Sunday, November 28, 2010

Books on the US National Security State

A Few Recent BOOKS on the US NATIONAL SECURITY STATE, Empire, Militarism
--Beinart, Peter. The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris. Harper Collins, 2010. Rev. San Francisco Chronicle (7-2-10): “…a dense and sober assessment of American foreign policy since World War I. …Beinart clearly believes in the Great Man theory of history. His book's three main sections - "The Hubris of Reason," "... of Toughness" and "... of Dominance" - are structured around the personal narratives and defining characteristics of the presidents who shaped the national disposition during times of peace and war. When discussing Woodrow Wilson, for example, Beinart deals at length with the 28th president's intellectual confidence - arrogance, even - that he could remake the system….Decades later, John F. Kennedy's administration would come to exemplify the "hubris of power”….The Bay of Pigs, the Soviet stare-down, Vietnam - Beinart ties each of these to Kennedy's "toughness paradigm," but suggests that the president himself may have recognized "that toughness had become a conceptual prison" by the summer of 1963….The book's chapters on George W. Bush and his "hubris of dominance" are the least interesting, if only because Beinart has little new to say about the former president's foreign policy record….” Read more:
--Bonpane, Blasé. Guerrillas of Peace. iUniverse, 2006. Advocates an international, inclusive path, to build a system of justice and peace that will lead to the dissolution of the war system.
--Douglass, Jim. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. Interv.The Servant Song (Fall 2010). Agape Community. Agape: Pres. Kennedy “stood up to his own national security state and his generals….He wanted to end the war in Vietnam, looked to abolish nuclear weapos and finally end war as we know it. He was planning to pursue rapprochement with Castro through Khrushchev.P Douglass: He was killed “because the national security state felt it was necessary to kill him because he was a traitor.” Douglass: “Kennedy’s se3curity was withdrawn. He was driven into a trap. He had been set up.” The national security forces in government and corporate world “do not want us to see the connections…to understand that 1963 is right now.”
----Elias, Robert. The Empire Strikes Out: How Baseball Sold U. S. Foreign Policy and Promoted the American Way Abroad. New P, 2010. Rev. The Progressive (August 2010). “Militarism and baseball have been intertwined since the get-go….Baseball also played a crucial role in the conquering of the western frontier….baseball alongside troops, corporations, and churches as U.S. emissaries overseas.”
--Johnson, Chalmers. Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last, Best Hope. Vol. 4 of American Empire Project (Blowback, Sorrows of Empire, Nemesis). Johnson died in Nov. 2010.
--Junger, Sebastian. War. Twelve, 2010. Rev. Tom Bissell, Columbia Journalism R (July/August 2010): “…left me sickened, moved, terrified, awed, and angry, and which now takes it place among the best works on the subject that I have read.” About a U.S. Army outpost called Restrepo in a remote, mountainous area in Afghanistan surrounded by hostile dwellers. From 2005 to April 2010 the US Army “sacrificed almost four dozen soldiers” to defend the small Korengal Valley.” The book studies what happens to men in such violent circumstances. They become like “street gangs” who “want to fight and kill” with an intensity that seems psychopathic.
--Lieven, Anatol, and John Huisman. Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World. Pantheon, 2006. Rev. NYT Book Rev. (Nov. 12, 2006). Authors oppose “democratism,” the promotion of democracy globally by war.
--McCoy, Alfred. Policing America’s Empire. Madison, WI: U of Wisconsin P, 2009.
--Philipps, David. Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home; Uncovering the Tragic Reality of PTSD. Palgrave, 2010.
--Diana Rivers. City of Strangers. Solene was abducted from her home and country to become a bride to the king of Hernorium. But when Hernoriums' imperial plans include ignoring the treaties that have kept her people safe for centuries she realizes she must take risks to save her people--and herself.
-- Sanders, Barry. The Green Zone: The Enviromental Costs of Militarism. AK P, 2009. Exposes the environmental consequences of US military practices, from fuel emissions to radioactive wastes to defoliation campaigns. The US military is the single-greatest contributor to the worldwide environmental crisis. “The military produces enough greenhouse gases, by itself, to place the entire globe, with all its inhabitants large and small, in the most immanent danger of extinction.”
Evan Thomas and “The War Lovers” July 23rd, 2010
As the old adage goes, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” “The War Lovers” is a new book aimed at helping us avoid that fate, by revealing the parallels between the Spanish-American War and the U.S. invasion of Iraq — from red herrings to screaming headlines.

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