References for 100 Ways America is Screwing Up the World

Chapters 11-19

11  Gilded Democracy

The best organization for a sophisticated understanding of money in politics is the Center for Public Integrity.  It has a treasure of information and analysis on a broad range of industries, lobbyists, and the like, and I used their work extensively in my book.  They are very reliable and usually ahead-of-the-curve.  

Others of value: PoliticalMoneyLine, Common Cause, Public Campaign, and the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecret.  There are quite a few of these organizations monitoring how lobbying money, campaign finance, etc., are distorting political choices.  It’s an important movement, however uphill.

Rahm Emmanuel’s comment is found at Lou Dobbs’ site.  The DeLay scam in Russia, one of hundreds in his dossier, was reported in the Washington Post. 

Books: Some of the major organizations cited above have extensive publications lists worth perusing.  Also see Money and Politics (Beacon Press, 1999), by David Donnelly and others, a handy little book that remains potent.  A classic of lobbying in the defense industry is Wild Blue Yonder: Money, Politics, and the B-1 Bomber by Nick Kotz (Princeton, 1989); also The Iron Triangle: The Politics of Defense Contracting, by Gordon Adams.  Not much has changed since these were written.

On campaign finance, see Voting With Dollars: A New Paradigm for Campaign Finance
by Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres (Yale, 2002),

The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group by Dan Briody, who also wrote The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money, and The Hammer Comes Down: The Nasty, Brutish, and Shortened Political Life of Tom DeLay, by Lou Dubose and Jan Reid (Public Affairs 2006), are of the more recent expose journalism.  Much more of these sorts are on their way with the grisly demise of the Bush White House.

 

12  Nourishing the Seeds of Islamic Militancy

The link between oil and U.S. national security draws upon the sources cited for “Blood for Oil,” although we could add several books to the mix.  House of Saud by Said Aburish (1994), was a good expose of the oil kingdom.  Rachel Bronson’s book cited earlier, plus  House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties by Craig Unger, and American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, by Kevin Phillips.

On Iran, see the up close account from Manucher Farmanfarmaian and Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Blood & Oil: A Prince's Memoir of Iran, from the Shah to the Ayatollah (2005), from a member of the Qajar dynasty deposed by the Shah’s father; three recent books from American journalists: Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran by Elaine Sciolino; The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran  by Robin Wright, and All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer.   More scholarly treatments include: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Shah: Building a Client State in Iran by M. J. Gasiorowski (Cornell University Press, 1991), and Minoo Moallem, Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Politics of Patriarchy in Iran (California, 2005).  The secret history of the coup against Mosaddeg is found at the National Security Archive.  See also Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne (Syracuse, 2004). 

Uniting the interests in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and their oil resources is the very revealing Twin Pillars to Desert Storm: America's Flawed Vision in the Middle East from Nixon to Bush, by Howard Teiche and Gayle Radley Radley (Morrow, 1993).  More generally, one could consult the many books by Bernard Lewis; John Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth Or Reality? (1999); The Failure of Political Islam (1998) by Olivier Roy; The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity by Tariq Ali (Verso, 2003). 

Middle East Reports, a journal and a research organization, has many informative articles in this arena.  Juan Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan, maintains a useful Web site that covers these issues.  An excellent gateway to Web resources is provided by the Cornell University Library.

My locating the origins of Islamic radicalism in the Iranian revolution downplays other sources, of course, including militancy as resistance to imperialism, real or perceived (see Enseng Ho’s brilliant essay in my collection, The Maze of Fear), and earlier movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood.  But the point was that movements of political dissent and militancy in Muslim countries took on religious trappings after 1979, shedding the relatively unsuccessful period of Arab socialism.  Iran is central to this story, as is U.S. interest in the region as a Cold War front and a font of oil. 

 

13  Spreading the Word

The long quotation from the “sympathetic writer” is from an interesting article, Joel Carpenter, “New Evangelical Universities: Cogs in a World system, or Players in a New Game?” International Journal of Frontier Missions (Summer 2003).  Quotations from the churches are from their Web sites. 

