Category Archives: Book Reviews

A Vital Primer on the Push for War in Iran, by Conn Hallinan

Books could be written about what Americans don’t know about Iran, and now one has been written. From Conn Hallinan at antiwar.com:

Americans – including those in the White House – know little about Iran and its history with the United States. A new book wants to change that.

Want another thing to keep you up at night?

Consider a conversation between longtime Middle East reporter Reese Erlich and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman, Jr. on the people currently directing the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran.

Commenting on National Security Advisor John Bolton’s defense of the invasion of Iraq, Freeman says “The neoconservative group think their good ideas were poorly implemented in Iraq,” and that the lesson of the 2003 invasion that killed upwards of 500,000 people and destabilized an entire region is, “If at first you don’t succeed, do the same thing again somewhere else.”

That “somewhere else” is Iran, and Bolton is one of the leading voices calling for confronting the Teheran regime and squeezing Iran through draconian sanctions “until the pips squeak.” Since sanctions are unlikely to have much effect – they didn’t work on North Korea, have had little effect on Russia, and failed to produce regime change in Cuba – the next logical step, Erlich suggests, is a military attack on Iran.

Such an attack would be a leap into darkness, since most Americans – and their government in particular – are virtually clueless about the country we seem bound to go to war with.

Throwing a little light on that darkness is a major reason Erlich wrote the book. For over 18 years he has reported on Iran, talking with important government figures and everyday people and writing articles on the country that increasingly looks to be our next little war.

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Bongino’s Spygate: Exposing the Obama/Clinton Deep State Criminality, by Frank Hawkins

Obama/Clinton criminality is even worse than you think. From Frank Hawkins at americanthinker.com:

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino’s explosive new book (with D.C. McAllister), Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump, spotlights the left’s broken trust with the American people and the blatant criminality of  the Obama/Clinton Deep State.  Since the moment Donald J. Trump and his wife Melania glided down the Trump Tower escalator into history, the Democrats and the allies in the Deep State have been committed to crushing him.

For Trump, it was obvious that draining the swamp was never going to be easy because everything possible would be done to disguise and protect the illegal activities of the Obama/Clinton administration. But who thought they would go this far?

Bongino has painted a highly detailed account of how the Obama administration criminalized our intelligence communities as well as other government agencies to  stop Trump, and when that didn’t work to try and bring down the president of the United States.

The book relies heavily on left-leaning news outlets CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Reuters, CBS News, The Hill, London-based The Guardian and numerous others. All of this is carefully footnoted in the book. In a recent speech, Bongino said,

“The reason I wrote the book, is because of this whole spy scandal, this debacle, this atrocious disgrace of a scandal that happened to our president.   We deliberately did not use footnotes from right-leaning resources.  I used (the mainstream media) because anyone who tells you oh, this didn’t happen, just go to the footnotes and say, did you read this article?  It happened, folks.  The President of the United States had the intelligence community and the law enforcement community of the United States, at the highest levels, weaponized against him.” [emphasis added]

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Why Orwell Is Superior to Huxley, by Colin Liddell

Much of what was supposedly unique about Brave New World is found in 1984. From Colin Liddell at unz.com:

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One of the frequent comparisons that comes up in the Dissident Right is who was more correct or prescient, Orwell or Huxley.

In fact, as the only truly oppressed intellectual group, the Dissident Right are the only ones in a position to offer a valid opinion on this, as no other group of intellectuals suffers deplatforming, doxxing, and dismissal from jobs as much as we do. In the present day, it is only the Dissident Right that exists in the ‘tyrannical space’ explored in those two dystopian classics.

But, despite this, this debate exists not only on the Dissident Right but further afield. Believe it or not, even Left-wingers and Liberals debate this question, as if they too are under the heel of the oppressor’s jackboot. In fact, they feel so oppressed that some of them are even driven to discuss it in the pages of the New York Times at the despotically high rate of pay which that no doubt involves.

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The Trump Revolution: A Preliminary History, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

A generally favorable book about Donald Trump’s political ascendence as just been published, and Thomas J. DiLorenzo reviews it. From DiLorenzo at davidstockmanscontracorner.com:

Beating the Hillary Hate Brigades (HHB) to the punch with what appears to be the first book published about the political rise of Donald Trump, Ilana Mercer has written an insightful short history of the ascendancy of “The Donald” entitled The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed. The HHB in the media will undoubtedly do its best to rewrite history (i.e., lie) when it comes to how Donald Trump repeatedly exposed them as mostly a bunch of frauds, imposters, and biased political hacks during the primary campaign season. The Trump Revolution sets the record straight on all of this, and more, in thirty-one short chapters, and will be a valuable – and entertaining — fact-check resource.

