Militarized police officers with tanks and drones. Pervasive government surveillance and profiling. Social media that distract and track us. All of these, contends Bernard E. Harcourt, are facets of a new and radical governing paradigm in the United States - one rooted in the modes of warfare originally developed to suppress anticolonial revolutions and, more recently, to prosecute the war on terror.
The Counterrevolution is a penetrating and disturbing account of the rise of counterinsurgency, first as a military strategy but increasingly as a way of ruling ordinary Americans. Harcourt shows how counterinsurgency's principles - bulk intelligence collection, ruthless targeting of minorities, pacifying propaganda - have taken hold domestically despite the absence of any radical uprising. This counterrevolution against phantom enemies, he argues, is the tyranny of our age. Seeing it clearly is the first step to resisting it effectively.
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Just Like Lying With Statistics
In 1954, Darrell Huff wrote "How to Lie with Statistics". Although intended to be an introduction to statistics for a generalist, Huff showed the reader, among other things, how statistics could be manipulated to skew reality. In his book, Professor Harcourt uses simplistic statements of fact to also skew reality toward a theory of the US government waging an insurgency war against the US people.
For example, in the introduction Harcourt states that Donald Trump filled his cabinet with such insurgency warriors as H.R. McMaster, Jim Mattis and John Kelly, all of whom served in the Iraq and Afghan wars. Would Professor Harcourt say the same about Barack Obama? He appointed Chuck Hagel, John Kelly and David Petraeus to serve in his cabinet. They all served in America's insurgency war in Viet Nam! Petraeus wrote a field manual on counter-insurgency warfare. Did Obama select him as his spy chief so he could bring his counter-insurgency skills to bear in a war against the American people? Somehow I think not, but Harcourt does not point out the similarity in administrative staffing. People fight the wars they are handed, not the ones they would like to fight
Another incident Harcourt cites is the first-ever use of an armed robot by Dallas police against a "suspect" as an example of police insurgency tactics. He does not elaborate and tell his audience the "suspect" Micah Johnson ambushed Dallas police providing protection for a Next Generation Action Network demonstration. The ambush resulted in the killing of five police officers, the wounding of two civilians and nine other police officers. Following a standoff, police did in fact use a bomb attached to an bomb disposal robot. I guess Professor Harcourt would have preferred they storm his position in a frontal assault
There are always at least two sides to a story. However, oversimplifying and excluding pertinent facts are tantamount to lying with statistics. It is also why intelligent discourse seems to be absent in modern society.
The narration was very good, however, I would not recommend this book for use as kindling.
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