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William Blum, 'Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II'

Common Courage Press, 2004. ISBN 1 5675 1252 6; 500pp; price US$25

Many activists have taken a crash course in US history thanks to Bill Blum. In Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (2002, see http://www.peacenews.info/issues/2441/2441351.html ) he took us through the unvarnished history of interventions, sabotage and deceit by the US government.

Now his 1986 book on the CIA, updated in 1995, has again been updated to bring us up to the end of 2003, incorporating new material on terrorism, Afghanistan and Iraq. He tells it all, in simple straightforward chronology, with impeccable research and documentation.

It is all here in Killing Hope - from Cambodia to Colombia. US policy is well supported by the British government, as most British activists know all too well. Blum quotes Robert Cooper, an adviser to Tony Blair, saying “... we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era - force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself”. No wonder, empire dreaming British leaders can glory in the past as they revel in their place in the White House guest suite.

However, Blum seems to think that the policy of “only fear will re-establish respect for the US” is finally being discredited in the world and for some Americans, “but the United States does not know it yet... Instead it practises perpetual war for perpetual peace.” We need books like this to help us in the work of discrediting and exposing USA foreign policy and actions; the work of building a better world is made easier with proof of the rottenness of the present one so convincingly presented by Blum. Hope may be injured, but it's not dead yet.

Topics: Empire | History