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Custom Maid War for New World Disorder: In Guns We Trust    by Peter De Krassel order for
Custom Maid War for New World Disorder
by Peter De Krassel
Order:  USA  Can
CAL Books, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The title was introduced in Peter de Krassel's 2004 book, Custom Maid for New World Disorder (intended to be first in a trilogy) - 'We the Maids, For the Maids, By the Maids - we are the maids that clean up and pay for America's geopolitical mess.' The author tells us that Custom Maid War for New World Disorder started as the first chapter of a second in the trilogy, which he expanded and published as a response to criticism about being unpatriotic. He calls it 'a short and quick reference guide to the wars of the last half of the 20th century, the dawn of the 21st century and future potential wars' and includes about fifty pages of references at the back. And he quotes Herodotus - 'In peace, sons bury their fathers; in war, fathers bury their sons.'

In his Foreword, de Krassel also quotes Thucydides, who warned 'that belief in the inevitability of conflict can become one of is main causes.' He proceeds to comment on a variety of conflicts (in no particular order) - the Korean War, the Vietnam War (which he compares with the war on terrorism), the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, the potential of conflict with Iran, Korea or China; and the possibility of 'global ecological disaster' to fuel future wars. He covers weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons; Cyber Wars; the oil connection; the hypocrisy of certain US positions; and the impact on the US economy of waging war (he tells us that the Iraq occupation costs about $5 billion dollars - gulp - a month).

He speaks of misunderstandings of other cultures (that contributed in particular to current problems in Iraq), including 'a naive belief in the US that inside every human being there is a potential American, and that given the opportunity, they would become one.' He makes the very reasonable point that political correctness does not go well with waging war. I was rather shocked by a conspiracy theory postulating a mid East (specifically Iraqi) connection to the Oklahoma City bombing. He contrasts what he sees as a dominance of US 'foreign policy apparatus' by Christian fundamentalists in both the Vietnam War and the present government. I find his comparison of 'insurgents roaming the streets of Baghdad' to 'gangs of lobbyists in Washington D.C.' a bit of a stretch, though I also worry about the extent of the power the latter have to influence a democracy.

I found the book interesting, albeit jerky (jumping from topic to topic with a feel of having been rushed to print), and occasionally repetitive - though many points do bear repetition. At times, the author sounds like a dove, and at others an extreme hawk (as when suggesting government-sponsored assassination or recommending 'collateral carnage' as a deterrent). The overall tone is one of extreme pragmatism, morality set aside. Though I took much of what is said here with several grains of salt, I also found a great deal that was insightful. In particular, de Krassel's comments on the importance of investing in an ideological war make a lot of sense. And who can disagree with his advocacy for a concerted effort 'to stop hunger and the cycle of ignorance and religious intolerance that breed violence'?

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