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America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies Hardcover – October 5, 2004
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America's Secret War: Inside The Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America And Its En, by Friedman, George
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The problem was that, typically enough, once the USSR collapsed, we "lost interest" in our former allies and simply abandoned them in Afghanistan. Of course, there may have been some not-so-subtle prodding from Arab regimes (such as Egypt, S.A., and Morocco) to do just that.
Also VERY interesting: 9/11 was not really "all about America." The target was the Arab states just mentioned. Al Qaeda was attempting to provoke the United States into a massive attack on the Arab world as a whole, leading to a pan-Arab Islamic revolution in which the U.S. would simply have been a patsy.
It didn't work. And understanding the strategy of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, Bill Clinton suddenly seems a lot less "lackadaisical." Like all American presidents, he was stuck with a dilemma. If we don't do ANYTHING, Americans will hate us. If we attack the Arabs, we've just been played for suckers. Clinton chose an "in-between" strategy of "ineffective response."
This book is a cram course in current geopolitics, and it is excellent. I would feel a lot more comfortable if the author were our National Security Advisor, or Secretary of State.
The usual ending: "everyone should read this book." But with a special note: "especially the 'Truthers'." This book lays it all out in open view, and shows exactly how the 9/11 hijackers came mostly from Saudi Arabia, but did not represent the WILL of the Saudi Arabian government.
No: they were trying to overthrow the Saudi Arabian government.
As a result, one comes to view the attempted charitable gift of $10 million from a Saudi royal to NYC in a very different light. Mayor Rudy was "right" to follow his guts and refuse the gift, but, like almost everyone else, he did not understand what had just happened. The Saudi royal quite likely did, and so one of the strangest moments of modern history suddenly becomes a whole lot clearer.
By the way, this book only takes the story to 2004, where the author quite rightly calls the war undecided, although looking bad for Al Qaeda. If you want the rest of the story, you'll need to look at a book like "The Gamble."
One of the best books I have ever read!
With America's Secret War though, I felt extremely impressed by Friedman's inside knowledge on the subject and although one might think that a book written ten years ago is already old news, particularly on political issues, I felt very interested in understanding the whole under-the-water maneuvering in the Middle East.
This is a compelling book for anyone with an interest in US international affairs, as well as anyone who want to have some understanding of the complex political issues on the Middle East and all its different moving parts.
I read the book almost as if I was reading a Tom Clancy novel, the sad thing is that this is very real...
If you enjoy Friedman's work, I highly recommend checking out Stratfor.