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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars factually and historically untrue feel good nonsense, 4 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (Paperback)
This book starts off from the either dishonest or else factually incorrect assumption that the US government and military opposed torture before 9-11.

Chapter 1 includes the breathtakingingly innacurate claim that "In fighting to liberate the world from Communism, Fascism and Nazism, and working to ameliorate global ignorance and poverty, America had done more than any other country on earth to abolish torture and other violations of human rights."

This shows that author is either completely ignorant of the actual history of the Cold War, involving backing military coups and training death squads across the world - including in torture methods - from El Salvador and Nicaragua to Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Egypt; or else they are utterly biased and incapable of accepting the truth.

US military and government methods in Iraq and Afghanistan have not undergone any serious change, with officers like Colonel James Steele, who trained the death squads in El Salvador in the 1980s having gone on to train Iraqi "police commandoes" in the same methods of torture, terror and murder in Iraq. The only thing novel about the Bush administration was that it claimed some torture methods werent torture, but legal. The actual torture methods went way beyond these, as they always had.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Mar 2011 03:30:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Mar 2011 03:32:18 GMT
S Wood says:
See Greg Grandin's brilliant "Empires Workshop" for confirmation of the reviewers thesis. Grandin traces the politics, the mentality, and indeed some of the personnel, who were involved in the United States bloody post 9/11 interventions back to the brutal U.S. policies in Latin America of the 80's and 90's and earlier decades.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2011 22:49:50 BDT
idealist707 says:
Thanks for suggesting an alternative. And to the original reviewer who exposed the glaringly false statement as to America's record.
Anyone who has followed the "management of consensus" discussion since the days of Lippman after the Great War, will know that our record has in fact stank since the Monroe Doctrine laid claim to Latin America, as well as continuing to control the electorate, not be its servant.

Posted on 20 May 2011 00:07:00 BDT
S Wood says:
Thanks idealist707. By the way Alfred McCoy is the historian who discusses the issue of torture and U.S. foreign policy in the most detail. Grandins book which i mentioned, while excellent on its own terms, deals with the issue tangentially.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2011 17:13:39 BDT
idealist707 says:
Thanks for the tip, as reading a long discussion of our misdeeds in S.A. is not really enlightening. Although it may point the finger indirectly am looking for more modern.
Jon

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2011 08:24:38 GMT
i'd second that recommendation - Grandin's book is excellent - well sourced and well written, short and to the point
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