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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rachel Maddow charts the nation's "Drift" into constant invisible war | Robin Lindley, Crosscut.com

I must read this new book, Drift, in which "Broadcast host Rachel Maddow brings her acerbic wit and calm reasoning to the literary world, with a compelling narrative of America's silent shift to unchecked presidential power and unseen but perpetual war."

In his book review, Lindley writes:
Though Maddow concedes that we need a strong military, Drift is adamant about the need for stronger debate about how we go to war. Despite our state of continual war, only a tiny fraction of citizens is directly touched by our conflicts. And though the military is our most effective and capable ever, individual soldiers — repeatedly deployed — cannot be called on to bear the strain of war indefinitely.

Unless the public is involved, she contends, we are doomed to constant war and that bodes badly for our imperatives of liberty and prosperity at home. To prevent the unnecessary human and economic cost of armed conflict, Drift argues, waging war should be wrenchingly difficult for a democratic nation.
I like Lindley's conclusiion:
In true Maddow style and despite her haunting history of our drift towards imperiled democracy, the author even manages to close on a hopeful note: Change is not impossible.
“We just need to revive that old idea of America as a deliberately peaceable nation," she writes. "That’s not simply our inheritance, it’s our responsibility.”
If you're interested in citizen action or persuasive writing, check out the the writing resources at Garbl's Action Writing Links. It's an annotated directory of websites that can help you get people to read your writing, keep readers interested and persuade them to respond while they're reading or afterward. 


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