Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq

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Overview

When Michael Scheuer first questioned the goals of the Iraq War in his 2004 bestseller Imperial Hubris, policymakers and ordinary citizens alike stood up and took notice. Now, Scheuer offers a scathing and frightening look at how the Iraq War has been a huge setback to America's War on Terror, making our enemy stronger and altering the geopolitical landscape in ways that are profoundly harmful to U.S. interests and security concerns.

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Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq

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Overview

When Michael Scheuer first questioned the goals of the Iraq War in his 2004 bestseller Imperial Hubris, policymakers and ordinary citizens alike stood up and took notice. Now, Scheuer offers a scathing and frightening look at how the Iraq War has been a huge setback to America's War on Terror, making our enemy stronger and altering the geopolitical landscape in ways that are profoundly harmful to U.S. interests and security concerns.

Marching Toward Hell is not just another attack on the Bush administration. Rather, it sounds a critical alarm that must be heard in order to preserve the nation's security. Scheuer outlines the ways that America's foreign policy since the end of the Cold War has undermined the very goals for which we are fighting and played right into bin Laden's hands. The ongoing instability in Iraq, for example, has provided al Qaeda and its allies with the one thing they want most: a safe haven from which to launch operations across borders into countries that were previously difficult for them to reach. With U.S. forces and resources spread thinner every day, the war has depleted our strength and brought al Qaeda a kind of success that it could not have achieved on its own.

A twenty-plus-year CIA veteran, Scheuer headed the agency's Osama bin Laden unit, managed its covert-action operations, and authored its rendition program. Scheuer spent his career developing strategies to keep America safe, by any means deemed necessary by the presidents he served. It was his job to take available intelligence and devise plans to protect Americans, without considering bias, position, or even existing alliances. In Marching Toward Hell, Scheuertakes on the questions of "What went wrong?" and "How can we fix this?" and proposes a plan to cauterize the damage that has already been done and get American strategy back on track. He lists a number of painful recommendations for how we must shift our ideological, military, and political views in order to survive, even if that means disagreeing with Israeli policy or launching more brutal campaigns against terrorists.

America holds its destiny in its hands, Scheuer says, yet not nearly enough has been done to defend America and destroy its Islamist enemies. This is an eye- opening, alarming, contentious, and ultimately fascinating examination of how far off track the War on Terror has gone, and a critical read in understanding what we must do to save it.
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  • Marching Toward Hell
    Marching Toward Hell  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Michael Scheuer began his public writing career in anonymity. His first two books (Through Our Enemies' Eyes; Imperial Hubris) were both published anonymously: As a 22-year employee of the Central Intelligence Agency and former head of the CIA's Osama Bin Laden unit, Scheuer knew that he was expected to keep his expert conclusions private. Now out in the open, this outspoken anti-terrorism analyst has attacked officials and candidates across party lines. In Marching to Hell, he explains how American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War have undermined our goals and played into the hands of our enemies. He argues that the Iraqi adventure has provided al Qaeda and its allies with new bases for further attacks.
Publishers Weekly

Scheuer, former CIA analyst and trenchant critic of U.S. terrorism policies (Imperial Hubris) develops his argument that America suffers from a collective insistence on sustaining Cold War paradigms in a fundamentally altered world. For all its culpable errors, the current administration is merely the present-day incorporation of "willful historical ignorance, a paucity of common sense, and... a disastrous degree of intellectual hubris." These fundamental shortcomings are exacerbated by a pattern of making policy decisions on the basis of how a liberal-pacifist media and intelligentsia will react, rather than objectively considering the national interest. That interest, Scheuer argues, requires prioritizing the Islamic threat in security considerations and understanding that it does not manifest intractable, theologically based hostility to American values and lifestyles. The Islamic challenge instead reflects a series of concrete U.S. policy decisions, beginning in 1973, committing the U.S. to supporting an endless war to the death between Arabs and Israelis. An increasingly desperate effort to sustain a fundamental regional imbalance-and Scheuer does not spare the Clinton administration-has led to direct military involvement, culminating in the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan. These defeats, Scheuer declares, are the inevitable result of seeking to change the Middle East's dynamics by exporting the unique American patterns of democracy and republicanism. Controversial in its details, Scheuer's analysis suffers fundamentally from "Occidentalism." Interpreting Islamic behavior as a consequence of American actions keeps the U.S. at the center of events in precisely the Cold Warmodel Scheuer excoriates. (Feb. 12)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743299695
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 1.30 (h) x 9.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Scheuer

Michael Scheuer is a twenty-plus-year CIA veteran. From 1996 to 1999, he
served as the Chief of the bin Laden unit (aka Alec Station), the Osama bin
Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorism Center. He then worked as Special
Adviser to the Chief of the bin Laden unit from September 2001 to November 2004.
He resigned from the CIA in 2004. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of
Security Studies at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Jamestown
Foundation, writing regularly for its online publication Global Terrorism
Analysis
. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

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Table of Contents


Contents

Preface

Introduction

Author's Note

Part I: Getting to 9/11

Chapter 1: Readying bin Laden's Way: America and the Muslim World, 1973-1996

Chapter 2: Fighting Islamists with a Blinding Cold War Hangover, 1996-2001

Part II: Six Years of War, 2001-2007

Chapter 3: Afghanistan -- A Final Chance to Learn History Applies to America

Chapter 4: Iraq -- America Bled White by History Unlearned

Chapter 5: And the Islamists' Fire Quietly Spreads

Part III: Where Stands the War?

