A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Anglais) Broché – 2 mai 2012
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I enjoyed the book. It is a different way of looking at history, from a much more realistic point of view than the views that school history books give us (we ought to wonder who is feeding that history). It was definitely good to learn the connections between certain individuals, governments, foundations, etc, and their involvement in oil politics.
I also really liked to learn how propaganda was used to promote a certain viewpoint, and it was pretty wild to see how the effects usually were just as the propagandists planned. For example, and this is something I've known about for a long time, in America we are constantly being fed the Zero Population Growth propaganda, paid for by the elites who feed on America's consumerism. Do some real studying yourself and see that the "we are running out of space and food and the world is dying" message is a well-constructed lie, and yet, the overwhelming majority of the civilized world would probably agree. Propaganda works.
That said, my biggest complaint with the book is the lack of sourcing. Yes I realize that there are places throughout the book that he provides reliable sources, and there is the sources list in the back, but one cannot help but notice the amount of times he makes wild claims with absolutely no sources to back it up. He finds a source that takes him to 25% of his conclusion; then he fills in the rest himself, without mentioning that it is conjecture and not verifiable fact.
My other huge pet peeve is that he makes everything a conspiracy, and uses a conspiratorial tone in most of his writing. He will blatantly say things like "But Washington didn't care if the people went hungry" or "The British government was perfectly satisfied with the murder of millions." You just can't be an intellectually honest person and say things like that. "Washington" and "the British" are not persons you can analyze and then easily make blanket judgments about. Governments are made up of many people, with varying motives. History is not as black and white as the author seems to believe. And it should bring someone who jumped on his bandwagon pause to see that his other books are written in exactly the same tone. He is a conspiracy theorist to the bone.
That doesn't mean I agree with the 1 star reviewers who simply write him off saying that it's all nonsense. Those people are naïve in my opinion and I disagree. I think the book is worth reading, but do not so easily buy into his message wholeheartedly. Read the book slowly, understanding that he has a message to promote just like anyone else.
This really is a book that everyone should read. If you haven't yet read it you will be astonished by just how much you were not aware of -- and that's assuming you are already a very well informed person who has spent a life studying and researching. I already knew that Rockefeller didn't just happened to fall into the Vice President's office (without being elected) for no reason, but I didn't know the reason and the mission. Engdahl reveals that he and Kissinger masterminded one of the greatest business heists of all time: tricking OPEC into an embargo that forced the price of oil high enough to make drilling in the North Sea and Alaska profitable for Anglo-American oil giants like .... well, like Rockefeller. Pure genius, but it took Engdahl to make it so clear and obvious that the US was behind the much maligned "Arab oil embargo." Now I simply wonder how I missed what was so obvious.
The quality and tone of his writing is not always worthy of the brilliant connections and insights he shares. That sometimes makes him seem less than authoritative and reliable. Perhaps that is partly a product of the translation. Perhaps its just a fact that the author's particular personal style does not always do his information justice. But, I can tell you this: with every year that passes, experience proves that he did not overstate his case.
For example, after Obama was first elected Engdahl blogged and warned us that we should not take Obama at face value and that no one who truly intended to do what Obama promissed would have been allowed anywhere near the presidency. At the time I thought Engdahl harsh, cynical, and negative on Obama. Then Obama started appointing his cabinet and my jaw hit the floor. Seven years later I now know all about Penny Pritzger, why she is Secretary of Commerce, why people like her husband run NPR, why he put Hillary "B.P." Clinton in charge of the State Department, and all about Obama's recruitment for the job by big banking interests (they funded him over McCain 7-1). I know why he signed bills into law that stripped Americans of basic constitutional rights. I know why only seven Senators voted against the 2009 NDAA and why Obama signed it into law while saying he would never use the horrifying powers it gave the President (Just watch the video of Obama's New Year's Eve signing speech and he'll tell you himself. No need to wonder about it) -- the truth really is that shocking when you finally see through the giant hustle that we call reality -- even though it is written by Hollywood screenwriters to play well with the public. I know that he was selected as the best salesman for continuing Bush's scams to a nation that had grown to despise Bush. And Obama certainly didn't do much for the government whistleblowers he promissed to protect, did he? If anything, Endahl undersold his case in retrospect. But at the time these claims all seemed just a tad demented. Read it ten tears later and believe it.
But the author does convincing describe an important connection between money and oil which explains a lot of what has happened to our world since 1971. For that reason, I think this book deserves to be read.