Your current reading list

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Re: Your current reading list

Postby nowonmai » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:57 pm

Jesus
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby flipflop » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:49 pm

Just finishing this. It's presidential election time in Afghanistan in April, this is a good reminder of the utter fucking bonkers history and main players in the godforsaken place. I knew most of it, this more like study notes on the chronology, but reading it again you wonder why anyone would even attempt to sort that place out, or think they could get away with it. Fair fucks to Karzai, one of the very few country rulers who managed not to get his head on the end of a pole, but then he's not quite finished yet, is he.

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Cheers
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby OneLungMcClung » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:23 pm

Get your nerd on!

The Martian

No spoilers (you find this out in the first few pages): Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded. On Mars. His crew evacuated thinking him dead, and is returning to Earth. Now he must survive using his own knowledge and the very few items that are left to him, in a race with time for food, water, and rescue.

Bad ass fiction, unpredictable yet realistic events, and science so hard you could walk on it. Basically Apollo 13 crossed with Cast away, with no volleyball and no Tom Hanks.


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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Bouncer » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:34 pm

Gonna pick these two up...

In the meantime I'm reading:
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"Whatever You Do, Don't Run: My Adventures as a Botswana Safari Guide" - Peter Allison

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"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" - Susan Cain

And re-reading a really good one.
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"Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships" - Eric Berne

Regards,
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby denise » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:25 am

flipflop wrote:
svizzerams wrote:Maybe because its winter and we have no snow I've been reading a string of books on mountaineering in the Himalayas. I started reading "Into Thin Air" before leaving for Africa in Nov and started and finished "Dark Summit" before landing in Tanzania. Next up is "The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest"; by Conrad Anker, David Roberts

Into Thin Air; by Jon Krakauer
The Call of Everest: The History, Science and Future of the World's Tallest Peak; by Conrad Anker
Surviving K2: Surviving Three Days in the Death Zone; by Wilco van Rooijen
Last Man on the Mountain: The Death of an American Adventurer on K2; by Jennifer Jordan
Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day; by Peter Zuckerman, Amanda Padoan
The Mountain: My Time on Everest; by Ed Viesturs, David Roberts
A Day to Die For: 1996: Everest's Worst Disaster; by Graham Ratcliff
Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season (2006 Season); by Nick Heil

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That's the Annapurna Range and Macchapuchre on the right there

Cheers


so glad that you kicked that horribly unfair and incredibly dull son of a bitch bastard out of here. a victory for vaginas everywhere.

anyway it's spring now and i've screwed up my courage enough to read something i've written. onto the agony of editing.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby denise » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:44 am

nowonmai wrote:Jesus


Word.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Thu May 01, 2014 7:52 am

Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World by Evan Thomas

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I'm on the fence about recommending this one. Very good, insightful, enjoyable, informative, but a lot of fluff. Only covers his presidency. The motif is bridge (the card game), with a side of golf (to the tune of 800+ golf games during his presidency), the salient points being that he was a perfectionist, an excellent bluffer, a great player of games. As POTUS, he often pretended to be the addled old man that he apparently was not, in order to get his way without pissing anyone off. Though this famously backfired with Kruschev, it was a great gambit. The book argues that Ike was able to use his unassailable reputation as former Supreme Allied Commander in WWII as a bedrock for this deliberately calculated, goofy, not-to-bright grandpa routine, and play "good cop" to John Foster Dulles' "bad cop" on the world stage, while remaining a hard-ass, on-top-of-his-game POTUS behind the scenes. Well, at least until the last couple of years of his presidency, when age, health problems (the book's subtitle could have been, "Everything you wanted to know about Eisenhower's Crohn's disease, but thought lost to history"), and depression made him less effective.

ANYWAY. If you're interested in what was going on in the world from 1953 to 1961, arguably the most dangerous period in human history, it's kind of amazing. Lots of character studies of major players, and plays, that unfolded while the world was on brink of nuclear war. Interesting takes on how the USA avoided "brush fire" wars (as Ike called them) flaring up all over the globe, each threatening to set off a final conflict between the USA and USSR. With Mao as the clueless cheerleader who thought nuclear weapons were a paper tiger that the northern hemisphere might possibly survive. Add to this the rise of the "military-industrial complex" and CIA, both groups lambasted by author Evan Thomas throughout the book, and it becomes a worthwhile read. For me, anyway.

