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August 25, 2019

3

#Non-Fiction America’s War

by N@ncy

 

Structure: 480 pages
Part 1 – The Preliminaries ch 1-7
Part 2 – Entr’acte (“between the acts”) ch 8 – 11
Part 3 – Main Card ch 12-18

 

My Notes:

 

USA fights wars:

…1776 for independence
…1861 for slavery
…1980 US embarks upon a war for oil

 

Central irony:  

  1. For America’s War for the Greater Middle East
  2. US’s tendency to focus on solving one problem,
  3. to exacerbate a second and plant the seeds of a third.”
  4. See: Wikipedia ‘Operation Cyclone”

 

Trivia:

  1. I noticed in chapter 1
  2. sound bites used in 1980s that
  3. …are now used by Trump!
  4. US didn’t want a distressed angel (Carter)
  5. ….passing judgement on their failings.
  6. The US wanted a president who would fix things!  (MAGA)
  7. Carter viewed himself as “an agent of the Lord’
  8. Trump referred to himself as ‘the chosen one’
  9. …while speaking
  10. on his role in the ongoing trade war
  11. between the US and China. (21 Aug 2019)

 

Note: Ch 6:

  1. Especially interesting was the conscious
  2. effort by the US in 1982
  3. ….to open a secret channel
  4. ….to provide Baghdad with sensitive intel,
  5. satellite images, PC’s  hell’s  and heavy trucks etc.

 

What was USA’s plan….long term?

  1. US needed Saddam…..
  2. ….and with this non-military help
  3. it enabled Iraq to avoid outright defeat in Iraq-Iran war.
  4. But why?  
  5. “…US had a compelling interest in positioning Iraq as a
  6. counterweight to a dangerous Islamic Republic.”

 

Note: Ch 7:

  1. The book comes alive for me with the
  2. US to hunkering down in Saudi Arabia and
  3. preparing to remove Saddam from Kuwait.
  4. My favorite no nonsense General
  5. “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf jr.
  6. He planned and led Operation Desert Storm—
  7. which defeated the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait
  8. Pg 117 this would be:
  9. “…Vietnam done right,
  10. …with a decisive victory the result.
  11. No shilly-shallying allowed.”

 

Conclusion:

  1. Don’t worry about memorizing all the names, dates, etc
  2. focus on the big picture…the important stuff will stick.
  3. This book is a wonderful re-cap of
  4. the history of the War for the Greater Middle East.
  5. Strong point: Bacevich makes non-fiction read like a novel!
  6. Great read…for history buffs!
  7. I was very impressed with Bacevich
  8. …his writing is crisp insight and info that is not in news articles.
  9. I enjoyed his comments about Gaddafi
  10. “…erratic buffoon less a serious
  11. …menace than a perennial pain in the behind!”
  12. …and I learned whatgunboat diplomacy is’.
  13. Part 3…you could probably easily skim this
  14. picking nuggets of info but most has
  15. been recently in the news (Obama, Osama Bin Laden).
  16. Loved to see names popping up who were in headlines
  17. …and now have faded away.
  18. Remember L. Paul Bremer, diplomat
  19. running the show in The Green Zone Baghdad?
  20. ….he earns extra cash now as a ski-instructor!
  21. Huh?

 

Last Thoughts:

  1. What was the MOST important thing I learned?
  2. …the 4 reasons why USA is still waging the
  3. War for the Greater Middle East.
  4. War has the seal of approval of Republicans and Democrats
  5. Aspiring Presidential candidates find it expedient to ‘support the troops’ (war)
  6. Individuals/institutions benefit from a long conflict (military industrial complex)
  7. MOST importantly…
  8. Americans appear oblivious to what is occurring.
  9. All the more reason
  10. ….to read this book!

Bacevich is a West Point graduate. He holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998

Read more from HIstory, non-fiction
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 25 2019

    That phrase ‘1980 US embarks in a war for oil’ says a multitude about what’s characterised much of our recent times in the West. Don’t know of this author but the comment about having a style that ‘reads like fiction’ chimes with me – books by Anthony Beevor or Mary Beard do exactly the same!

    Like

    Reply
    • Aug 25 2019

      I was very impressed with Bacevich …his writing is crisp insight and info that is not in news articles. I enjoyed his comments about Gaddafi “…erratic buffoon less a serious menace than a perennial pain in the behind!” …and I learned what ‘gunboat diplomacy is’. Part 3…you could probably easily skim this picking nuggets of info but most has been recently in the news (Obama, Osama Bin Laden). Loved to see names popping up who were in headlines…and now have faded away. Remember L. Paul Bremer, diplomat running the show in The Green Zone Baghdad? ….he earns extra cash now as a ski-instructor! Huh?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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  1. #TBR 2018 update 25.08.2018 | NancyElin

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