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The United States of Fear Paperback – December 13, 2011
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"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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Some of the topics covered by the author include terrorism vs. food poisoning in terms of the threat presented to Americans; Raymond Davis; and the author's education about the world through viewing foreign films while growing up in Manhattan in the 1950's. A recurrent subject in the book is the misleading or facial nature of the "deadlines" civilian and military officials give for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The exorbitant costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan military ventures are another prominent theme. For example, he focuses heavily on the mega-embassies/regional command centers/cities within cities that we have built or are building in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Englehardt quotes a National Priorities Project study which found that the $790 million price tag for the new embassy and consular facilities in Afghanistan could have provided jobs for 22,000 teachers, 15,000 healthcare workers and 13,000 clean energy workers in the US. Other exorbitant costs noted by the author include several tens of billions of dollars in unsuccessful programs to train Afghan military and police and $773,000 to remodel a cinder block building to house a KFC/Taco Bell for our soldiers in Guantanamo Bay. The Gitmo torture camp, of course, is still open though Obama promised to close it.
The American method of fighting the "War on Terror" receives coverage in this book. He discusses examples of civilian casualties from the American war in Afghanistan (along with a few in Iraq).Read more ›
Tom Englehardt does a good job of illustrating the parallels between the men running the Soviet Union who continued to mistake military power for real power in the world. The power was sufficient to control their own people with its police state although it was not as technically sophisticated as the creation of the US police state begun after September 11. The US has seen its real power, militarily and economically eroded over the past 30 years when measured in terms other than the ability to turn countries back to the stone age with our weapons of mass destruction.
There is an aspect of the Peter principle at play as well where the same men and women in government and the military whose judgment has lead to gross failures continue to be in power and continue to be rewarded despite their obvious failures. The same economic and policy advisors go from one administration to the next so it no longer matters which political party is in control of Congress or the White House.
The price for their failures is paid by soldiers with their lives and the citizens and taxpayers whose quality of life declines year by year. In any listing of industrialized countries in the world the USA consistently ranks 27th or worse in all but the ability to inflict massive damage.
What is missing from Mr. Englehardt’s book though is a broader sense of how we came to be ruled by the neocons and how they are driven not out of a need for military power but for wealth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great eye-opening book about the U.S's fearful attitude toward the whole world written by a well informed but regular guy. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Patty Miller
An anti- George Bush, anti- American tirade. I give this book two stars just because its well written and can be thought- provoking. Read morePublished 16 months ago by SuperGlide
Well written; good read. Very enlightening, but also pretty heavily biased toward the left. However, if you are comfortable sifting through the bias, there is some really great... Read morePublished 19 months ago by katy
Engelhardt has written an incisive and penetrating book on the military-industrial-governmental complex that has dominated American foreign policy since the fall of the Soviet... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Gernie Doetsch
Another tour of the magical mysteries of the American imperium by Tom Englehardt, who brings a wide and deep understanding of the workings of the Paranoiacs of American Power on... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Java Man Carlini
An invaluable book at what has happened to our country since 9/11...I hope you all have the guts to read it. Then add TomDispatch. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lois C. Hamilton