Say something about yourself!
Plato said that opinion is just the medium between ignorance and knowledge. For a while, I was almost singularly passionate about educating myself regarding politics - gaining knowledge - then I plum ran out of mental energy, and returned to the easy comfort of just having an opinion. Familiar with Truthdig, and having read War Is A Force...so many yrs. ago I've forgotten most of the content, I thought maybe Death of the Liberal Class might get me back into the quest. While I'll never be truly politically savvy, reading Death of the Liberal Class was my own little "intellectual effort" to move my opinion towards knowledge.
Call Hedges cynical, pessimistic, a bleak alarmist, whatever...but reasonably, you'd better add honest, passionate, globally intelligent, and a patriot. Yes, you can be "disobedient" and be a patriot. Howard Zinn wrote, "Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery- have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience."
Admittedly, this is a blood-boiling and sobering book, not fun to hear (quoting Hamilton's too-little-too-late Requiem for a Species...that's depressing stuff. At one point in "Camelot," Merlin says to King Arthur, "The uglier the truth, the truer the friend that tells it." a good reference point.) I don't agree with all of Hedges statements (perhaps I should, he is much more knowledgeable than I'll ever be), some of the long pieces of history are already well known therefore not as interesting as the rest of the book, and the structure was sometimes tangled, (and I wish I would have known enough to have read Empire of Illusion first) but Hedges tells it like it is and backs up his words with the facts in a way that any level of pilgrim can understand. Far far and beyond any person's criticisms and political alignments, this is important information that is crucial for our future; fantastic research, brave thesis, and impossible to ignore.
A savvy, clear, sometimes humorous, often patriotic, book, detailing a slice of military/political history, backed up with copious facts--that are sometimes hard to hear. Any red slant/blue slant is a subjective interpretation, and ideally people will listen without donning their political shades. But, in reading many reviews out there, it's obvious some self-proclaimed political pundits don't want "the facts to ruin a good story," or their image of a favored political figure. Pity, because there are some lessons to be learned, and some facts to be considered by all.
Maddow deserves commendation for her excellent research and presentation of the decades of historical facts, and especially for the tight and cogent conclusion. A seasoned vet, her performance should be, and is, great. If not for Maddow's adept and witty style, this book would be alarming...but, I couldn't help being reminded of a certain dark comedy...(read the book and you'll feel it too)...
General Buck Turgidson: "Mr. President, about 35 minutes ago, General Jack D. Ripper, the commanding general of, uh, Burpelson Air Force Base, issued an order to the 34 B-52's of his Wing, which were airborne at the time as part of a special exercise we were holding called Operation Drop-Kick. Now, it appears that the order called for the planes to, uh, attack, their targets inside Russia. The, uh, planes are fully armed with nuclear weapons with an average load of, um, 40 megatons each...The aircraft will begin penetrating Russian radar cover within, uh, 25 minutes."
President Merkin Muffley: "Gen. Turgidson, I find this very difficult to understand. I was under the impression that I was the only one in authority to order the use of nuclear weapons."
Gen. Buck Turgidson: "That's right, sir, you are the only person authorized to do so. And although I , uh, hate to judge before all the facts are in, it's beginning to look like, uh, General Ripper exceeded his authority." from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Cobra II is a comprehensive and elaborately detailed account of the planning, execution and aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Describing in detail meetings, teleconferences and phone calls between CENTCOM, The Pentagon and the White House, this book tells the story of how Donald Rumsfeld’s vision of a new type of warfare leads the war into the quagmire it is in today. The book is written from a military historians perspective and is replete with stories of soldiers bravado and courage. It is filled with interesting sources such as details about initial war planning meetings that were held in a trailer in the CENTCOM parking lot. The book explains the Bush Administration’s false expectations that there would be no need to engage in complex nation building and an extended conflict. After the invasion the Iraqi police, military and bureaucracy would remain intact. These false assumptions, based on bad intelligence, are the reason for the current situation in Iraq, according to the book. The narrator is clear and not dull but often adds a macho emphasis especially when describing weapons and attacks. This audio book is well worth the price.