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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man Paperback – December 27, 2005
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With a presidential election around the corner, questions of America?s military buildup, environmental impact, and foreign policy are on everyone?s mind. Former ?Economic Hit Man? John Perkins goes behind the scenes of the current geopolitical crisis and offers bold solutions to our most pressing problems. Drawing on interviews with other EHMs, jackals, CIA operatives, reporters, businessmen, and activists, Perkins reveals the secret history of events that have created the current American Empire, including:
? How the ?defeats? in Vietnam and Iraq have benefited big business
? The role of Israel as ?Fortress America? in the Middle East
? Tragic repercussions of the IMF?s ?Asian Economic Collapse?
? The current Latin American revolution and its lessons for democracy
? U.S. blunders in Tibet, Congo, Lebanon, and Venezuela
From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe, with consequences reflected in our daily headlines. Having raised the alarm, Perkins passionately addresses how Americans can work to create a more peaceful and stable world for future generations.
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The book is definitely fascinating - a page turner. You have to decide whether it is real or fiction.
The most interesting assertions in the book are ones where the author has no first-hand knowledge. For example, he asserts that the CIA "Jackals" killed two different South American leaders in their aircraft. I would like to know more about this. However, the author simply presents this assertion as obvious and then moves on. It is the same with the 2003 Iraq invasion. He makes all kinds of assertions about why the war happened, but none are based on his own involvement, nor of any of his associates.
One part of the book deals with the local people's fight against the construction of a new dam. In this instance, it seems there is a very tangible situation to explore. I would love to know more. Who is right? Who is wrong? What are the gray areas? Now that years have passed, what was the effect of the dam? Instead, the author gives us a whinge about his own "guilt", implying without any supporting information that those resisting the dam are the saintly warriors and the dam builders are evil.
I've never started a book more sympathetic to an author, only to finish it feeling nothing but contempt. I'm open to the possibility that pure corruption has lead to CIA assassinations and unnecessary wars. Don't try to disguise your self-hating reflections as a corporatocracy tell-all. As I finished this book, I can't help but feel like much of it was fiction. His NSA connections, his James-Bond-style handler "Claudine", and even the term "Economic Hit Man", may have been fabrications by this author. There is no evidence to the contrary. Ultimately, this was a very disappointing book.
The confusion came in the form of the author's insistence that corporations, left alone, are hurting foreign interests with or without government protection/assistance. He claims that corporations opening foreign factories and paying workers low wages hurts those people...that you'd think $1 a day is better than $0 a day, though in fact this is not the case. However, the author never supports this claim the way he supports other claims. While the support for corporatocracy hurting indigenous cultures was lucid and apparent, the damage done by corporations alone was not. This seems to highlight an internal struggle the author may have. On the one hand, he makes very clear that corporations' use of government to exploit other nations is a staggering problem, while on the other hand he seems to imply that government needs to be more involved with activities of corporations. See the contradiction here? Without further support, it's not clear that corporations, void of government partnership and subject to competitive market forces, are in any way unfavorable from either a production or consumption standpoint.