The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower (Unabridged)
by Robert Baer
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Over the past 30 years, while the United States has turned either a blind or dismissive eye, Iran has emerged as a nation every bit as capable of altering America's destiny as traditional superpowers Russia and China. Indeed, one of this book's central arguments is that, in some ways, Iran's grip on America's future is even tighter. As ex-CIA operative Robert Baer masterfully shows, Iran has maneuvered itself into the elite superpower ranks by exploiting America's false perceptions of what Iran is by letting us believe it is a country run by scowling religious fanatics, too preoccupied with theocratic jostling and terrorist agendas to strengthen its political and economic foundations. The reality is much more frightening, and yet contained in the potential catastrophe is an implicit political response that, if we're bold enough to adopt it, could avert disaster. Baer's on-the-ground sleuthing and interviews with key Middle East players, everyone from an Iranian ayatollah to the king of Bahrain to the head of Israel's internal security, paint a picture of the centuries-old Shia nation that is starkly the opposite of the one normally drawn. For example, Iran's hate-spouting President Ahmadinejad is by no means the true spokesman for Iranian foreign policy, nor is Iran making it the highest priority to become a nuclear player. Even so, Baer has discovered that Iran is currently engaged in a soft takeover of the Middle East, that the proxy method of war-making and co-option it perfected with Hezbollah in Lebanon is being exported throughout the region, that Iran now controls a significant portion of Iraq, that it is extending its influence over Jordan and Egypt, that the Arab Emirates and other Gulf States are being pulled into its sphere, and that it will shortly have a firm hold on the world's oil spigot.
Wake Up America!
Bob Baer continues to provide us with the glimpse of the future of international economics, politics, and power (and backs it up with history). Over the last 25 years, Iran has changed into a hegemon in the Middle East and on its way to a world superpower. When will we understand the things that Bob has not missed? Iran deserves the utmost respect! This is one of the most important books in foreign policy that you will see in this age.
Take a Giant Step Back
Whoa. This is slap in the face, which is far superior to a car bomb blowing up in your face. By take a step back, I don't mean let's all return to the seventh century with our Persian friends; I mean, take the puny 12 hours to "unlearn" all you think you know about Iran and "step back" and get a lot clearer perspective on this thorn in our side. This is no thorn. I thought we were foolish for invading Iraq for two reasons, 1. Saddam was more valuable as a nuisance to the Iranians and 2. Didn't we learn anything from Vietnam? Let's face it, the film on how to beat a modern, distant army is out there and the other team is studying it. However, I had no idea how bad the problem was. This book is a tragedy, because it should have been read by the last six presidents and their aides, but it wasn't. We can't unmake the mistakes chronicled in these ACC files, but at least we can start dealing with them now. Do your children a favor and listen to this book. Why not five stars? I hate sad endings.
Book is fine but!
the author is exaggerating about iran's power and its intentions. its true iran wants to influence the middle east but if Iran doesnt do it, some other country would do it. (to the other reviewer) wake up America? whatta heck is america doing thousands of miles away from its shores? what Americans need to know is that the more they intervene in other countries affairs, the more problems they make; after all this evil regime exist as result of America's Coup de ta in Iran in the 50s. it was america that gave birth to this regime just like they gave birth to mujahedin in Afghanistan.