The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's
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Since 2001, Tom Engelhardt has written regular reports for his popular site TomDispatch that have provided badly-needed insight into U.S. militarism and its effects, both at home and abroad. When others were celebrating the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, he warned of the enormous dangers of both occupations.
In The American Way of War, Engelhardt documents Washington’s ongoing commitment to military bases to preserve—and extend—its empire; reveals damning information about the American reliance on airpower, at great cost to civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan; and shows that the US empire has deep historical roots that precede the Bush administration—and continue today into the presidency of Barack Obama.
"Tom Engelhardt provides a clear-eyed examination of U.S. foreign policy in the Bush and Obama years, and details unsparingly how Obama has inherited -- and in many cases exacerbated -- the ills of the Bush era.... an important book for anyone hoping to understand how the U.S. arrived at its current predicament during the Bush years, and how it remains in this predicament despite Obama's best efforts -- or perhaps because of them."
—Daniel Luban, Inter-Press Service
“Tom Engelhardt is among our most trenchant critics of American perpetual war. Like I. F. Stone in the 1960s, he has an uncanny ability to ferret out and see clearly the ugly truths hidden in government reports and statistics. No cynic, he always measures the sordid reality against a bright vision of an America that lives up to its highest ideals.”
—Juan R. Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan
label given the acts of the occupiers by human rights organizations—“war crimes.” Such organizations are quoted to devastating effect on the subject. The rebels may be called “bandits” by the occupiers, but it’s clear in news reports that they are the ones to be admired. No question of the sources here at least. Obviously the above is a composite account of the 2004 American assault on the Sunni city of Falluja taken from Arab press reports or sympathetic Arab websites. As it happens, if you
Shiite slum—there have been exceptions. Given the dangers Western reporters face in Iraq and the constricting system of “embedding” that generally prevails, when you read of Americans breaking into Iraqi homes, you’re ordinarily going to see the event from the point of view of the troops. Iraqi refugees have not been much valued in our press for their testimony. (There is a deep irony in this, since the Bush administration launched its war citing mainly exile—that is, refugee—testimony.) We
and—eerily enough—feel at home. What a measure of just how few miles “the march of civilization” (as my parents’ generation once called it) has actually covered. Prejudiced Toward War If you need an epitaph for the Bush administration, here’s one to test out: They tried. They really tried. But they couldn’t help it. They just had to count. In a sense, George W. Bush did the Assyrians proud. With his secret prisons, his outsourced torture chambers, his officially approved kidnap-pings, the
top pick, Seven Days in May, which came with this tagline: “You are soon to be shaken by the most awesome seven days in your life!” In it, a right-wing four-star general linked to an incipient fascist movement attempts to carry out a coup d’état against a dovish president who has just signed a nuclear disarmament pact with the Soviet Union. The plot is uncovered and defused by a marine colonel played by Kirk Douglas. (“I’m suggesting, Mr. President,” says Colonel Martin “Jiggs” Casey, “there’s a
that, according to Ricks in his 2006 best-seller Fiasco, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz projected as the future U.S. garrison in Iraq in the weeks before the invasion of 2003.) Kenneth Pollack, a drumbeater for that invasion, is now wary of removing “the cast”—his metaphor for the U.S. military presence—on the “broken arm” of Iraq too soon, since states that have “undergone a major inter-communal civil war have a terrifying rate of recidivism.” For Kimberly and Frederick Kagan,