Thanks for the review, and for adding mine!
Quick note: reactionary, radical, and fundamentalist Islam are really three different categories or concepts, and none are especially useful.
"Fundamentalist" is the wrong word - it was invented to describe an American Protestant phenomenon. Yes, there are a few Muslim boneheads whose type of boneheadedness somewhat resembles that of Jerry Falwell; and there are some who say "let's go back to the fundamentals of the faith" and jettison all the fancy stuff developed by scholars over the centuries. But not all of those folks are boneheads. In some ways they're more like the leaders of the Christian Reformation.
"Reactionary" doesn't really describe the "let's go back to the essentials" people either. The word emerged from the Western conflict between the true believers in the religion of progress, and those who oppose that fanatical belief in progress. It was an insult used by the former against the latter. Even if you agree with the pro-progress Westerners, and dislike "reactionaries," this whole scheme doesn't fit the Islamic world, where the religion of progress has not really taken hold, except among a small Western-educated (-brainwashed) segment of the elite.
"Radical" literally means going to the root of things, so everybody who wants to get to the root of the problem - any problem - is a "radical." We need more of them. As Thoreau said, there are thousands hacking at the branches of evil for every one who is striking at the root. Despite this, "radical" has become an insult meaning "extremist." So who are the Islamic "radicals"? People like me who insist on spreading the truth about 9/11, the 9/11 wars, etc. People like me who would be overjoyed to die while fighting to defend our beliefs and our people. People like me who would fight and die to wipe usury from the face of the earth - or at least banish it to the margins. People like me who want the Muslim-majority countries to merge into a Muslim super-state or Islamic nation, an umma or caliphate. People like me who would like to see this umma or caliphate operate according to Islamic legal tradition, rather than borrowed Western legal traditions. People like me who want to "radically" change existing social arrangements and create a sustainable society geared toward spirituality, not materialism.
Accusing Israel and/or the CIA of creating "fundamental, reactionary, radical Islam" misses the mark in several ways. The Islamic revival is a massive, tectonic historical phenomenon supported by well over a billion people. Accusing the CIA or Israel of creating it is like accusing a surfer of creating a tidal wave.
Those who try to manipulate things always support A against B when it serves their interests, and then when those interests change they suddenly support C against A. That doesn't mean they "created" A or are somehow in total control of everything.
Anyway, thanks for an excellent review of an excellent book!
On Sep 9, 2011, at 9:10 PM, Richard Wilcox wrote:
Let's show some support to Eric (a personal friend of mine) for writing this fine book-- but it will be money well spent, believe me. It is a very enjoyable read and on every page you learn about ten to twenty new things you did not know about geopolitics. There may be a few interpretations that can be quibbled with, but overall he presents such a thorough and original synthesis of information that it never gets off track in any one direction.
BUY THIS BOOK DON'T BURN IT!
Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games by Eric Walberg
Since the time I wrote my review of Eric's book, I noticed that I should not have panned the second chapter as I did because I learned a lot
of neat new stuff.
* For example, I did not know the extent that reactionary fundamentalist Islam was created by the US foreign policy through the CIA
in conjunction with the Saudis. Reactionary/radical/fundamentalist Islam was nurtured and created as a temporary bulwark against "communism" and used as a weapon against any independent development (outside US hegemony). Everyone had heard that the CIA created Usama bin Ladin and Al Queda, but the roots of this operation go back to the 1950s. The cynicism with which this was carried out and the present day bald faced hypocrisy for the US to now blame all the world's troubles on Muslims is so far beyond the pale that you might as well go to another galaxy.
* His book also answered a question I had always had about why there was so much killing in Iraq after the 2003 invasion and occupation. In a nutshell, the US set up death-squads to insure the population would not support the resistance. So, a great deal of the post invasion chaos was directly due to covert US/Israeli involvement.
* Color Revolutions: There has been a debate as to whether the "Arab Spring" is genuine or engineered by the CIA/Soros color revolution play book. Eric's review of this topic is very educational and he claims that in the case of Egypt, although there may have been a hand or two in manipulating the event, overall it is a genuine revolution that has surprised the West and Israel. As my journalist friend Jeff Blankfort wrote to me on the topic:
As for the uprising being a Zionist operation, I say no way. Israel has spent a lot of energy keeping Egypt in line and while Israel always needs enemies it doesn't need that one any more than it needs Turkey to turn its back. Israel is being run by an Israeli version of the T Party and is on the path of self-destruction. The idea that it would be able to initiate uprisings anywhere is ludicrous, particularly when it had nothing to benefit from doing so.