Chapter 6: "The bottom is out of the tub": Taking Stock for America in 2008

Chapter 7: "O enemy of God, I will give thee no respite": Al-Qaeda and Its Allies Take Stock

Part IV: Where to from Here?

Chapter 8: A Humble Suggestion -- America First

Epilogue: An Abiding Uniqueness

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2008

    Brilliant critique of current US foreign policy

    Michael Scheuer worked for the CIA for 20 years until he resigned in November 2004. In this brilliant book, he argues that the US ruling class has a single overriding aim which is harming the USA - ¿an unquenchable ardour to have the United States intervene abroad in all places, situations, and times.¿ He believes that US foreign policies should focus on defending US national interests, citizens and sovereignty, not on crusades to change the world. He denounces Non-Governmental Organisations¿ `unquenchable thirst for western intervention¿. He describes them as `arrogant and self-righteous engines of Western imperialism and intervention abroad¿. For example, in company with Republican candidate John McCain, they want to send a US-UK military force to Darfur, where there are no conceivable US or British interests at stake ¿and where a military action can only waste American lives and money, worsen the civil war, and again validate the Islamists¿ contention that Washington intends to destroy the Sudanese and all Muslim regimes that will not do its bidding.¿ Scheuer also criticises the US policies of support for Israel and Saudi Arabia, noting that backing Israel is ¿absolutely irrelevant and manifestly counter-productive to the national-security interests of the United States.¿ He urges the maximum practicable energy self-sufficiency to end dependence on Saudi Arabia¿s oil. He points out that Saudi Arabia is not a friend: it hikes up oil prices then uses the profits to fund worldwide anti-Western activities. He proposes that the USA should exploit its oil, gas and coal reserves, increase its use of nuclear power and invest in renewables. He argues that the attack on Iraq diverted resources away from the war on al-Qaeda and destroyed the Iraqi bulwark against al-Qaeda. Now, as Bush¿s Iraq Study Group has said, ¿there is no action the American military can take that ¿ can bring success in Iraq.¿ Scheuer writes, ¿For the United States, the war in Afghanistan has been lost. By failing to recognize that the only achievable U.S. mission in Afghanistan was to destroy the Taliban and al-Qaeda and their leaders and get out, Washington is now faced with fighting a protracted and growing insurgency.¿ As he writes, ¿it was the United States that had been attacked ¿ the US military could and should have taken care of Afghanistan by itself.¿ Why should we in Britain be involved at all? Scheuer urges a limited war against al-Qaeda, not worldwide, unending war on `terror¿. He sums up that current US foreign policy increases the threat to the USA, creates enemies faster than they can be killed and puts the USA in a worse position today than it was on 9/11.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I greatly respect this author; that is why I bought the book, HOWEVER ...

    He is miserably uninformed of the importance of Israel in the world today. He is
    totally in the dark and feels that we (USA) have compromised ourselves in our stance with Israel up to this time. He will find that in turning our back on Israel, we are putting ourselves in great peril.
    Like it or not, Israel is special to our God in Heaven, and turning traitor to them will result in dark results for us. Watch the weather and demise of our status as a Power.
    I suppose you would say I am experiencing cognitive dissonance in reading this book.
    Mr. Scheuer is so right and so wrong.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    BRILLIANT BRILLIANT BRILLIANT

    In Marching Toward Hell Michael Scheuer has given us a brilliant and revelatory offering, taken from his experience as a high level CIA Officer. His grasp of history and clarity of thought makes Marching Toward Hell one of the most important books that one will ever read about terrorism and the United States' response to it. I'm tempted to buy fifty copies to distribute to every friend and family member who reads. Anyone after reading it that is not impressed, I would question just what dog they have in the fight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    Imagine saying British policies caused Hitler's attacks in the 1930's! This is more or less the theme of Scheuer's latest book, translated into the West versus the Islamists: if the West only had different policies, the latter would lay down arms. Unfortunately, to sell this thesis, he has to ignore many events across the globe. He seems to scarcely consider the very real prospect that appeasement, which he effectively advocates on many issues, is likely to encourage extremism and exacerbate violence. This book is worth reading if only because it reveals the limitations of the analysts that blinded the CIA to the real threats.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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