Why the entire Washington establishment, including the bigwigs of both parties, hate, and fear Trump is clearly explained by quoting the candidate’s own words. He opposed the invasion of Iraq and said the war was a terrible mistake; he favors liberalizing relations with Cuba; denounced his Republican competitors as “totally controlled by their donors, by the lobbyists, and by the special interests”; he explained that “the stock market is bloated,” thanks to the Fed; he would rather “have a great relationship with Vladimir Putin” and do business with Russians than start World War III against them; he said John McCain “is not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay?”; he wants to enforce American immigration laws by building an even better border wall than the ones built by Clinton, Bush, and Obama (yes, Trump is not the first to have the idea); and he shocked and offended the liberal media by declaring that he does everything in his power to pay as little tax as possible.

Mercer would make a good speech writer in a Trump administration, for she has a talent for spot-on adjectives, such as “the none-too-bright Joan Walsh, Salon editor-in-chief”; “smarmy Michael Smerconish” of CNN; “Campbell Brown, another banal bloviator”; “jackass Anderson Cooper of CNN”; the “malevolent moron” Jorge Ramos of Univision; “being a Democrat generally comes with the presumption of asininity”; and how Megyn Kelly of FOX is “a showgirl, really.”

She catalogs a number of stinging Trumpisms in a chapter entitled “Trump’s Good for the English Language” such as: “We are led by stupid people. Very, very stupid people”; “the media are dishonest”; “talking to Anderson Cooper is a waste of time”; “Charles Krauthammer is an overrated, clueless clown”; and “the once-great National Review.”

Unlike open borders enthusiasts, Mercer points out, Trump is alarmed to learn from U.S. government statistics that Mexican immigrants alone have been convicted of murdering more than 23,000 Americans over the past twenty years. This is perhaps what Trump was thinking of when he said that Mexico does not always send us “their best.” He might also have heard of Elias Acevedo, convicted of 173 counts of rape; Ariel Castro, the sadistic kidnapper/rapist in Cleveland; and others like them. These men are certainly not among Mexico’s “best” either. Donald Trump has been relentlessly libeled and smeared by the HHB for expressing the opinion that America would be better off if they, and people like them, never stepped foot in the country.

To continue reading: The Trump Revolution: A Preliminary History

Diana Johnstone Dissects Hillary, Queen of Chaos, by John V. Walsh

The Republicans have had little success spotlightling various Bill and Hillary depredations through the years. Rolling into 2016, they might have more luck with Hillary if they stuck to her abysmal record and her policies on foreign intervention. Too bad those policies are virtually identical to those of the Republican  frontrunners. From John V. Walsh, reviewing Diane Johnstone’s recently published Queen of Chaos at antiwar.com (SLL has not read the book, but it looks intriguing):

Were Diana Johnstone, author of Queen of Chaos, to bump into Samantha Power in a dark alley, both would be instantly annihilated in a blaze of energy. For Johnstone, is the anti-Samantha Power, best known for her book, Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Illusions, where she meticulously uncovers the truth about the war on Serbia, thereby dismantling the fairy tale constructed by Power to justify the NATO assault on the Balkans. That fairy tale has been a model for similar sagas rolled out to whiten the sepulchers of the many “humanitarian” wars since, every one of which bears some of Hillary’s fingerprints.

Daughter of Empire in Its Heyday.

Johnstone’s new book, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton, is a must read, but it must be read carefully. It is a must read because it is a capsule history of the US Empire’s depredations over the past 25 years since the end of the Cold War when the Clintons came upon the national scene. Given the ever sharper confrontation which our elite is engineering with Russia and China, one that could well lead to nuclear war, this is a history we all need to review and understand correctly. Our very survival may well depend on it. And the book must be read carefully because, being both slim and comprehensive, it is packed tightly with information and pointed political insight. Such an eloquent and compact chronicle is of enormous usefulness right now.

Queen is not a gossipy bio, delineating Hillary’s shallow, belligerent, mendacious, psychopathic character, although such a tome, necessarily massive, would be welcome. These characteristics of Hillary’s necessarily emerge to some degree in Queen of Chaos. but personality portrayal is not the core of the book. Rather the book is historical. Johnstone sees Clinton as both a product of her times – privileged child of the U.S. Empire, white, Wellesley, Yale, a dishonest and ultimately fired operative on the Watergate committee right out of law school – as well as a ruthless actor in a global drama growing ever more deadly. The book is more history than Hillary. But by going this route Johnstone grasps the essential Clinton with crystal clarity.

