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Customer Review

on 21 May 2008
Michael Scheuer worked for the CIA for 20 years until he resigned in November 2004. In this brilliant book, he argues that the US ruling class has a single overriding aim which is harming the USA - "an unquenchable ardour to have the United States intervene abroad in all places, situations, and times." He believes that US foreign policies should focus on defending US national interests, citizens and sovereignty, not on crusades to change the world.

He denounces Non-Governmental Organisations' `unquenchable thirst for western intervention'. He describes them as `arrogant and self-righteous engines of Western imperialism and intervention abroad'. For example, in company with Republican candidate John McCain, they want to send a US-UK military force to Darfur, where there are no conceivable US or British interests at stake "and where a military action can only waste American lives and money, worsen the civil war, and again validate the Islamists' contention that Washington intends to destroy the Sudanese and all Muslim regimes that will not do its bidding."

Scheuer also criticises the US policies of support for Israel and Saudi Arabia, noting that backing Israel is "absolutely irrelevant and manifestly counter-productive to the national-security interests of the United States." He urges the maximum practicable energy self-sufficiency to end dependence on Saudi Arabia's oil. He points out that Saudi Arabia is not a friend: it hikes up oil prices then uses the profits to fund worldwide anti-Western activities. He proposes that the USA should exploit its oil, gas and coal reserves, increase its use of nuclear power and invest in renewables.

He argues that the attack on Iraq diverted resources away from the war on al-Qaeda and destroyed the Iraqi bulwark against al-Qaeda. Now, as Bush's Iraq Study Group has said, "there is no action the American military can take that ... can bring success in Iraq."

Scheuer writes, "For the United States, the war in Afghanistan has been lost. By failing to recognize that the only achievable U.S. mission in Afghanistan was to destroy the Taliban and al-Qaeda and their leaders and get out, Washington is now faced with fighting a protracted and growing insurgency." As he writes, "it was the United States that had been attacked ... the US military could and should have taken care of Afghanistan by itself." Why should we in Britain be involved at all? Scheuer urges a limited war against al-Qaeda, not worldwide, unending war on `terror'.

He sums up that current US foreign policy increases the threat to the USA, creates enemies faster than they can be killed and puts the USA in a worse position today than it was on 9/11.
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