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Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond Paperback – Nov 5 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; 1 edition (Nov. 5 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583225781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583225783
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 186 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,383,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

RAHUL MAHAJAN (Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin) is a longtime antiwar activist at the local and national level. He is a founding member of the Nowar Collective and serves on the National Board of Peace Action, the nation's largest grassroots peace organization. His first book, The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism, has been described as "mandatory reading for all those who want to get a handle on the war on terrorism." He writes frequently for mainstream and alternative print media and for websites like Common Dreams, Zmag, Alternet, and Counterpunch.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Compact, highly readable, survey of neo-con strategy for a new American century. The booklet is simply too condensed to be either weighty or deep, nor do the respective sections on Terrorism and Iraq cohere well, (oddly, there is next to nothing on Afghanistan, a logical bridge between the two). That being said, Mahajan emerges as a consistently sharp-eyed critic of Washington's pretentions at doing something other than building a particularly ruthless and self-serving world empire. That is the book's core and its main virtue. The historical facts are presented cleanly and effectively, much like an extended op-ed piece with footnotes. I particularly like the way Mahajan refuses to pull punches in either this book or in his tv appearances. The section on the murderous UN sanctions regime is especially revealing for an inside look at how that body gets co-opted into the imperial project. Anyone looking to understand why an anti-war, anti-US movement, is growing world-wide, would do well to pick up this little book from one of its emergent voices.
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Format: Paperback
Why would I want to pay to read what a "non-expert" with absolutely no credentials in military affairs or international relations has to say about the U.S. in Iraq? Because I prefer the rational, empirical analysis built from the facts up rather than an analysis put forward by an "expert" indoctrinated by higher education (1) to accept simplistic and downright childish establishment principles (e.g., the U.S. government always acts with benevolent intentions) and (2) to explain facts only in terms of those naive principles (e.g., if the U.S. invades Iraq, it must be to liberate Iraqis and spread democracy because the U.S. government always acts with benevolent intentions). To say the very least, a Ph.D. in political science from a state university is not a requirement to understand the world.
Mahajan is an expert, in the proper use of the term. He has a command of the facts, both current and historical, and his explanation of the U.S. government's behavior is properly inferred from them (as opposed to explaining facts in terms of unwarranted and naive assumptions borne of indoctrination with no basis in observational fact, as self-described "experts" tend to do).
This book is not a book about strategy. Rather, it is an empirical and scientific work that collects facts (data), draws conclusions, and posits a theory based upon them, familiar ground for a physicist.
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Format: Paperback
Mahajan notes that the U.S. from Bush Sr. through Clinton and George the dumber gave Saddam every reason not to fully comply with the disarmament provisions of UN resolution 687 by stating that contrary to that resolution, it would keep sanctions on Iraq and seek to overthrow Saddam even if Iraq was certified to be completely disarmed. The U.S. engaged in heavy spying of Iraqi government institutions about matters nothing to do with WMD, as noted by former Inspections head Rolf Eakus in his Financial Times interview. In Operation Desert Fox in December 1998, he notes, only 11 of 97 targets were WMD related. The rest were Republican guard and secret police facilities, command and control centers. He notes that the U.S. likely decided to invade Iraq in August 2002 when Rumsfeld started bombing command and control centers and non-active air defenses in the illegal "no-fly zones" whose bombings were causing hundreds of civilian casualties according to former UN humanitarian coordinator Hans Von Sponek.
The U.S. got the security council to pass UN resolution 706, in September 1991, the original "Oil for Food ," which after "reparations" to go in large part to oil companies harmed by Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, left Iraq a maximum of only 930,000 dollars of oil to sell over a trial period of several months. This was well below the proposal of UN undersecretary Aga Khan that called for Iraq to be able to sell enough oil to be able to partially repair its vital civilian infrastructure destroyed by the U.S. in 1991. When the program started about $15 per capita got in, only about 26 out of the 41 billion directed for Iraq, and the Iraqi economy remained collapsed, unable to generate income. He quotes UN under secretary general Martti Ahtissaari from 1991, left Iraq in a "near-apocalyptic state.
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Format: Paperback
A short, clearly organized, and cogently argued primer of the "real" motivations behind the neoconservative agenda, this book leans ideologically to the left, but is not overly preachy or rabid in its rhetoric. Mahajan connects the dots behind US foreign policy of the Bush era, centering US motivation in a desire to expand US military presence, topple potentially threatening regimes, maintain and increase armed hegemony and technology, and expand control over diminishing resources. The book is logical and there is evidence to support its positions. However, not having been present at PNAC meetings or National Security Council deliberations, Mahajan's conjectures about Bush-administration motives remain just that-- conjectures (albeit compelling ones). Like many authors of this sort, also, Mahajan is long on criticism and short on proffered alternatives. But perhaps it's not necessary to propose "solutions" here... the book sticks to its mission of presenting a possible reason why things are they way they are, and succeeds at this limited but important task. Worth picking up, provocative without being annoying, it is sure to make people of all ideological stripes think.
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