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Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
P. J. O’Rourke is the author of twelve books, including Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chance, both of which were #1 New York Times best sellers. His most recent book is the best seller On the Wealth of Nations.
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I read his previous book "Give War a Chance", which I thought was awesome. Awesome, but a tad outdated as it centered around the 1st Gulf war. So I purchased this book to see the author's take on current events. The critics of the previous Gulf War I think were a little easier to make fun of.
The author, P.J. O'Rourke doesn't really disappoint when it comes to making fun of peace protesters. They tend to be a stupid bunch, I have noted that myself when I witnessed a protest march in DC. The book is awesome hilarious when the author makes fun of Nobel prize winners and their illiterate and easily disprovable political assertions about poverty.
What I wanted to read about when I read this book is how if at all the author modified his opinions from the fist book. In the fist book he talked about all the evil things the Iraqi army did in Kuwait when they invaded. And at the time just after Gulf War 1 it seemed that the cost of the liberation of Kuwait was easily worth it, restoring freedom to the Kuwaitis, keeping the lion's share of the world's oil out of the hands of an evil dictator.
I wanted to see, now that it seems that the situation we are in now is the direct, perhaps inescapable result of the 1st war, how the author judged the cost effectiveness of the 1st war. Was it still worth it? Was it still the right thing to do? I like the author's style and I admire his logic, and I would have liked to read him having written either for or against the conflict in its entirety. But in this book he does neither.
Still the book was entertaining. The author makes fun of homeland security (I would have liked him to be more cruel in making fun of the incompetent joke and waste of taxpayer money that organization is). He makes fun of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is both funny and tragic. He is entertaining but goes on a little too long about his travels in Egypt, and he has some interesting insights into the Arab mindset. He also poses an interesting theory about why the Arabs have not been successful at freedom or wealth, despite the fact that Mohammed said something to the effect of "it is not governments place to set prices". Even the small Arab countries that are simply a plot of land sitting on a spigot of liquid money offer little in the way of opportunity or freedom.
(My theory is that the spigot of liquid money is counterproductive because it creates a welfare nation. And a welfare nation is a nation that has no incentive to produce anything, and when the government is your provider you have no moral grounds to ask the government to leave you alone. The author's theory has something to do with initial wealth being derived from taxing commerce of the trade routes that went through their countries, thus there is a history of taxation and government regulation without visible consequences. As my theory does not account for the Arab countries that have no oil, and are still poverty ridden dictatorships, I think that the real answer is both and then some. Maybe it is something about no legitimate government power in Islam, so the most ruthless ones that don't care about legitimacy are the ones that gain power.)
Perhaps the funniest part of the book was the mocking of the peace protesters. A protest march of many different groups of protesters, all protesting together. Many of the groups with no clue, many others whose goals were in direct opposition to each other. Gays, Communists, Militant Islamists, Vegans all together, and some other groups with whose demands were uncertain, either because of the poor English in their signs, or because their message was a contradiction. None of the various groups seeming to grasp that, if any of the individual groups in the protest were actually in charge of our government; it would be pure hell for everyone in the other groups.
Actually, John Stewart is the Democrat’s belated answer to P.J. O’Rourke, because PJ has been skewering left-wing pravda's with his trademark iconoclastic writings long before Stewart was even allowed out of training pants, doing MTV to peddle fake news.
O’Rourke has a worldly, cynical view of our modern earthly monkey house, tinged with a libertarian sensibility informed by, if nothing else, decades of chemically induced self-abuse and what must have been many close calls with the cops, but also tempered by an older-but-wiser celtic resignation to fate and an acceptance of the persistent limitations of the human race.
His writing style is two-Mick's-in-a-pub conversational, launching into a free-form monologue with his readers, painting pictures and demolishing cherished beliefs with comedic but nonetheless cogent jabs loaded with the Ring of Truth, aimed at the almost limitless opportunities for ridicule presented by the currently reigning politically correct establishment worldview.
This particular book concerns various American efforts to police the world, beginning in 1999 with Kosovo and concluding shortly after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. 'Peace Kills' offers the reader not only Mr. O'Rourke's extremely entertaining anecdotal accounts of that experience, but also, having been published in 2004, presents a perspective free from all the baggage which has accumulated since the good old days of ‘Mission Accomplished’.