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The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change.
Scott Ritter
Book Review With Commentary

This is Iraq all over again with some twists. One highly significant twist is that Iran is admittedly pursuing technology prerequisite for either power generation or WMD. A second twist could logically be to lead Islam back to the prominence it enjoyed a millennium ago. Yet a third twist could be to turn the tables on the Sunni states. Who knows all the real reasons for the escalation of tension, but anti-Americanism also motivated both Iraq and Iran to respond as they have. Ritter provides stunning insights into the behavior of the American state--primarily spanning the two Bush administrations.

Iran is history repeating itself. How that came to be is best described in Ritter's own words.

    "How this crisis came to be, and the story of the individuals and organizations involved, is a tale full of hubris, pathos, integrity, and deception. It is a story of intelligence and indifference, and the fear born of ignorance. Most importantly it is a story of national overreach, by many parties, and the awful consequences of such. As such it is a story that is dominated by a sickening sense of deja vu..."

Ritter has produced accurate history that reads like a novel, full of lively characters from unlikely quarters. Ritter begins with the crisis made in Israel, the nation Islam regards as a cancer occupying their homeland of 14 centuries. He provides a new slant on Israel in the process with emphasis on the powerful Israeli lobby as well as their comparatively flawless intelligence and military prowess. Pakistan and Libya contribute their share of intrigue.

Not surprisingly, events overtook Ritter's book. Fortunately for his reputation, the events were actually foretold in the early chapters.

Ritter's final analysis is that the proxy war Iran is fighting in Lebanon has shown that Israel is simply unable to defeat Hezbollah; the more they try, the stronger Hezbollah gets. Hezbollah [The Party of God], has many backers, the strongest being Iran. Ritter sees more than Hezbollah growing stronger with each encounter with Israel; however, he sees the possibility of war between Iran and the US, with the US intent on regime change yet one more time. Hezbollah is in fact a legitimate movement of the Lebanese people, primarily Shia, who rose up in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. This is just one of dozens of misconnects made by Israel and Washington. Like Israel, the US is prone to making bad matters worse. For some reasons why, see Dean Zimbardo, Altemeyer and Milgram.

Ritter called for regime change--through democratic means right here at home. Written before the '06 election, he got part of his wish. He is a marine veteran who served his country honorably in the Gulf War and also is a veteran UN nuclear weapons inspector. Ritter brings badly needed and rare insights into how we arrived in our current sad state of affairs.

Wonderfully timed, Ritter's book is another "must read" by anyone interested in how this modern mess all came about. Our only quibble is the many typos, no doubt arising from the rush with which this book was put together. We give it 4.5 stars for content, 10 for timeliness.


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