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Armed Madhouse Paperback – 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 179 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; First Printing edition (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141018275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141018270
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,845,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Adler on April 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you really want to know how Bush got to be President, the real reasons we're in Iraq, the details of the infighting that made our occupation such a disaster, and the manifest and nefarious electoral machinations that the right inflicted on the democratic process in 2000 and 2004, and is putting in place for the elections of 2008, READ THIS BOOK. Palast has the interviews, the documents, and the facts that never get reported in the mainstream U.S. press. It's the first thing I've read that makes sense of how the battle for power between the Pentagon, the State Department, the neocons, Big Oil, and the Saudis played out on the ground in Iraq. It's a complex but fascinating sequence of events that explains the revolving-door administrations we put in place there and the flip-flopping approaches we tried to use, especially dealing with Iraq's oil. True, Palast comes across as an arrogant, in-your-face know-it-all. But I'm more than willing to put up with his abrasive style, given that he's willing to track down the real stories behind the most important events of our times and lay them out for us. I learned more per page of this new edition of _Armed Madhouse_ than almost any book I've read. If you're sick of the pap that passes for news, and eager to understand what's really going on, this is a crucial book. Robert Adler, author of Medical Firsts: From Hippocrates to the Human Genome and Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation
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Format: Hardcover
There's a spiffy, hip kind of feel to this nouveau Wobblie update on how George W. Bush and his craven cronies and currish corporate sponsors are trying to turn America into a kind of gargantuan banana republic. Even if half of world-renowned journalist Greg Palast's indictment is even fifty percent correct, Momma, pack the kids and the dog and my old guitar: this country is going to hell.

I've got a friend or two who have actually left the good old US of A for places like Panama and Canada, not so much out of fear of a neo-fascist takeover, but out of pure disgust, the kind of disgust that can only be bought with stolen elections and massive redistributions of the nation's wealth from the poor and the middle classes to the conspicuously rich.

Before reading this I couldn't believe that the Democrats were so incompetent and so stupid as to allow the Republicans to steal two national elections. Now I wonder if it matters whether they can prevent a third. Probably Hillary will win, but after four years of her, the power structure will have had enough and it'll be the reincarnation of some cardboard flunky like Reagan or some idiot like the present occupant who will be installed in power and who will again rob the treasury, sell off the public lands and start a war for ExxonMobil and kill a gook for God.

People like Cheney and Rumsfeld will probably be dead or deathlike, writing their mendacious memoirs, but there'll be others from the think tanks and the corporate world to look out for the interests of the ruling class. And, yes, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer and there's nothing new under the sun--although this "nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" once seemed so.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are concerned with America, our way of life, our political process, and there is only one book you can read this year, I recommend you make it this one. Using creative colloqualisms that may annoy or amuse you, you cannot get away from the author's facts, statistics, leaked documents and information that prove why we really went into Iraq, how your vote was stolen or not counted, and how you are producing more today and earning less, and how your rights and security are being taken away from you.

In five long chapters, Palast covers a wide range of topics. I began highlighting important portions of the book for this review. In short order there was too much highlighted text to add here.

But it's Chapters 4 and 5 that will really scare the hell out of me because I realize that even if all of us vote, it is not enough. Palast shows:

*how the republican machine kept minorities from voting in 2000, 2004 and will keep them from voting in 2008.

* with statistical evidence how voting machines were too few in minority communities or too far away. Either the lines were too long or the trip back and forth was.

* that Kerry's name didn't even show on the ballot in some places.

* statistical anomalies where Black, Hispanic and American Indian votes where not even counted, or their machines didn't even register a vote for president. In white neighborhoods, such anomalies were almost nonexistent.

* how provisional and absentee ballots were simply discarded, or mailed to the voters too late to be returned and counted.

* how voting machine error and evidence were destroyed even after there were calls for an investigation that secretaries of states ignored.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a great deal of substance in this book, but it is irritatingly cavalier, desperately trying to be "hip" and often coming across as glib. This book is not nearly as serious as "Best Democracy Money Can Buy," and that is a pity because it could have been a better book with less of the breathless banter.

Here are my notes from the flyleaf:

Usefully reviews US obsession with Iran and US special relations with Iraq under Reagan (then Secretary Rumsfeld being the bearer of bio-chemical weapons and satellite imagery--a photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein and smiling very broadly on the web).

After investigation, finds that most of the US "global war on terror" is focused on regimes in Latin America that are anti-Bush.

Explores the idiocy of repurposing Virginia class submarines from anti-Soviet missions to being able to shoot nine Marines in a large torpedo on to a beach--notes that Israeli's use much less expensive canvas kayaks.

Notes that right before the war on Iraq Bush passed into law a drop in corporate taxes on "war profits" from 21% to 7%.

Notes that Bush's most important first public announcement to the Iraqi people as the war began was not about "welcome our troops" but rather "don't destroy the oil wells."

Points out that General Garner was fired as the first pro consul in Iraq because he ignored orders to delay elections until the oil fields could be sold off to "friends of the family."

Provides a rather extraordinary list of idiot laws and astonishing looting under new pro-consul Bremer, who was given $8.8B to spend and cannot account for $8B of it--cites specific examples of people taking $25M and coming back with no receipts or receipts for a fraction, zero accountability.
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