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Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire [Paperback]

By Doug Bandow (Author)
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Item description for Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire by Doug Bandow...

The United States once was a traditional republic, remaining aloof from foreign conflicts. Today no problem on earth is exempt from Washington's meddling. The result is an oversize military, perpetual intervention, and consistent conflict, according to Bandow, who says it's time for a new foreign policy.

Publishers Description
The United States once was a traditional republic, remaining aloof from foreign conflicts. Today no problem on earth is exempt from Washington's meddling. The result is an oversize military, perpetual intervention, and consistent conflict. It's time for a new foreign policy.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Xulon Press
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.98" Width: 9.01" Height: 0.85"
Weight:   1.24 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 14, 2006
Publisher   Xulon Press
ISBN  1597819883  
ISBN13  9781597819886  

Availability  110 units.
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More About Doug Bandow

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DOUG BANDOW is a former Presidential Policy Analyst. He is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank, and a nationally syndicated columnist with Copley News Service.

Marvin Olasky (PhD, University of Michigan) is the editor in chief of World magazine, holder of the distinguished chair in journalism and public policy at Patrick Henry College, and senior fellow of the Acton Institute. He was previously a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, a Boston Globe reporter, and a Du Pont Company speechwriter. He is the author of twenty books and more than 3,500 articles. He and his wife, Susan, have four sons.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > International > Relations
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > U.S.

Reviews - What do customers think about Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire?

Definitive Statement on How Real Conservatives Despise Bush Lies and Cheney High Crimes  Aug 11, 2007
Published in 2006, this collection of essays ranges from the late 1990's to its year of publication, and I was quite astonished to discover two things fairly quickly into the work:

First, the author is a conservative--a true conservative--and firmly opposed to what he calls "promiscuous intervention" or elective wars or global rampant empire-building. I was expecting a left of center diatribe against the follies of the Bush-Cheney Administration. Not so. The author is consistent--he railed against the follies of the Clinton-Clinton Administration first, and this followed over.

Second, as an estranged moderate Republican who believes in fiscal conservatism, a small government, and not supporting dictators or decadent despots like the debauched Saudi "royal" family of swindlers, pedophiles, and perverts, I was stunned to find my conservative roots reaffirmed, and the neo-conservatives, the false conservatives, soundly lambasted for their chicken-hawk enlargement of the military-industrial complex.

The author opens early with the statement that America is no longer a Republic, and I completely agree. The author, affiliated with the Cato Institute, has given me a new and deeper appreciation for that organization's intellectual and constitutional line of reasoning.

The early part of the book is a superb collection of varied arguments for completely avoiding foreign adventurism that enriches a few in the military-industrial complex, at three great costs:

1) Loss of lives and limbs among our brave troops;
2) Loss of natural treasure we cannot space on others
3) Loss of morality and rise of vulnerability to hatred occasioned by our foreign presence

The latter point merits special emphasis. The author's views are totally consistent with my own reading and world experience:

1) Morality, as Will and Ariel Durant tell us in their The Lessons of History, is a strategic asset of incalculable proportions. Others, such as Max Manwaring, in The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century tell us that security--long-term security, can only come from legitimacy, legitimacy in the eyes of both our own citizens and denizens in every clime and place where we venture.

2) Bin Laden is on solid ground to use terrorism against us, an asymmetric method that is necessary for smaller actors, and the author is clear in validating the degree to which we merit and invite such terrorist attacks by intervening and by supporting debauched dictators like the Saudis. The author states clearly: "We must reduce the sources of foreign hostility to the US." The author quotes Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism among others on how suicidal terrorism is correlated with US occupations overseas, *not* with radical Islam per se. He goes on to say, as my colleague Robert Baer has documented in See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism and Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude, that "American commitment to the Saudi royal family is a moral blemish and a practical danger. See also Ambassador Mark Palmer's denunciation of our support for 42 of the 44 remaining dictators in Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025.

In 1999 the author penned this statement against the Clinton Administration that applies equally today to the Bush-Cheney Administration: "Indeed, where the President and his aides are arrogant, ignorant, and incompetent, others must lead." I agree with this author of the strategic logic of terrorism against US misbehavior, and point the interested reader to Pape's book above.

I am heartened to read this conservative author's sensible denunciation of both the lies of Bush and Cheney to all Americans, and of the idiocy of the neo-conservatives in striving for increased unconstitutional executive power, and in believing in an "immaculate presidency" that can do no wrong. He clearly labels Bush as wrong and as owing all Americans an apology. He properly dismisses the "stay the course" propaganda by pointing out that when you are on the wrong road, you get off at the first available exit.