Not going to bother? Here are some interesting points [SPOILERS]:

"Admiral" Strauss wasn't really an admiral, but he was a slick, charming con man on the take. Eisenhower's doctrine of "Overwhelming Force" meant that we always had to seem ready to go full nuclear at a moment's notice, but Ike specifically told Strauss not to bankrupt the USA with his Atomic Energy Commission. Strauss ignored him, gave all his friends fat contracts, and fucked the USA pretty hard, financially. Oh, and Strauss was a moron when it came to physics, and a petty, vengeful SOB. A story I'd never heard was that Oppenheimer made fun of the AEC Chairman in public, at a Congressional hearing I think, because the guy clearly didn't understand how isotopes worked. All the other scientists laughed at him. Years later, still seething, Strauss got his revenge by having Oppenheimer's security clearance revoked.

Everyone in the US government was on DRUGS during the 1950s. And presumably the UK government too. Amphetamines, barbiturates, Secanol, pain pills, you name it, they were handing them out. "Mood enhancers." Not just for the people that were sick - and remember, the USA was run by old-as-fuck, chain-smoking, hard-drinking men at that time, so everyone was always sick - but all the people on staff, secretaries, drivers, everyone. They had a doctor who just gave out pills at the White House so people wouldn't get too stressed about nuclear war or whatever.

Richard M. Bissell, the CIA guy in charge of the U-2 spy plane, was a lying sack of shit, though the author had a little historian crush on him. Bissell was brilliant - the U-2 not only worked, it came in under budget and ahead of schedule, and allowed the USA to see that there was no "missile gap" with Russia, we were way ahead. Waaaaaay ahead. His intel was worth more than everything else the CIA did during the period between 1953-1961, even though he got busted and Kruschev lost his mind at the UN, banging shoes on the podium and so forth. BUT. Bissell just lied and lied! He lied and said the USSR couldn't see the U-2 on radar (they absolutely could, and knew exactly what it was). He lied and said he wasn't going to do this or that flight. To the point that at the end of Ike's second term, the military was like, "Everything Bissell says is pretty much bullshit, but let's give him enough rope to hang himself and get rid of this CIA ridiculousness now." Which is sort of what happened during the Bay of Pigs. Kennedy kept Bissell on, but didn't realize he was a pathological liar. The Joint Chiefs of Staff did, but disguised their disgust with the planned invasion in Pentagon-ese that Eisenhower could have translated, but Kennedy took at face value, as a go-ahead to invade Cuba without air cover. Oops!

The Dulles Brothers were just awful. I already knew that, but Evans reaffirms my beliefs. He kind of liked John Foster Dulles, always underscoring his Christian schoolmarm hypocrisy with "but he did an OK job, considering," except for the fact that every post-1954 attempt to overthrow a dictator ended in failure and humiliation. But he was deliberately playing the "bad cop" to help keep Eisenhower's reputation clean, right? Um…. maybe. Or maybe he was an asshole. Anyway, Evans seemed sad that JFD died in terrible pain with everyone hating him, followed by a miserably hot funeral and so forth.

Alan Dulles gets no such leeway. The guy is portrayed preening, idiotic asshole, his CIA packed with old fraternity buddies and other Ivy League adventurists who used national security (and taxpayer money) to "have a lark," committing one expensive fuckup after another. For instance, I'd never read about how we tried to take down Suharto with honey traps, and by making porno tapes featuring a double with a hot Russian spy. They never clued in that this made him the guy look like a stud alpha male, eventually cementing him in power. I also hadn't heard that Alan gave Kermit Roosevelt (the guy who overthrew Mossadeq and installed the Shah in Iran) millions of dollars to overthrow Nasser in Egypt. This included a payment of US$12 million to General Bey Naguib, a potential rival to Nasser. The general wasn't retarded, however, and instead of challenging Nasser, kept the money to get yachts, girls, and build the Cairo Tower, which less-than-impressed CIA veterans subsequently referred to as "Roosevelt's Erection." It just goes on and on. When you compare this shit to what's described in books like Christopher Andrew's excellent "The World Was Going Our Way," you've got to wonder how we ever beat the KGB. Or [side eye at Putin] did we?

