Sunday, October 02, 2011

Anthony's Iraq: The Logic Of Withdrawal


Your local public library is, no doubt, like libraries across the country, overtaxed and facing cuts. Rather amazing when you consider the fact that public libraries are being used now more than 20 years ago. The economy means, check within your own community but our survey of 20 public libraries across the country as well as e-mails from librarians bear this out, that more people are relying on libraries for access to local newspapers, for pleasure reading and reading to improve job skills, for access to music and movies as well as access to the internet. Library usage is booming; however, the economy being what it is, libraries are also usually the first things targeted by local governments. They're now expected to do even more with even less funds which means cuts in hours of operation and cuts in budgets.

To encourage you to visit your own local library, we're picking ten books from the last ten years that you shouldn't miss or, if you've already read, you should revisit.

Historian Howard Zinn passed away in 2010 and already there are a number of variations on his work emerging. In 2006, Anthony Arnove's Iraq: The Logic Of Withdrawal was published. It shares a title with Zinn's Vietnam: The Logic Of Withdrawal and Arnove notes Zinn's earlier book. Howard Zinn himself even writes the foreword and the afterword to the book.

Iraq: The Logic Of Withdrawal

However, for 105 pages of text, Arnove's written a book that pays up any debts to those who came before and carries the struggle for peace further.

From the selling of the illegal war to US audiences as a defensive need to the rejection of the occupation by the Iraqi people, the book is a resource, primer and refresher. It's also required reading these days as the White House prepares to sell the latest phase in the never ending Iraq War, US soldiers remaining on the ground in Iraq as "trainers."

Yes, the party controlling the White House has changed and yet the Iraq War continues..

As Arnove notes on pages 100 - 101 of his 2006 book:

In reality, the war in Iraq and the broader "war on terror" are based on a bipartisan consensus. The Democrats and Republicans agree on fundamental right of the United States to intervene in other countries, to topple regimes it dislikes, and to be a global hegemonic power. The Democrats will use force "without asking anyone's permission" boasts Democratic leader Joseph R. Biden Jr., of Delaware, in the party's typical "me too" fashion. Some liberals have staked their opposition to the war in Iraq on the idea that Iraq is a "distraction." The problem with this line of argument is that it accepts that Bush is now waging an otherwise legitimate war. Bush's agenda has absolutely nothing to do with fighting terrorism or reducing its liklihood, however. The Bush administration is pushing a series of foreign policy objectives that it had before September 11. These are not defensive but offensive goals, seeking to expand U.S. economic and military power abroad. The "war on terror" rubric is a way of selling decades of war through racism and the demonization of Arabs and of Islam, much as anticommunism was used as an ideological rationale for U.S. aims in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

It's a shame Arnove and others didn't return to that fertile ground when Barack Obama was being sold as a peace/antiwar candidate. Barack, of course, stated he was against the Iraq War because it was a "dumb war."

It's his dumb war now and the country could probably use Iraq: The Logic Of Withdrawal II right about now but, in the meantime, be sure to read Arnove's book.

For our take on the book in 2006, click here and be sure to read last week's pick "Tori's Piece by Piece."
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