
While our Cold War excuses (Remember the Domino Theory and the Missle Gap?)may have had validity at an earlier time, the claimed threats that prompted our continued military escalations and expansions clearly need reassessment now.
From its first line, author Tom Engelhardt sets the motif for his tragic recitation: ""War is Peace" was one of the memorable slogans on the facade of the Ministry of Truth or Minitrue in "Newspeak" the language invented by George Orwell in 1948 for his dystopian novel, "1984"". From there his readers are tutored in how our fear of attack was obsessively co-opted by our government and its willing industrial military suppliers into a level of Cold War "preparedness" which featured a supply of nuclear weapons which could have blown up the entire human race.Read more ›
All violence, terror and wars are mistakes. If men were perfect, disputes and differences would be solved by calm reasoned discussion. This is certainly proving true in Afghanistan, where a ragtag band of warriors has literally stalled the world's mightiest and most sophisticated military by using roadside bombs, the 1947-designed AK-47s and century-old British 303 Lee Enfields.
Engelhardt writes with the same spirit as Thucydides, who had a contempt and an anger at the conduct of the Peloponnesian War. He recognized war is the exercise of pure politics, power vs. power, rights and wrongs and the morality of power. As for the cause, he eventually concluded, "the growth of the power of Athens and the alarm which it inspired in Sparta made war inevitable."
Unfortunately, no such insight is contained in this book. During World War II, both Allied and Axis governments gave considerable effort to the issue, "Why We Fight". President Franklin Roosevelt, even before the attack on Pearl Harbour, brilliantly answered this question with 'The Four Freedoms'.
Since 1991, the answer to the "why?" has been "terrorism." It's as vague and ill defined as a 'War on Poverty' or a 'War on Crime' or even a 'War on Litter'. Thucydides never did grasp the complexity of the war he set out to explain, nor did he find a solution with which he was fully satisfied. Engelhardt is equally perplexed.
Thus, he concludes of the Pentagon. "...no institution is more deeply embedded in American life or less accountable for its acts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book with much food for thought, pondering and discussion. More people need to read this and discuss with others.Published 1 month ago by jem
A sobering look at why we continue to stay in permanent state of war. These facts can be trusted to be valid. Read morePublished on February 3, 2011 by pegluther
A great deal of this book is a polemic against strategic bombing or perhaps indirect fire of all sorts. Read morePublished on December 7, 2010 by John E. Swindells
A thoroughly enjoyable read and one that disturbingly points up both economic and political fissures in American societal organisation in the first decade of the twenty-first... Read morePublished on September 5, 2010 by LT Leonard
Interesting analysis of how the Warfare State continues to roll on devouring the nation's resources and making us and the world less safe. Read morePublished on September 2, 2010 by Eric A. Barth