The military-industrial complex couldn't really suck as much out of the USA's coffers as they wanted to with Eisenhower in charge, especially once the POTUS realized that Strauss and Bissell were awful, lying, terrible people. The MIC tried to manipulate other politicians, including LBJ, who would give long speeches about how Ike didn't understand national security, which "made the top of Eisenhower's head turn red." But that didn't really work either. So, they started manipulating the press. They got the idea after Sputnik. Everyone in the USA was freaking out, thinking the USSR was going to start dropping nukes on us or from space. BUT. Ike had two satellite programs (one public, one military) ready to go, and intel showing how far ahead we were with ICBMs, and how useless Sputnik was. So he told the press that he wasn't worried, "not one iota" about a shiny, pinging baseball rolling around low-Earth orbit.

The press lost its mind, and the "doddering old grandpa" thing backfired for the first time. Journalists were saying he was out of it, clueless, just didn't understand what Sputnik meant! Eventually Ike calmed everyone down, launched a couple of satellites, and got his first serious PR snafu behind him. BUT. The military-industrial complex had found its opening. So, they began feeding prominent journalists, notably syndicated columnist Joseph Alsop, fake information. Along with lots of money and perks. They funneled the information through Strauss, LBJ (who wanted to be POTUS soooo badly), all sorts of useful idiots. Alsop wrote a particularly damaging column about the fake missile gap (at the time we had 6000 nukes and several ICBMs, the USSR had 600 nukes and maybe one ICBM that probably wouldn't work) based on this bullshit intel. Oh, and just dumb stuff, like the first lady was an alcoholic or Ike was having an affair with his secretary (both of which may have been true, but were still irrelevant.) Anyway, that's how the scam started and it continues today.

And, now you don't have to read the book!
"4 cylinder Camaro=communism" El Presidente

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Re: Your current reading list

Postby coldharvest » Thu May 01, 2014 8:57 am

The Analects-Confucius
The Little Prince-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer-Neal Stephenson
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby michelle in alaska » Sat May 03, 2014 9:37 am

Too many to name, but for starters..
Redeployment by Phil Klay.
F*ck with dealing w photo downloads.....i'm on a droid....
American Spartan: the promise, the mission, and the betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant by Ann Scott Tyson.

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell by John Crawford.
And for fun: The White Nile by Alan Moorehead.

Extra fun : Its All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow----great cookbook! :))

xxoo
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Fri May 09, 2014 7:00 pm

Bouncer wrote:And re-reading a really good one.
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"Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships" - Eric Berne


Came across this in a pile of stuff on the curb, checked it out on your recommendation. HOLY FUCK! What a great book! My 1968 edition pathologizes homosexuality (and S&M, go figure), and assumes all women are unemployed housewives, but still. Amazing. Insightful. Hilarious. Easy to read. Ten stars and eleven Dr. Phils.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:04 pm

GODDAMN. This book I can recommend to everyone on the BFC, without reservation:

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Inside Central America, by Clifford Krauss

This guy covered Central America for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, when basically the entire isthmus was in upheaval. This book is fucking amazing. Not only does he know his history, economics, and politics, he interviewed many of the people involved, was on the field during key battles, and has a remarkable ability to stay relatively unbiased. It's so easy to romanticize Reagan or the Sandinistas or whoever, but his journalistic training shines in this little book.

