Friday, February 24, 2012

See No Evil

Baer, Robert (2002). See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism. New York: Three Rivers Press.

If I had read this book when it first came out, or even before I saw the movie Syriana (that is loosely based on this book), I don’t think I would have given it quite the attention and thought it deserved. So, first of all – go see Syriana. It’s a terrific story, and it is done very well.

Secondly – read this book, and think about what Baer is telling us. That, through a series of unfortunate accidents and bad policy decisions, the United States has been, by design, woefully ignorant of the cultures, languages, and peoples of the Middle East. That, because of our stubborn dependence on oil, we are also dependent on what goes on in the Middle East. And that, because we have failed to learn about the people that live there, we are helpless and foolish and stupid.

Rating: Three Oogs (because evil – especially as described in this book - is truly the stuff of nightmares)

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