More on these influences will appear throughout the book and these comments, as with the chapter on HIV.  There are remarkably few studies of this phenomenon beyond some work in scholarship on specific periods, linking colonialism to missionaries, as in China in the early 20th century. 

 

14 Petroleum Dependency

We have many useful resources for energy data and analysis.  The Energy Information Administration provides much raw data. The World Resources Institute also has an easy-to-use data base.  More analytical information can be found from the Natural Resources Defense Fund, including one specifically dedicated to dependency; the Environmental Working Group, The more conservative National Commission on Energy Policy, and the innovative Rocky Mountain Institute.

Further analysis: Michael Klare and others at TomDispatch; several articles on oil from Technology Review (and MIT’s Energy Research Council Report); and for global news and comment, try the Guardian (London). 

The debate as it is evolving with higher gasoline prices is askew, searching for ways to save consumers money at the pump when they should be saving money by purchasing fuel efficient cars.  So much of the news media is dependent on automobile advertising, however, that the possibility of truly rigorous examination of oil dependency is doubtful.  Can the owner of a newspaper rail against inefficient cars when the auto section is touting the latest SUV behemoth?

That efficiencies are achievable at reasonable cost has never been in doubt.  Cars, refrigerators (the major user of energy in households), air conditioning and heating—all these can be more efficient by several times with the political will.  Alternatives can be developed over time; efficiency and conservation are available now. 

 

15 American Dream

I quote from the Pope’s encyclical Centessimus Annus at such length because it is an excellent moral statement about these matters and because it highlights something about the Catholic faith that is often ignored in debates about sexuality, abortion, etc.: that the Vatican is a stalwart supporter of both equity and peace in the world. 

The Dream has been explored well in literature.  In social science, income inequality and the difficulty of moving from poverty to a decent middle class standard of living is now more widely understood.  Says an author of a British report on U.S. poverty and economic mobility: "If you are born into poverty in the US, you are actually more likely to remain in poverty than in other countries in Europe, the Nordic countries, even Canada, which you would think would not be that different."  There are many information sources for income inequality.  More people worldwide are chary of the lure of the American Dream.

From the MoJo Blog: “A new report by the Center for American Progress looks at economic mobility in the United States, and finds that children's potential for success in this country is very closely tied to the financial status of their parents. In particular, children from low-income families have only a 1 percent chance of reaching the top 5 percent of the income distribution in their lifetime, while children of the rich have a 22 percent chance of doing so.”

It took Hurricane Katrina to focus some temporary media attention on poverty in America, after years of neglect.  (This may be due to the changing socioeconomic composition of journalists.)  The ignorance stemmed from assumptions about economic growth—if the U.S. economy was growing overall, then the opportunity was there for most to grow their incomes, too—but the harsh reality of very poor income growth for families since Ronald Reagan became president is hard to attribute to bad luck.  It has to do with declining social services (training, early childhood education, public works, etc.), the fetish of wealth (zooming CEO salaries relative to average workers), the housing price bubble, and other explainable factors.  In other words, policies that reward the rich and do not help those seeking to move up the ladder. 

This is true of the Dream within America and the world as a whole, due significantly to the same kinds of policies (and the same remedies)—hence, the power of the Pope’s message.

Books:  The classic is Michael Harrington’s The Other America, still worth reading.  It helped stimulate the anti-poverty programs of the 1960s.  More recent: Is the American Dream Killing You?: How "the Market" Rules Our Lives by Paul Stiles (HarperCollins, 2005); The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation by Jim Cullen (Oxford, 2004); Facing Up to the American Dream by Jennifer L. Hochschild (Princeton, 1995).  Some of the books cited for chapter 10 are also relevant here, such as Barbara Ehrenreich’s.

 

16 The ABCs of HIV/AIDS: How Not to Stop an Epidemic

Figures on the epidemic and the U.S. response come from several reliable sources, including Congressional Research Service, critics of the Bush actions, Global AIDS Alliance, and scholarly sources, such as the estimable Helen Epstein.  Even the Government Accounting Office has criticized the Bush plan.