Each country gets a chapter, with a few pages of history (most of it vis a vis the United States, which was the author's stated MO), ethnography, and geography. Then, he launches into the meat of it, the 1980s. Fucking amazing. Stuff I didn't even know. For instance, I hadn't realized that Argentina was heavily involved in funding and training the Contras and Honduran death squads in the early 1980s, in exchange for Reagan's support of their claim on the Islas Malvinas. But, when Reagan came down on the side of the UK in the Falklands War, they just up and left North et al on their own. I also didn't realize the extent of Noriega's grift - that guy was playing everyone! Not just the Colombian cartels and Reagan administration, he was working Mossad, Swiss bankers, the Cubans, the Contras, you name 'em, if they had money and power in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Noriega was up their ass! Dude was pulling in $50 million a year just running these crazy little schemes all over the globe. You really appreciate his evil genius. The book has weird little tidbits about key players, too - like, Noriega was raised by his gay, older half-brother, so he always had a taste for "gay" decor and clothing; Daniel Ortega was always really shy, and had to work himself up to be a dictato... I mean, elected president and so forth. On and on. This book is soooooo worth your time if you even have a passing interest in Central America during its roughest decade - 305 pages, almost every single one of them loaded with interesting, well-written information. HIGHLY recommended.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:46 pm

This is a must read, if you're interested in the pre-Columbian history of the Americas:

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The author, Charles Mann, is a journalist who became profoundly annoyed that his son's world history textbook had exactly eight pages about the pre-conquest Americas, most of which was bullshit disproven decades, if not centuries, ago. So, he decided to write a history book that filled in the blanks. He really wants to be Jared Diamond, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but he kind of lacks the anthropological chops - his other books include "The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine, and 100 Years of Rampant Competition," and "The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics." He's not a specialist. Plus, he kind of jumps all over the Americas, and leaves huge swaths of the continents, and its history, blank.

BUT. It's still WELL worth reading.

He starts out with the "Pox Americana" theme (another must-read tome if you're into this sort of thing), explaining that the Pilgrims didn't just arrive in a tangled wilderness and survive through a combination of moxie, prayer, and help from their beloved Squanto. The Thanksgiving story isn't entirely bullshit, but it's at least 85% bullshit - epidemics of Eurasian diseases had cleared out a vast civilization of cities, farms, and a form of agriculture unknown in the Olde World: Locals had, over centuries, transformed the forests into huge, maintained gardens, food landscapes filled with nut and fruit trees, edible and useful understories, and perfect habitats for tasty and useful animals. The Pilgrims and subsequent settlers harvested this abandoned bounty without even realizing all the effort that went into it. Mann also talks about how European settlers often defected to the Indian side, because their lifestyle was so much healthier and more egalitarian (a big plus for ladies and non-whites) than that of Christianized Europe.

OK, you knew all that, right? Probably you did, because you get your information from somewhere other than a high school textbook. So Mann continues backwards, describing the various civilizations that had risen and fallen all over North America, the whole land bridge conundrum, and the possibly racist roots of the "overkill" theory of the Pleistocene die-off. Which suggests that when humans arrived over the land bridge, they killed all the big animals - mastodons, giant tree sloths, and so forth. When discussing it with an indigenous guy, the dude was all, "Anthropology exists just to make White people feel better about themselves." [I'm paraphrasing.] And, indeed, it looks like the die-offs were the result of weather fluctuations, since loads of non-edible species also died. He also talks about how classical historians tended to portray Indian civilization as static, history-free hunter-gatherer society that had been the same for thousands of years when the Europeans arrived, because that's just how inferior humans are. Mann complains that this is what his son's crappy history book suggested, even though that was disproven in, oh, the 1600s. But whatever.

Mann then heads south to the more advanced MesoAmerican cultures, where he obsesses further on the whole "food forest" method of agriculture. According to him, there are no virgin forests in the Americas - they have all been terraformed by the Indians. This was the culture. Everyone pitched in to terraform, guided either by religion or culture, or possibly by the network of city states that rose and fell all over the Americas, then everyone harvested what they needed to survive.

OK, fine, but what kind of "culture" could that support? Were the Incas and Aztecs - their empires only a couple hundred years old when the Spanish arrived - some kind of shift to a hierarchical theocratic despotism that allowed higher culture? Probably not. This type of agriculture could, apparently, support huge populations and advanced cultures with big public works projects and more.