He segues from that to a proper denunciation of American support for a genocidal racist Israel and offers this lovely quote: "Crackpot theology is no substitute for thoughtful analysis is developing foreign policy."

The author offers an elegant essay against conscription and the draft. As a taxpayer who now seems that 75% of my taxes are misspent on elective war, secret earmarks, and fraudulent procurements that benefit a small elite while destroying the working poor and the vanishing middle class, I am now all for eliminating federal taxes and forcing the federal government to apply to the states for funding of "common" needs. War is not in our common interest, and we should not have allowed our Congress and our Executive to become spendthrifts with out money--as Davy Crockett learned--it is not theirs to give!

I part with the author only on the subject of Taiwan--he is wrong to see Taiwan as a beacon of freedom. Chang Kai Sheik was one of the greatest war criminals and thieves on the planet in his time, and a cursory reading of the literature, for example, the books by Sterling and Peggy Seagraves, will quickly document that Taiwan is both an inherent part of China, and not at all a bastion of freedom as much as limpet fish sucking the blood from the American's so naïve as to believe these cheating miscreants.

Over-all I found this author to be inspiring. He neglects to address the war crimes of the extremist Republicans, nor does he venture to comment on the very high probability that Dick Cheney, Rudy Gulliani, and Larry Silverstein (and their insurance co-conspirators) are guilty along with Donald Rumsfeld of the mass murder of most of those who died on 9-11 to controlled demolitions in NYC and a missile into the Pentagon. Evidently there are some areas where "true blue" conservatives do not dare venture. For those interested in this aspect of the *other* neo-conservative crime of the century see my lists on 9-11 books and DVDs, and on evaluating Cheney, and most especially, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency, where my review lists 23 of the 25 high crimes and misdemeanors of Dick Cheney that are documented in the public record (for the other two, see Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11)
An Entirely Appropriate Title  May 3, 2007
Foreign Follies, a collection of Doug Bandow's columns and articles on U.S. foreign policy over the past decade, is an incisive diagnosis of what has gone so terribly wrong with America's position in the world. It is also an even-handed, bipartisan analysis. Bandow criticizes the faulty policies of Democratic and Republican administrations alike. He makes a compelling case that a more cautious, coherent security strategy would better serve the interests of the American people. Over the years, Bandow has shown himself to be one of America's most astute experts on foreign affairs, and it is gratifying to see his prescient analyses gathered in one place. Foreign Follies is a valuable book, and it deserves to have a wide audience.
Pulls no punches  Mar 19, 2007
Because of the Iraq fiasco, it is fashionable to blame the Bush administration for being the Ziegfeld of America's foreign policy folly. True enough, Iraq may be the height of U.S. folly -- an unnecessary war against a phantom threat that has given jihadists a convenient target in their own neighborhood, created greater anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim world, and threatens to break the U.S. Army -- but such folly is not the sole purview of the Bush administration. In Foreign Follies, Doug Bandow has assembled a collection of essays that span more than a decade to demonstrate that U.S. foreign policy run amok pre-dates the current White House, but that the Bush administration has made things worse. Bandow chronicles unnecessary U.S. interventionist policy in Europe, the Balkans, Asia, and the Middle East. Of course, he devotes an entire chapter to Iraq -- the mother of all unnecessary U.S. interventions. Not only does Bandow make the case that U.S. foreign policy -- Bush and Clinton, Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal -- makes us less safe, but that it undermines the foundations of our republic. The real folly is that Bandow's voice is drowned by the shrill cries of partisan politicians and pundits who place self-interest ahead of the well-being our the country.
An Excellent Analysis  Feb 23, 2007
Given the times in which we live, it is easy to why hindsight continues to be the preferred tool of analysis for many of our leaders in Washington. For the remainder of us however, foresight, though not always accurate, is a more important goal despite the always unpopular political ramifications. That is where Dr. Doug Bandow comes in. Foreign follies almost cries out, 'I hate to say I told you so,' setting-up a tragic review of America's foreign (and domestic) policy follies. Should you decide to pick-up this excellent book, perhaps you will make the wise decision to seek out Dr. Bandow's columns ([...]) for a more holistic analysis of the state of U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, the business of foreign affairs is not about one's favorites, but rather the analysis that must often be complete, and most importantly, accurate. Anything less needlessly places lives at risk--something Dr. Bandow and a handful of other analysts are obviously keenly aware of.
Not So Foreign Follies  Feb 22, 2007
Bandow's work reveals one folly of any critique of US foreign policy is that the addled thinking is not limited to the past few years or the current administration. Drawing on his career of assessing foreign policy across the globe, Bandow showcases his astounding scope of expertise and insight - providing a cohesive point of view that brings sanity to any review of US foreign policy in the past -- and in the future. A must-read for every policy wonk, and every American.

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