The long quotation from Human Rights Watch signals interest in the disease as more than a public health problem; it is also a matter of basic human rights. 

Other journalistic accounts worth reading are articles found in such periodicals as Rolling Stone, “An Epidemic Failure” June 16, 2005; The Guardian (London), the often brilliant opendemocracy (which has the quotation from Stephen Lewis); and, on the remedial actions by Brazil, PBS.

The international organization dedicated to containing AIDS is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

BooksThe Invisible People: How the U. S. Has Slept through the Global AIDS Pandemic, the Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe of Our Time, by Greg Behrman (Simon and Schuster, 2004), is “unsparing.” AIDS in the Twenty-First Century: Disease and Globalization by Tony Barnett and Alan Whiteside (Palgrave, 2003) is highly regarded.  Letting Them Die: Why HIV/AIDS Prevention Programmes Fail by Catherine Campbell (Indiana U. Press, 2003) is also trenchant.  There are many more.

 

17  Reaganism

Elsewhere I address the long history of wasteful belligerencies known as the Cold War and the Reagan Doctrine. 

On the economic issues, the debates about cutting taxes and government regulations, and the tradeoffs in equity and quality of living for the middle and lower economic classes, will go on and on.  Everything depends on how one measures economic growth, the kind of growth, who benefits from growth, what public services have been privatized and how that affects access and affordability, and so on.  Reagan raised taxes often in addition to his income tax reductions on top rates.  But the tax cut mania was in large measure smoke and mirrors, as subsequent periods have shown (fast growth in the ‘90s after a rise in taxes, sluggish and uneven growth in this decade with many more tax cuts for the rich).  For a good explanation, see Paul Krugman’s Tax Cut Con.  Krugman served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  Other useful numbers can be found in many sources, including the supportive Cato Institute: “Reagan left three major adverse legacies at the end of his second term. First, the privately held federal debt increased from 22.3 percent of GDP to 38.1 percent and, despite the record peacetime expansion, the federal deficit in Reagan's last budget was still 2.9 percent of GDP. Second, the failure to address the savings and loan problem early led to an additional debt of about $125 billion. Third, the administration added more trade barriers than any administration since Hoover. The share of U.S. imports subject to some form of trade restraint increased from 12 percent in 1980 to 23 percent in 1988.”  And many forget that Reagan was part of a broader and trend of rethinking government restrictions where they perhaps weren’t needed.  “There actually was less government deregulation under Reagan than under Presidents Carter and Clinton,” says a 2004 article in Business Week. The one exception, deregulating the Saving & Loan industry, led to a disastrous scandal and a $100 billion bailout.”  Other reckonings upon his death were collected here.
On global economic policy, see the previously cited Stiglitz and Sachs for searing critiques of the poorly conceived and implemented structural adjustment policies that have wreaked havoc on many developing countries.  He set the standard for undermining the freshly minted environmentalism of the period.  For this, see the assessment by Amanda Griscom.  A number of other reviews of his presidency and impact appeared at the time of his death in 2004.  On his human rights record, see this assessment

Books Lou Cannon’s is the standard: President Reagan The Role of a Lifetime  (Public Affairs, 2nd edition, 2000).  Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan by Edmund Morris (Random House, 1999), is also worth seeing. There are many hagiographies which should be avoided. An excellent piece of media crit is On Bended Knee The Press and the Reagan Presidency by Mark Hertsgaard (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1988): here is an excerpt.

 

 18  Nuclear Weapons

There is an excellent Web site built by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, that venerable journal, which includes numbers, doctrine, new developments, foreign stockpiles, and more from sources such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and others. 
The early history of nuclear weapons has earned many treatments, of course, among them Gar Alperovitz’s The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb (Vintage 1996), Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Knopf, 2005), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Simon & Schuster, 1995), among others.
A concise Web site on this is the Atomic Archive. Also see the Nuclear Files.  The Atomic Audit from Brookings is brief and informative.  The National Security Archive has many useful documents and analysis that cover the entire nuclear weapons story, with links to many original sources. 