Apparently, there were millions and millions, like, hundreds of millions, of Indians involved in this sort of civilization for thousands and thousands of years. Oh, and people have probably been here for 30,000, maybe 40,000 years - longer than we've been in Northern Europe. Ahem. His proof is outstanding, with loads of examples of ancient cities scattered in the most unlikely places, including the Amazon, where what Europeans think of as agriculture - farms or milpas - don't really provide many calories for the effort expended growing them. And yet, cities of tens of thousands of people, which stretched for miles along the Amazon, really existed. There's loads of evidence.

Overall, an interesting, subversive, and intriguing little book. Recommended.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:05 am

Two South America books worth recommending, especially the second one. The first is just a good, funny travelogue, "The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America," by Brian Kevin. Excellent, but probably more Thorn Tree than BFC:

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The author, an adventurous millennial, began by collecting all the articles and correspondence by a 24-year-old Hunter S. Thompson during his year in South America as a freelance journalist. This was long before the drugs and Gonzo journalism, but HST was already an extremely smart, perceptive, and adventurous writer with zero risk aversion, which makes him a much more interesting subject for this sort of thing than, say, Julia Childs.

Brian takes quotes from his stories and letters pertaining to indigenous whiskey smugglers in Venezuela's Guajira Peninsula, isolated and elitist expat capitalists in Colombia, harried US embassy workers in Ecuador moonlighting for the CIA, oppressed miners struggling to survive in Bolivia, and the beautiful beaches of Rio, among several other destinations and situations. Then, he visits those spots and updates HST's story; the Ecuador and Bolivia chapters were my favorite. It's absolutely not rehashed Gonzo (thank goodness), Brian writes it pretty straight except for some very dry and cynical humor, which I appreciated. But it is extremely informative about these slices of modern South American life, has some great (if perhaps worn) insights on travel, and of course illuminates a little bit of Thompson's early career for enthusiasts. Recommended!

The second book, "No Lost Causes," by former Colombian President and pint-sized dreamboat Alvaro Uribe, however, is right up there with the best non-fiction I have ever read and should be required reading for anyone interested in Colombia or counterterrorism, as well as a big-budget Hollywood action drama directed by that guy who did Argo.

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Uribe, if you've been under a rock for the past couple of decades, was the former Governor of Antioquia (i.e., the law in Medellín during the tale end of the Escobar cartel years) and President of Colombia from 2002 to 2010. FARC killed his father when he was a kid, and lots of people in Latin America called him the "real Batman." When he came into power, FARC, the AUC, and various other wannabe paramilitary and guerrilla groups controlled pretty much all of rural Colombia; the nation was basically a constellation of barely-functioning city-states that were connected by air alone, as the roads were hotbeds of rebel roadblocks, kidnapping, coca running, and death. When Uribe left office, after failing to change the Constitution to allow a third term, Colombia wasn't even in the top five most violent countries in Latin America, much less the world, with 6 to 7% annual economic growth and 3.5 million tourists every year. He's been called a fascist, a murderer, a violator of human rights, and worse, but come on, the people he murdered were assholes.

Anyway, the bad: The story of his amazing, explosion- and firefight-filled presidency isn't told with the Ludlumesque flair that it deserved. Imagine if Breaking Bad had been told from Gus' point of view: It's a straight memoir. "After crawling to the helicopter on my elbows, I grabbed the only weapon available, a machine gun, to provide cover for the other candidates at the debate, so they could make the run from behind their podiums. This experience led to my focus on security, although education would also remain a priority throughout my career." I mean, come fucking on. Your debate was attacked, make it dramatic and awesome, with bullets exploding and sweat stinging your eyes as you heroically saved the day and your opponents' lives! Work it! But this guy doesn't sweat. Oh well.

