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The indispensable nation
on 22 January 2014
This is a powerful socio-political history of the most powerful nation that has ever graced the planet. A country that will have us believe...and we would like to believe...that it is the bastion of freedom and democracy. This has been the 'American century' and this book tells us how they achieved this platitude. It is not I might add with any sort of diplomatic grace, humility or democratic panache. This book will outline to you how they got it so wrong?
The authors present a well referenced, researched and informed viewpoint that is hard to ignore. The evidence is overwhelming, the western world, with few exceptions, has been run by what can only be termed as a cacophony of self seeking, arrogant, racist, sub intellectuals for the last hundred years. That Regan used to fall asleep during his morning briefings just about sums up the quality! Those who have occupied that most esteemed of political offices over the last hundred years have left a US democratic legacy that is battered and bleeding, maybe mortally so. A legacy that has seen the ruin of their international reputation and that is also catapulting them into a financial meltdown. It is a story pitted with political, financial and military disasters on such a grand scale that it beggars belief.
I will say however that the fact that they also did a lot of good is hardly highlighted at all in the book. In any case, the good is totally overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of bad. They made decisions that left millions dead, destroyed entire countries and nullified what should be basic world commodities, that of a reasonable amount of world peace and stability without the threat or risk of an armageddon. The lies, deceit and sheer arrogance practiced by most of these historic figures (and administrations) belies belief. Here we find the true reasons behind the unlawful or unwarranted sovereign interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan, the clandestine and bloody subterfuge involved in supporting rogue states and dictators, state authorised assassinations, the common use of torture by government agencies and the lack of conformity to domestic and international laws. In turn there are lost opportunities to shackle the growth of nuclear weapons, the eternal shame of their unnecessary use and the basic system incompetences involved in alleged near misses.
The list is endless and it makes very sad reading. Sad because most of us know that it is true and that the people of the US deserve better. Sadder still is that I could write the same review about the UK. A very comprehensive and authoritative book brilliantly researched that is superbly written. One of my best reads ever.