Marcie's Reviews > American Heroes: In the Fight Against Radical Islam

American Heroes by Oliver North
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 07, 2009

really liked it

Oliver North's latest job is hosting a show on Fox called War Stories, interviewing WWII soldiers and capturing their stories, until 9/11 happens. Then he and his crew are sent 9 times to Iraq, to cover today's soldiers, war as we know it today. He is embedded, just like any other journalist covering the events, given the same parameters of operation, which reminds me...the Pentagon approved way too many journalists, wish I had the book in front of me so I could share the exact shocking number.

Sometimes the book reads very patriotic, rah-rah, over-the-top. Other times not, as North expends a lot of effort to provide facts and statistics to the readers, and remove himself from the analysis. Actually, I love it when he cannot remove his own experience and perspective from the action. An example: he is embedded with a helicopter unit whose job is to evacuate casualties. Obviously he's flying low into hot zones to get the injured out. He is given a headset, but not allowed to speak or be an active participant as a journalist...however, at one point, he yells out "RPG! 3 o'clock! Incoming!" The pilot pulls up, almost going vertical to dodge it, lands in an intersection where 10 soldiers are loaded in less than 4 minutes, and the pilot, calmly as ever, says "how much longer, this is a pretty sporty LZ." North ponders this adjective for the hottest LZ he's ever been in!

Those soldiers entering the helicopter...I teared up many times reading their stories, obviously. I am so glad I read this hard-to-read book, though, for many reasons. It reminded me of things I had forgotten. Time is our true enemy, as it makes us forget things. I had forgotten how Saddam Hussein was playing all those head games with the UN, bribing other countries to vote certain ways, only allowing "inspectors" to see certain areas at certain times. I had forgotten how Bush responded in critical times. Half my friends despise him, the other half adore him. But the truth is, he was an AWESOME war president. I WANT a president that the rest of the world hates. This is a good thing, people.

North carefully chronicles all the events that led us to each action. Osama bin Laden claims credit for 9/11 at the same time that Afghanistan says we can have access to him IF we can prove that he had something to do with it. WTF? Baghdad Bob is on tv yelling "Americans in Baghdad? Never!" while North is filming a captain of a tank division saying "tell him to stay there for 10 minutes and I'll come in and get him." I enjoyed reading about all the different countries over there and their exact "assistance" given to us to get troops in on the ground.

If I hadn't read this book, I wouldn't have seen the picture of the young Marine who lost his legs due to one of those chicken shit IEDs. He's wearing a t-shirt that says "Marine for Sale. 40% off. Some assembly required." He's now in law school, going to be a courtoom warrior. I wouldn't know about the Silver Star female soldier who cleared a trench, leaving 27 dead when she was done. Can you believe her name was Hester? (smile)

And North successfully puts the whole thing in perspective for me, when he writes: "Muslim women do not vote for their sons to be suicide bombers." YES. We may not have meant to be where we are now, but this is the deal. We have started a crazy experiment (there has never been democracy in thousands of years in Mesopotamia! what are we doing?). We have planted a seed of thought that threatens every societal structure, every ruling class, every male for that matter, in every country over there. And every country wants to stomp it out before it spreads and threatens their way of life. My brain says "get out now."

But there were those tens of thousands of Muslim women who stood in line all day to vote in their first free election...200 were killed with a car bomb, they did not step out of line. They are really sending their daughters to school that we set up.

The women are the key to the success of Iraq. The women are the key to future survival for the entire planet. The women are the key to progress and peace. WOMEN do not VOTE for their sons to be suicide bombers. I read recently that 4000 Iraqi women ran for offices in the last election.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read American Heroes.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.