- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (November 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0771029780
- ISBN-13: 978-0771029783
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,497,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Future: Tense: The Coming World Order? Paperback – November 2, 2004
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"'Dyer is a prolific writer... His no-nonsense approach continues to combine humour, hard-hitting analysis, and provocative challenges to.. various party lines' Quill and Quire 'Compelling reading... for the context it provides in an historically amnesiac time' Literary Review of Canada 'Dyer's cool, distanced commentary and historical contextualizing... and bone-dry, acerbic wit... makes his tome a clear, concise, and ultimately worthy addition to mounting indictments against the reign of George the Younger' SEE Magazine 'If you plan on reading only one book this year, make this the one. In perfectly clear prose, with arguments as well-researched as they are compelling, this military expert explains why what we're doing is mad' Metro Times, Detroit" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
The foundations of World War III are being laid today.
American defeat in Iraq is only a matter of time, but how long it takes matters a lot. The fate of Iraq is a sideshow, the terrorist threat is a red herring, and the radical Islamists' dream of a worldwide jihad against the West is a fantasy, but the attempt to revive Pax Americana is real. No matter what the outcome of the election in November, 2004, the enterprise is likely to continue. It is bound to fail eventually, but we need it to fail soon.
American military power is not limitless, and the other big powers will not stand for US military domination of the world. They don't buy the cover story about the 'terrorist threat, ' but they don't want a fight either. They are all on hold for the moment, hoping that America will remember its commitment to the United Nations, the rule of law and multilateralism. If it does not, then the drift back into alliances, balance-of-power politics and military confrontations will begin. Ten years from now, an American-led alliance that includes India and occupies much of the Middle East could be facing a European alliance led by France, Germany and Russia AND a hostile, heavily armed China.
"In Future Tense, Gwynne Dyer's brilliant follow up to last year's bestselling Ignorant Armies, he analyzes how the world made its way to the brink of disaster, and describes how we may all slide over the edge. It was fringe groups of extremists - Islamist fanatics and American neo-conservatives - who set the process in motion, but it has gone well beyond that now. It is not too late, but the clock is running.
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Top Customer Reviews
Where the book is strong, however, is the remaining 80 or so pages. Here Dyer makes the argument that the U.S. , by invading Iraq unilateally, has set a preecedent that undermines the underpinnings of international relations since the end of the second world war. That is, a nation only has the right to fight another (attack another nation) in self-defense within the framework of the U.N. Dyer argues that the U.S., by setting this precedent, may have established a justification for a pattern of behavior that legitimizes unilateral military action and hence forces upon the worl the need for a multi-polar set of alliances that increase the odds of a major war in the future. Only by acting quickly to reverse this precedent , Dyer believes , can the legitimization of unilateral military action and the alliance system it will lead to be stopped.
Essentially, Dyer wrote a 254 page essay with no index or footnotes relying on his mammoth understanding of the workings of the world to slice through all the obfuscation and deceit being spread by the media managers. The bottom paragraph on page 25 and carried over the page onto 26 presents the clearest most perfect reason why the United States won't win and cannot win the conflict in Iraq. He wrote earlier, in the first paragraph of Chapter One, why the US must lose that war for the sake of the world. His thoughts are an absolutely brilliant analysis of the post-Soviet Union world!
Dyer goes beyond other political analysts by saying why America must lose this Iraqian adventure. This acute analysis points out the extreme importance of maintaining a world-institution constituting a forum beyond the old pre-World War I alliances that plunged the world into the pit of total war. Without this overriding international law represented by the UN, the world will have no alternative to these national alliances and therefore the road to total destruction weill again be wide open.
In Chapter Two, The Islamist Project, Dyer explains clearly what the Islamists are doing and more importantly why they are doing it. As I said earlier, after all the obfuscation and false information purposely fed to the world, Dyer's practical analysis comes as a sobering insight to the realities of the true international situation rather than the scare mongering of the media.
In the next chapter on page 143 you will find the best reason why this current stupidity [the Iraq invasion] is happening. Dyer writes in simple words that Iraq happened because "... the rules have changed and now the United States is in sole charge". I get mad when I think of all the words printed in an attempt to explain why this war is happening-I get angry because the reason is so simple.
If one must pick the best chapter, I nominate Chapter Three, The Neo-Conservative Project, as Dyer's most insiteful. The world is being led [duped!] by a group of over-eduacted fools and Dyer lays on beautifully what is going on and why it is happening. He writes on page 120 that there was "... in the early 1990s a desperate rational to sustain the pattern of military spending that had become normal during the forty years of Cold War". Well, the neocons sure found it in the guise of rogue states and the terrorism they were supposed to be supporting throughout the world.
Throw out all your other books attempting to explain the situation the world finds itself in at the dawn of the 21st centurey and just keep rereading this wonderful book. It will blow away the smokescreen laid down by the neo-conservatives to mislead and eventually destroy the world's capacity to make meaningful judgemants about American world actions. I am happy to say that the smoke was blown away for me by Dyer's marvellous book.
Just recently, Bush announces his intentions in keeping a military base in Iraq. Dyer mentioned this in this book written three years ago. Just recently, there are a series of actions and speeches that was "predicted" in this book three years ago. It is eerie to read something that resonates in today's series of events and realize that Dyer had foreseen some of this years ago. I am not making Dyer out to be a prophet or anything like that ~~ but he seems to be the most clear-sighted journalist out there right now (especially more so since Molly Ivins have passed on). When I read this book, there was a lot of "a ha!" moments that I very rarely get while reading about current affairs. Usually, I end up feeling more confused than I did when I first read a book. Not this time.
Dyer explains a lot in this little book that is just chock-full of information, quotes, instances and ideologies. First, he explains what Islamist is and how similar it is to the Fundamentalists in Christianity ~~ except Muslims don't have the same word for Fundamentalists that we have in our language. He then explains the Islamist viewpoint (which most Muslims do not share). He explains bin Laden's goals. He explains the neo-conservatives' goals. He goes over the history of the world in the last 60 years. He explains briefly the history of civilization of the last 6,000+ years and how it changed the course of the world.
Like a lot of the reviewers, I had a hard time buying the neoconservatives' explanations for attacking Iraq. I thought at first maybe it was for the oil, but it just didn't jive with everything else. I knew it wasn't going after Saddam because of "what he said about my daddy" ~~ it was too juvenile. (Then again, anything can go nowadays, I guess.) When Dyer explains the Reagan administration, the first Bush administration and the current administration ~~ it all started to make sense. Combine that with the history of the previous world wars and the United Nations formation ~~ it is all starting to make sense.
I am not sure why this book isn't touted more in the public view. Dyer isn't writing like a madman spouting off things ~~ in fact, his book is very reasonable. He writes with precision and with a world view that not necessarily is anti-American, but just with a much different perspective and a much clearer foresight than we Americans are getting from our own media and government. I didn't get the impression that the world thinks we're dumb Americans ~~ there is just a perplexed viewpoint of why we're heading down this path and why the rest of us aren't seeing it. It's also a dangerous path we're on and finally, after four years, other people are starting to raise the alarm.
Just don't forget, Dyer was one of the first ones to sound the alarm when he wrote this book.
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