My review of
Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics And The Great Games by Eric Walberg
A Great Book on the Great Game!, July 21, 2011
By Kevin J. Barrett (deep in the Wisconsin woods) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games (Paperback)
Walberg's Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games is the best introduction to geopolitics that I have seen. Walberg begins by citing such classic theoreticians as Mackinder, Haushofer and Ratzel in his description of how the imperial center drains the resources of its periphery, and how the earth's geography has dictated a struggle between Eurasian land powers (Russia, China, Germany, Islamdom ) and maritime rimlands (US, Britain, Japan) in which the latter are generally the aggressors -- though you wouldn't know that from their propaganda, which is probably all you ever see if you live in the West.
Walberg traces the evolution of Great Game I (pre-Russian revolution) into Great Game II (the Cold War era) and finally Great Game III (today's US-British-Israeli war for world conquest). Unlike the functional psychopaths who dominate in Political Science departments and policy-making positions, Walberg never loses sight of the almost unimaginable depravity of the whole enterprise, and the tidal wave of human suffering in which imperialism has nearly drowned the world.
What makes Walberg's book a real stand-out -- and what probably made it unpublishable by the major corporate houses -- is his honest analysis of the way the hardline Likudnik Zionists have seized power and dominated Great Game III. Though Walberg does not come right out and say that 9/11 was staged by the Mossad as a Zionist coup d'Ã©tat, that is the unstated implication of the picture he paints, in which Zionist interests in destabilization and sheer mindless destruction of their Islamic enemies have trumped US interests in stabilizing and exploiting the Islamic rimlands. He hints at this in his introduction when he describes watching 9/11 on TV from Tashkent: "My immediate reaction was that their (the Twin Towers') collapse simply could not be the work of a band of poorly-trained Muslims orchestrated by someone in a cave in neighboring Afghanistan. Subsequent study has confirmed to me that the events of 2001 had far more to do with US imperialism --and Israel--than Islam." (p. 16)
Walberg's exemplary honesty extends to his discussion of the role of Jewish financiers in the creation of the British-American empires, in which the real power resides with bankers, not governments, and the way those same financial powers have established the "postmodern imperialism" of Great Game III: "The importance of the financial world and its use as parapolitics to the game strategy in Great Game III...like the importance of the Rothschilds to the strategies of Great Games I and II, cannot be overestimated. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was initially viewed and continues to be seen by many as the program of an emancipated nineteenth century Jewish financial elite using Freemasonry as a vehicle to achieve world power. The worth of the Protocols is not assessed here. It is enough to trace the development of the politics of Zionism from attributable sources and to observe the moves it gives rise to." (p. 178). While the usual suspects will undoubted call him names, I think Walberg considerably understates the case. If, in fact, the Protocols were real, the actual, documented psychopathic viciousness and mendacity of Zionism would make their authors seem relatively benign by comparison.
Along the way, Walberg bravely voices the obvious but taboo answer to the question: Why in the world did the British, the world's greatest empire, give away Palestine to the Zionists? What was the quid-pro-quo? The answer, as everyone knows but as very few are brave enough to say out loud, is as follows:
"The promise of a Jewish state in Palestine was a direct result of Zionist lobbying of both the British and Germans as World War I dragged on. Jewish bankers were financing both sides in World War I. Rothschild and the Jewish Conjoint Foreign Committee (JCFC) lobbied the British government intensely during World War I to push for a commitment to a post-war Jewish state. As British fortunes ebbed, the JCFC assured Lord Robert Cecil that American Zionists would lobby for US entry into the war if the British were to promise a Jewish state in Palestine after the war."
In other words, the Zionists were responsible for the slaughter of the 117,465 Americans killed, and the 205,690 Americans wounded, in that utterly meaningless (for the US) war. Compared to the Zionist slaughter of Americans in World War I, the 1967 USS Liberty incident (34 killed, 170 wounded) and the Israeli-Zionist attacks on New York and Washington on 9/11/2001 (2,977 killed immediately, untold thousands wounded and killed by toxic dust, and more than 7,500 dead in the 9/11 wars) were small stuff.
Another potentially controversial bit of truth-telling is Walberg's discussion of the does-the-tail-wag-the-dog debates (p. 214 - 219). His conclusion is that yes, the Israeli tail does wag the American imperial dog, and more and more people are figuring this out. Walberg cites Anatole Lieven's argument that Israel offered the US strategic advantages during the Cold War, but has since become "a very serious strategic liability...This is not a case of the tail wagging the dog, but of the tail wagging the unfortunate dog around the room and banging its head against the ceiling." (p.218).
One of my favorite publishers, Margo Baldwin of Chelsea Green, told me during our radio interview that the biggest taboo in American publishing is criticism of Israel. I hope that the brave folks at Clarity Press continue to bust that taboo, and that Walberg's brilliant Postmodern Imperialism follows the path blazed by James Petras's The Power of Israel in the United States (which has now gone through seven printings) to become an underground bestseller.
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