THOM HARTMANN'S "INDEPENDENT THINKER" REVIEW OF THE MONTH FOR TRUTHOUT/BUZZFLASH:
Each month or so, BuzzFlash is privileged to have nationally syndicated progressive talk show host, television newscaster and author Thom Hartmann review a progressive book or DVD exclusively for BuzzFlash/Truthout. See all of Thom's reviews for Truthout/BuzzFlash at "Independent Thinker."
Given the upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt -- and the continued American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan -- Thom offers a review of a most timely book.
By Nir Rosen
Reviewed by Thom Hartmann
When George W. Bush lied us into two wars, he opened the gates of Hell for millions of humans.
Nobody has chronicled this better - more dispassionately and with less political subtext - than Nir Rosen in "Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World."
Nir was actually there, over and over, and speaks the languages of the region. He's seen the combat, smelled the stink of dead bodies, heard the wails of children and widows, sat and fought and talked and worked with combatants on all sides (I don't say "both" because, as he makes clear, there are many sides). He was even taken captive and nearly killed on more than one occasion.
But more than a story of the insanity and the horror of war, Nir Rosen's "Aftermath" is the ultimate chronicle of the military adventurism that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney promoted to increase their political power. Years from now - decades from now - people will be reading this book as the ultimate chronicle of the insanity of the Neo-cons, and the lies of the Bush war criminals and their small coterie of legal advisors and spineless members of Congress.
Not that Rosen gets into the politics - he never does. This is about what's happening "over there." But it's impossible (at least for me) to read this book - with its startling insights, its incredible first-person stories, its gritty reality - without remembering that a lying criminal administration here in the United States of America brought it all about.
If you want to really and truly understand the nature of both the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts - illegal wars - then you mus read Nir Rosen's book "Aftermath." If you want to understand how and where we must go next - even though Rosen doesn't offer policy prescriptions - then you must read this book. If you want to know how you and I and every other American will be judged in the Nuremburg tribunal of history, then you must read this book.
Rosen is apolitical. He's a reporter, and one of the world's best.
But, God, this book is such a burning, searing, tearing reminder of the political crimes in this country.
There are so many examples as Rosen walks into a bloodbath, just a day after raping and murdering by American forces, or right after our "contractors" have committed an atrocity, and you get it. You understand it.
There is no better chronicle of the Hades that we have created.
Years from now, our children and grandchildren will study Nir Rosen the way we do William L. Shirer.
Rosen was the guy who found the documents chronicling the history of Saddam's secret police -- and turned them over to the current Iraqi government -- who used them (frankly, surprising Rosen) to track down, torture with electric drills, and murder the elite of the Sunni power structure.
Rosen was the guy there after the infamous mosque murders by American Forces.
Rosen was the guy... well... you have to read the book.
And buy an extra copy for every young'n you know who may someday have to answer to the world for the crimes of the last administration.
Today is not the end of Iraq/Afghanistan. If anything, it's just the beginning...
Watch Thom interview Nir Rosen on his "Big Picture" television news program.Thom Hartmann is a New York Times bestselling author and host of the top nationally syndicated progressive radio talk show. You can learn more about Thom Hartmann at his website and find out what stations broadcast his program. He also now has a daily television program at RT Network. You can also listen to Thom over the Internet.
You can also read Thom's latest book "Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Build Our Country," exclusively on Truthout. Or receive the book with a minimum donation to Truthout.