Horace Campbell has demonstrated an amazing grasp of the multi-dimensional geopolitical dynamics involved in the new, Global NATO's attempts at hegemoHorace Campbell has demonstrated an amazing grasp of the multi-dimensional geopolitical dynamics involved in the new, Global NATO's attempts at hegemony. He lays out beautifully how, as Noam Chomsky puts it, consent is manufactured by Western governments, through controlling of narratives with the help of subservient media (taking care of course, to allow the media wriggle room to leave in place at least a veneer of holding government to account).
Beyond this point however, Campbell digs deeper into the the complex games being played out in the African continent to assure Western domination, largely (a) to undermine selling power on the part of the owners of Africa's natural resources, and (b) to head off non-Western blocs such as those of the BRICS in any competition for those same resources. Most tellingly he refers to the financial-military complex that has superseded the old industrial-military complex in the West (having ceded the industrial part to China among others). He also picks apart in detail the linkages and motivations that led to NATO's intervention in Libya, culminating in a convincing argument that far from being a capture gone awry, Mu'ammar Gaddafi was, in fact executed for his role in promoting a united Africa and in seeking to wrest control of oil, gas, and water assets from Western powers while denying egregious proportions of their economic value to Western financial institutions.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Campbell's analysis is that the well-worn strategy of divide-and-conquer continues to work and always will. But instead of its modern manifestation being to capture and hold territory, the focus has shifted to "capturing" and controlling natural resources through Somalianization of resource producing countries. In short, subverting national cohesion, impeding the formation of continent-wide economic, social, political, monetary, and military union, and the deployment of small contingents of Special Ops and mercenaries to protect those relatively few locations at which resources are extracted, but in today's vogue, under the guise of either an endless war on terror or a "humanitarian" intervention - rubber stamped by the UN. I could go on but one really has to read this book to grasp the depth and breadth of its scope, which is truly magnificent. It is all the more so, given Campbell's lucid style and digestible rendition of the often bewilderingly many and not always coherent factors influencing events.
There are a few issues however, that I would take with the author.
First, he has not elaborated the commercial dimensions of media's abetting neoconservative and neoliberal agendas, producing in effect a financial-military-communications complex where the profit incentives among the media conglomerates are not to be discounted. These are not explored as deeply as I would have wished.
Second, I think he would have served his argument better by dedicating a chapter to a more nuanced profile of Gaddafi and cataloging his well documented excesses. This would have added credibility to his claims of demonization of Gaddafi carried out by Western powers, though he does masterfully pick apart precisely how this demonization took place. Bad people can also be demonized and we don't get a really clear sense of the real demon Gaddafi versus the fabricated one, with the work sometimes bordering on being apologist.
Third, I would have welcomed a chapter in which Campbell directs his conclusions to awaken his Western readers' moral obligation to reconsider what the "[American][European] way-of-life" costs the underdeveloped world and Africa in particular. He seems to stop just a bit short of stirring those particular emotions, possibly to retain the scholarly representation of the book. And that brings me to my last point.
Campbell occasionally indulges in something of an unwarranted polemicist tone when he almost always describes wars as being "against the people of..." any country to which he refers. In so doing without parsing how he concludes that the populace and not the regime of the given country were the targets reveals a lack of detachment which I believe does not serve him well.
All small points against the big messages of this book though, so I have no hesitation in giving it 5 stars and would love to see a future edition reflect unfolding events since the time of this one's publication....more
Very insightful book. What pains me is his affirmation of how obtuse US foreign policy has been in relation to the Muslim world. It seems, and Cole coVery insightful book. What pains me is his affirmation of how obtuse US foreign policy has been in relation to the Muslim world. It seems, and Cole confirms this, that every foreign policy decision made by the US in relation to the Middle East and oil-energy security is done out of short-term aims with Muslim-world governments and total disregard for Muslim populations and their puzzlement over America's behavior being so out of step with America's democratic ideals....more
Fantastic! Rarely have I encountered an author with such a capacity for engaging eloquent prose. Add to this the daunting nature of the subject and itFantastic! Rarely have I encountered an author with such a capacity for engaging eloquent prose. Add to this the daunting nature of the subject and it makes Mr. Mukherjee's achievement all the more remarkable. With the deftness of a fiction writer, this book grips all but the most moribund of minds in its beautiful, often poignant, never dull descriptions of mankind's enduring struggle with the fearsome illnesses we collectively call cancer. Frequently dealing with scientific concepts and the seemingly convoluted logic involved in the pursuit of therapies, preventions, and palliatives, Mukherjee remains Sherpa-like in his steady, guiding narrative and enables us to scale the subject with ease and fascination.
Although dealing with a largely clinical subject, Mukherjee's treatment is far from clinical. He brings the personalities to life whether they be the researchers, clinicians, politicians, industrialists or patients. Each is delivered to us as a real persona whose strengths and flaws bring him or her into vivid focus. I was moved, sometimes to tears. In drawing me to contemplate my own future and whether cancer might figure in it, the book gave me both hope and fear.
Mukherjee even pays attention to the cadence of the prose so that reading it feels as if the words carry their own lubricant. He is a rare blend of scientist and storyteller who has mastered the art of distilling without losing important details for a highly technical subject.
This is my first published book and it literally erupted from my soul at the start of 2010. Once the basic story idea took shape in my mind (which tooThis is my first published book and it literally erupted from my soul at the start of 2010. Once the basic story idea took shape in my mind (which took about an hour), I was frenzied in pursuit of completing it.
For anyone with a soft spot for historical fiction intertwining world events with the personal hopes, dreams, struggles and joys of the protagonist, this book provides a readable western cultural style while describing a wholly alien Muslim Pakistani and Afghani perspective. It immerses the reader in a world most Westerners only learn about through sound bites and video clips.
Being a product of a diaspora and having moved from Pakistan to England at the age of 4 and then to the US a little over 20 years ago, I was especially keen to illustrate the dichotomies of perspective that often arise when two very different cultures interact. Among such interactions, misunderstanding and being misunderstood are the causes of so many "wrong turns" and that fascinates me. I hope you enjoy it and are challenged by it. You can learn more about my views and background by visiting http://www.sikanderbook.com ....more