To continue reading: Queen of Chaos

Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy of Peace Is Central to the Message of Freedom, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

From Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. at davidstockmanscontracorner.com:

Ronald Reagan used to be called the Teflon president, on the grounds that no matter what gaffe or scandal engulfed him, it never stuck: he didn’t suffer in the polls. If Reagan was the Teflon president, the military is America’s Teflon institution. Even people who oppose whatever the current war happens to be can be counted on to “support the troops” and to live by the comforting delusion that whatever aberrations may be evident today, the system itself is basically sound.
To add insult to injury, whenever the US government gears up for yet another military intervention, it’s people who pretend to favor “limited government,” and who pride themselves on not falling for government propaganda, who can be counted on to stand up and salute.

I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. But Ron’s new book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity, a plainspoken and relentless case against war that ranks alongside Smedley Butler’s classic War Is a Racket, is possibly the proudest Ron Paul moment of all.

It’s been calculated that over the past 5,000 years there have been 14,000 wars fought, resulting in three and a half billion deaths. In the United States, between 1798 and 2015 there have been 369 uses of military force abroad. We have been conditioned to accept this as normal, or at the very least unavoidable. We are told to stifle any moral qualms we may have about mass killing on the question-begging grounds that, after all, “it’s war.”

Ron, on this as on a wide array of other topics, isn’t prepared to accept the conventional platitudes, and a recurring theme in his book involves speculating on whether, in the same way the human race has advanced so extraordinarily from a technological point of view, we might be capable of a comparable moral advance as well.

There is much in this book for libertarians and indeed all opponents of war to enjoy – for starters, a refutation of the claim that war is “good for the economy,” a discussion of the dangers of “blowback” posed by foreign interventionism, and an overview of the War on Terror from a noninterventionist perspective. But there is a profoundly personal dimension to this book as well, as we follow Ron’s life from his childhood to the present and the evolution of his thought on war. I’ll leave readers to discover these gems for themselves.

To continue reading: Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy and the Message of Freedom

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal, by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire

Let’s face it, if Hillary Clinton were captured on video murdering someone, 95 percent of those who are “ready” for her would still be ready. The mainstream media and Democratic party are supine, and the Clinton’s counterattack machine is ruthless and vicious. Which means the following article, from The New York Times, may turn out to be enormously important. It details a fairly simple story that goes far beyond the usual Clinton scandal allegations, involving hefty donations to the Clinton Foundation and later, payment of a half-a-million dollars speaker’s fee to Bill Clinton from a Canadian company, Uranium One, and its officials in 2010, while the sale of its majority control to a Russian company was under consideration by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), on which Hillary was a member. The Canadian company controlled 20 percent of US uranium production and two important mines in Kazakhstan. Neither Russia nor the US are self-sufficient in uranium.

The implications of the story are inescapable, but the subtext is important as well. The New York Times could have sat on, or downplayed, this story, as it has done many times for the Clintons. That it published this story now may simply be a matter of strategic positioning: Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash, will be released next month; he has allowed the Times a preview; the book details some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clintons. Even if that is the case, however, through the years the Times has ignored countless meritorious books and stories in other news outlets about the Clintons’ scandals. This one appears to be both too big and too straightforward to ignore: the Clinton’s accept money to allow a company based in Russia, almost by definition in bed with the Russian government, the head of which Hillary last year likened to Adolf Hitler, to buy up a good chunk of the world’s productive capacity of what is obviously one of its most important strategic minerals, uranium. Anyone who wants to mount a defense of Hillary, and undoubtedly many will try, has to explain why the donations to the Clinton Foundation were not disclosed, in clear contravention of Hillary’s pledge to do so when she became Secretary of State.

The New York Times and The Washington Post are to the Democratic party what The Wall Street Journal and Fox News are to the Republican party. That the Times has published this story suggests that perhaps the Democratic powers that be have decided that there are just too many scandals and Hillary is just too maladroit a campaigner to carry the party to victory in 2016. Therefore, it’s time to cut her loose, while there is still time to come up with another candidate (the Democrats don’t have much of a bench). That, however, is conjecture; stay tuned. From Jo Becker and Mike McIntire at nytimes.com:

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

To continue reading: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal