An American Muslim of Arab descent explores how power feeds itself upon the fear and hatred it sows.
First-time author Abozid raises numerous crucial if controversial points: America’s questionable justification for the Persian Gulf wars, government duplicity, the self-aggrandizement of empires, the effect of war on economies, the use of fear- and hatemongering to gain power, and more. Each of these issues receives only the most cursory treatment, however. A section on corporate power, which runs a scant 11 pages, takes on the abuses of power in the military-industrial complex, oil companies and within the media, such as the invasion of Iraq stemming from the fearmongering notion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Abozid’s assertions about the lies and manipulation that sustain power are more than plausible, but each of his chapters deserves a book rather than a few pages. Leaders stoke hatred and conflict to keep the masses divided and weak, he says, explaining that President George W. Bush “used hate as a vehicle and power and fear [were] the fuel that kept the vehicle going.” Wars, including the so-called war on terror, expand power but waste human and financial resources and put “tremendous strain on the US economy,” Abozid writes. These observations are probably true, too, but he needs to back up his assertions with facts and more detail. Why, for instance, did the U.S. economy prosper during and after World War II? His predictions that the U.S. and Israel will ultimately prevail in the Middle East seem to ignore the inescapable lesson from earlier chapters: All empires eventually rot and fail from their own corruption, decadence and overreaching. Oddly, despite notable constitutional gray areas including drone attacks on American citizens overseas, Abozid seems to imagine a happy ending to modern American jingoism, observing that in the U.S., “no one here is above the law.” Numerous errors with writing mechanics, including a four-page-long run-on sentence, further undermine his argument.
Raises many good questions but provides few solid answers.