On nuclear proliferation, visit the site of the principal regulator, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the NPT treaty itself. Excellent and reliable analysis of the proliferation issue can be found here and here.  On problems of the nuclear fuel cycle, try RadWaste or IEER.  For a broad and authoritative resource, headed by Professor Frank von Hippel of Princeton, see Science and Global Security; the solid Union of Concerned Scientists; and John Pike’s Global Security site.

While I rate the possibility of nuclear weapons used by non-state terrorists to be quite low, it cannot be dismissed.  See the Nuclear Control Institute on this one.  For a much more likely path to nuclear-weapons use, see this, this, and this

 

19  Genocide

On the 200-year genocide of indigenous peoples in what is now the United States, see the useful web site provided by the University of Dayton Law School.  Dee Brown’s classic, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, remains the classic of the now well-nourished field of research on this. Trail of Tears, by Gloria Jahoda; In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen; and Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, are more in this important genre.  More broadly, check out these inventory sites on Native Americans.

The Philippines genocide is covered briefly here.  For an excellent list of sources on the Philippines, including books by Stanley Karnow and Raymond Bonner, among others, check out Tomfolio.com: History: Asia, Philippines.
Several of the instances cited in the chapter are handled elsewhere.  On Rwanda, see Human Rights Watch’s excellent review.  They write, for example: “In the early months of 1994, Dallaire repeatedly requested a stronger mandate, more troops and more materiel. The secretariat staff, perhaps anxious to avoid displeasing such major powers as the U.S., failed to convey to the council the gravity of warnings of crisis and the urgency of Dallaire’s requests. The paucity of information meant little to the U.S. and France, which were well-informed in any case, but it led other council members with no sources of information in Rwanda to misjudge the gravity of the crisis. Instead of strengthening the mandate and sending reinforcements, the Security Council made only small changes in the rate of troop deployment, measures too limited to affect the development of the situation.”  Here is the white-wash.  The National Security Archive has some memos in the U.S. decision making stream.  A report on the genocide from the Organization of African Unity, concluded:
"We repudiate the position of the Government of France, the position that asserts that they had no responsibility," [Canadian] Ambassador Lewis said, speaking on behalf of the panel. "They could have stopped the genocide before it began. They knew exactly what was happening." In addition, France facilitated the exodus of a huge number of genocidaires under the cover of Operation Turquoise, "thereby ushering in the larger Great Lakes catastrophe" and "even engaged in the shipment of arms throughout the genocide and after," Ambassador Lewis said.

On the role of the United States, Ambassador Lewis said that the role of the US Government in blocking a more effective UN intervention force throughout the entire genocide was "an almost incomprehensible scar of shame" on American foreign policy. "The United States too knew exactly what was going on," he said.
The Panel also singled out the role of the Catholic and Anglican churches in the events, noting that the church leaders had done nothing to discourage the killings. The report said that since the end of the genocide, several parties have apologized for failing to stop the massacres, including President Clinton, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Prime Minister of Belgium and the Anglican Church, but pointed out that no apology had yet come from the French Government or the Catholic Church.

Of course, Albright’s role must be seen in the context of Clinton’s and Warren Christopher’s larger failure of nerve.  But Albright has the reputation of the tough, no-nonsense defender of America’s place as the “indispensable” nation, and her own lack of courage must be acknowledged.  “Belgium withdraws its troops from the U.N. force after ten Belgian soldiers are slain,” notes a PBS documentary on the topic. “Embarrassed to be withdrawing alone, Belgium asks the U.S. to support a full pullout. Secretary of State Christopher agrees and tells Madeleine Albright, America's U.N. ambassador, to demand complete withdrawal. She is opposed, as are some African nations. She pushes for a compromise: a dramatic cutback that would leave a token force in place.”  A useless token force.  The moral failure of American policy makers goes well beyond these, as Samantha Powers explains.

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