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Posted August 5, 2007
Ralph Peters' Lates Must-Read Book
Wars of Blood and Faith contains 78 carefully-selected, hard-hitting articles the author published in 2006-2007 in the New York Post, Armed Forces Journal, USA Today, Washington Monthly, The Weekly Standard, Military Review, RealClearPolitics.com, and Armchair General magazine. Individually, as originally published, each essay provided plenty of food for thought - now, read as a book in this superb collection by publisher Stackpole, it's a real feast! Peters', today's most insightful, clear-headed strategic thinker, includes a revelatory introductory essay that, alone, is well worth the price of the book. He shatters the mythology so dear to the hearts of America's 'ruling elite' that 'all men want peace, with its corollary fantasies of bloodless war and a lawyer's faith in negotiations.' These through-the-looking-glass assumptions belong to the now-past Age of Ideology, a two hundred year 'aberrant period in history ... a time of unaccountable mass delusion, when human beings convinced themselves that individuals could reason out a better architecture for human societies than human collectives could arrive at organically.' Peters perceptively reveals that 'we have returned to the historical mainstream, abandoning conflicts over artificial systems of social organizations in favor of strife provoked by those ineradicable causes, religion and ethnicity ... the bleeding over political systems is largely finished we have returned to the historical norm of wars of blood and belief.' The age of wars over 'isms' (fascism, nationalism, Communism, Nazism, etc.) is over - it's tribe versus tribe in a war to the death. The enemy's preferred strategy is no longer one of winning hearts and minds that's been replaced by one calling for a knife to the heart and a bullet to the brain. Our leaders' failure to comprehend that represents little more than national suicide. Yet, don't assume that the sole value of Wars of Blood and Faith lies only in its sorely-needed wake-up call that we must realize our survival depends upon - quite literally -- killing our enemies before they kill us. Peters' prescient, timely and carefully-crafted articles cover the world, explaining in the author's trademark crystal-clear, Hemingway-esque style the myriad of critical security issues that confront America and the West around the globe. Although many of the book's essays address the Iraq War's military and political issues (including its domestic and international fall-out), Peters razor-sharp analysis looks beyond the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan to encompass such far-flung places as China, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Somalia, and Darfur. With continuing worldwide experience in 70 countries, Peters is no stay-at-home 'studio pundit' - the book includes first-hand reporting from the front lines in Iraq and Israel's war with Hezbollah. Ralph Peters knows what he's talking about. More important, he's not afraid to 'go public' by sharing that unequaled experience with the reading public in his perceptive essays. As a result, Wars of Blood and Faith is a cogent, desperately-needed wake up call to Peters' fellow citizens. Since, as the author notes, our 'ruling elite' leaders in Washington seem 'afraid to think -- because many of the answers are terrifying,' he's taking his case directly to those who elect them. 'The goal of the many essays and columns in this book,' Peters explains, 'is to provoke the complacent, to challenge the (deadly) traditional wisdom, and to encourage Americans to think for themselves.' One fervently hopes they will. Clearly, reading Wars of Blood and Faith is a great way to give those complacent brains a much-needed 'jump-start.' Buy it. Read it. Share it.
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