A History of the World Since 9/11: Disaster, Deception, and Destruction in the War on Terror

A History of the World Since 9/11: Disaster, Deception, and Destruction in the War on Terror

by Dominic Streatfeild
     
 

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To understand why, you'll need to know how …
· an Australian metals trader named Garry-with help from the CIA-inadvertently triggered the invasion of Iraq · coalition troops were killed by bombs made with explosives that, according to the White House, never existed · the United States Air Force bombed a wedding in Afghanistan by

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Overview

To understand why, you'll need to know how …
· an Australian metals trader named Garry-with help from the CIA-inadvertently triggered the invasion of Iraq · coalition troops were killed by bombs made with explosives that, according to the White House, never existed · the United States Air Force bombed a wedding in Afghanistan by mistake · the U.S. gave material support to the president of Uzbekistan, who, as it happens, boils people alive
These are not merely random disasters from an otherwise effective war. A History of the World Since 9/11shows us just why, a decade after the horrifying attacks on New York and Washington, we are no closer towinning the war on terror than we were on September 10, 2001. We failed to find Osama bin Laden or quellextremism. We sparked civil wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Around the world, innocents were incarcerated,tortured, and murdered-all in the name of justice.

Acclaimed author and journalist Dominic Streatfeild traveled across the world for years in pursuit ofanswers for this stunning collapse of international law. The results of his search form the most fully realized study of the war on terror yet written. Piercing reportage blends with sobering human drama, woven into eight narratives of how our world went wrong after 9/11.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Some poisonous fruits of America's response to the September 11 attacks are inventoried in this forceful but tendentious critique of the "war on terror." Journalist Streatfield (Cocaine) examines eight post-9/11 injustices and tragedies and links them, with varying degrees of plausibility, to the Bush administration's wars, intelligence operations, tactical blunders, and general hubris. Some cases he investigates are open-and-shut: an American air strike on an Afghan wedding party kills dozens; explosives looted by Iraqis in the postinvasion chaos end up in terrorist bombs; the CIA conducts a brutal extraordinary rendition of the wrong man. Others, however, like the Uzbekistan government's 2005 massacre of prodemocracy demonstrators, seem only coincidentally related to American policy. And was the murder of an Indian-American cashier, Vasudev Patel, during a convenience-store heist really the fallout of President Bush's call for "‘pre-emptive action'" against terrorism, as the author suggests, or a tragic robbery-homicide? Streatfield combines gripping reportage with analysis that's frequently more deterministic than the facts warrant. The result is a history that's vivid and insightful, but also sometimes blinkered and unreliable. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"A History of the World Since 9/11 takes us on an eminently readable and conversational trip through the complicated world surrounding the 9/11 attacks. Dominic Streatfield reveals the tragedy and confusion of events before, during, and after that tragic day unlike any other author."—John Kiriakou, author of The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror

"Bleak and gripping narrative…This excellent work will mesmerize readers of current history." – Library Journal  "History that's vivid and insightful."—Publishers Weekly "A tenacious reporter, Streatfeild packs the narrative with telling detail, instructive interviews and dramatic events"—Kirkus  "But there was anger enough in Sept. 11, the event produced by anger and that itself produced even more anger. A History of the World Since 9/11’ is a study through case studies - eight episodes setting out what followed, presented as a painter might present a series of miniatures."—Boston Globe  “Streatfeild describes a tragic level of cheerful American stupidity.”—Heather Mallick, Toronto Star

Library Journal
The dark legacy of 9/11 includes thousands of deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, global instability, and the United States' diminished international reputation, writes British journalist Streatfeild (Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control) in this bleak and gripping narrative. The author presents eight cases about the war on terror's collateral damage. Included is the story of Vasudev Patel in Texas, who struggled hard for 20 years to achieve the American dream only to be gunned down by a deluded "patriot." Other accounts describe the fate of 223 Iraqi refugees crammed into a boat that was denied port in Australia, an Afghan couple's engagement party that turned into a blood bath when bad intelligence led to its bombing by American forces, and a case of mistaken identity that led to the capture and torture of an innocent man, wrongly believed to be a 9/11 planner. VERDICT Streatfeild skillfully uses the same thematic approach employed in Paul Hendrickson's The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War, in which people far from the seat of power become the victims of government policy. This excellent work will mesmerize readers of current history.—Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Kirkus Reviews

A British journalist's tales of world-wide misery caused by America's blundering response to 9/11.

According to Streatfeild (Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control, 2007, etc.), when the shock and confusion of 9/11 subsided, cynical American leaders seized an opportunity to rearrange the world more to their liking. Relying on erroneous assumptions and their own good intentions, abandoning democratic ideals and the rule of law, America and her allies crafted crude certainties and substituted them for the truth. The author features eight stories designed to show how they made the world decidedly less safe. He begins his parade of disasters with an account of the redneck loser in Texas, who, thinking himself an avenging patriot, shot and killed an immigrant Indian gas station attendant. More horrors followed. To help ensure its own reelection, the Australian government adopted an outrageous lie to demonize a boatload of refugees as terrorists. Believing they were striking Taliban forces, U.S. helicopter gunships strafed a wedding celebration in Afghanistan, killing 48 civilians. With too few soldiers to secure Iraq, the U.S. forces exposed the largest explosives plant in the Middle East to looting. Misidentifying an Egyptian traveler as a member of al-Qaeda, Macedonian border guards arrested the man and permitted the CIA to snatch him; he was subjected to months of incarceration and harsh interrogation before the agency acknowledged the mistake. America also overlooked Uzbekistan's appalling human-rights record in return for access to a vital air base from which to launch strikes on Afghanistan. In Pakistan, the global polio-eradication campaign, tantalizingly close to solution, collapsed because of distrust for and rage against America. A tenacious reporter, Streatfeild packs the narrative with telling detail, instructive interviews and dramatic events, but he reaches conclusions too sweeping. Surely, for example, incidents of good-ol'-boy racism or Muslim paranoia cannot be wholly ascribed to the War on Terror, no matter how clumsily waged.

Colorfully reported, not so carefully reasoned.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608192700
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/16/2011
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Dominic Streatfeild is the author of Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography and Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control, which was shortlisted forthe Samuel Johnson Prize. He lives in the UK with his family.

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