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Kate’s Summer Reading List

September 5, 2008

Since we now officially have more reading lists than we do summer, here’s another one, this time brought to you by Kate Gould. It should particularly come in handy for those of you on the Mid-Atlantic coast, since there won’t be much to do this weekend but sit around and wait out Hanna.

Summer Reading List 9: Kate Gould, Legislative Assistant for Foriegn Policy

Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
by Jeremy Scahill
Remember how last fall the Iraqi government charged Blackwater security guards with massacring Iraqi civilians in an incident that US soldiers affirmed was a “criminal event” and concluded there was “no enemy activity involved”? Last month Blackwater’s billion dollar contract was renewed by the State Department, and these modern day mercenaries continue to protect US officials from Pelosi to Petraeus. This is a devastating exposĂ© of how not only has Blackwater come to define some of the most brutal elements of the US occupation in Iraq— but how Blackwater and other private armies are altering the future of the American security system; from Baghdad to Bagram to post Katrina New Orleans.

Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq
by Dahr Jamail
Jamail is one of a handful of Western journalists who consistently put his life on the line to report from Iraq independent from the Pentagon’s embed program. He broke the story of the US use of napalm-like white phosphorous that burned civilians to death in Fallujah, and the subsequent devastation of the city. I’ve never felt closer to the daily destruction of Iraq than when I’ve been immersed in Jamail’s reporting.

Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the US
by Dr. Trita Parsi.
“Iran is Israel’s best friend”- Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, 1987. If you are astounded that Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the US have had a thirty year tumultuous love triangle of complimentary geo-strategic interests, put aside all of your other priorities and read this book. This is a revealing saga of secret Israeli weapons deals to Iran, a time when the pro-Israeli lobby was advocating the US to negotiate with Iran, the utility of inflammatory rhetoric towards Israel for Iran in gaining popularity on the Arab street, and an eyewitness account of Iran’s “Grand Bargain” to the US.

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