And, toward the end of the book, you can tell that the criticism of human rights violations is really wearing on him. For example, there are long explanations of why, although he takes full responsibility, his policies weren't exactly responsible for the "false positives." Colombian police and military would sometimes kill villagers, often drug dealing kids who were causing problems but emphatically were NOT involved with FARC, dress them in rebel uniforms, and say "I got me a FARC soldier!" Interestingly, the leftist, Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez-type press (which I read) said that they got some kind of bounty for turning over a rebel body, which caused the uptick in false positives. Uribe, who I believe, says that was emphatically NOT Colombian policy, there was no bounty or payout for bodies, and in fact, "false positives" peaked in 1984 and had been steadily declining ever since. The reason they did that, according to Uribe, was that FARC and other narcotraffickers had infiltrated the military and police, and these traitors would protect their real bosses by saying they'd killed the bad guys, when they had really been tipping them off, letting them escape, and killing someone else in their place.

The good. OH MY FUCKING GOD. The stories. I mean, from his securing the highways on the Caribbean slopes as a new President despite assassination attempt after assassination attempt that killed hundreds of innocent bystanders, to getting secret messages about FARC's trickery from Fidel Castro via Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to dealing with Hugo Chavez getting all apoplectic about his bombing FARC kingpin Raul Reyes 300 meters inside Ecuadorean territory, to tricking FARC into releasing Ingrid Bentacourt by sending in troops dressed in Che Guevara T-shirts on an old Russian helicopter with Venezuelan markings as a fake leftist NGO, etc etc ad amazingum, he gives all the details about trying to destroy one of the most entrenched terrorist groups in the world. It's fucking awesome.

For instance, his goal was to never, ever pay for kidnapping victims, or trade FARC prisoners for them, because that just helped FARC. If people did pay ransom that was fine with Uribe, he says he understood the human cost and the pain felt by families etc etc - that's how you got out, right RYP? But for high-profile secuestrados, or Colombian police or troops, Uribe was like, "NO." He'd rather spend ten times as much on a special ops with a 50/50 chance of killing everyone, than pay a ransom, and that's what he did. The USA was onboard, apparently, but Europe not so much. And he had soooo many problems with France and Ingrid Bentacourt. They'd send in a plane full of "negotiators" carrying millions of euros, who would hand over these suitcases full of money to FARC in exchange for Bentacourt, then FARC would disappear with the cash back into the forest. Later, Sarkozy was like, "We cut a deal, can you release these super-important high level FARC prisoners for us?" And Uribe would be like, "You're stupid, it won't work, but if you'll stop moaning about human rights for these murderous, coke-dealing fucktards, I'll pretend that diplomacy has a chance, and then get back back to chasing them down with guns like the dogs they are after your pathetic disappointment. Whatever." And he'd release the FARC leaders, they'd disappear into the jungle and go back to narcotrafficking, but no Bentacourt would appear. And so forth.

Instead, Uribe would do things like take over FARC's supply lines and communication networks, paying off informants rather than the FARC, and figure out where they were, what they were doing, and how to destroy their camps and coca fields. He increased security spending by 65%, and effectiveness by a million percent. This was the thing. He was more effective because he stopped thinking of them in terms of revolutionaries, and just said it: They were terrorists and a pox on normal Colombians. Previous administrations would give FARC demilitarized zones, negotiating tables, political parties - treating them the way you'd treat a legitimate leftist group with real grievances and ideological foundations. The thing is, that FARC was over in the early 1970s. By the 1980s, they had no interest in peace, or socialism, or a healthy, thriving Colombia. They wanted a failed state where they would be free to grow, process, and run cocaine to the USA and Europe. That's why Fidel Castro sold them out to Uribe, because their revolution was bullshit and their drug running was causing problems for everyone, even Cuba. Sure, Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa (the presidents of neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador respectively) protected FARC, but that's because they donated a ton of money to their political campaigns. It wasn't ideological, it was financial.

So Uribe took them out. Now, he wasn't just murdering them - he had a whole system where you could turn yourself in and rejoin Colombian society without a lot of hassles. According to the book, they let about 40,000 former FARC and other guerrillas turn over their weapons and go home, despite a troubling 7% recidivism rate. Even if you were a "kingpin" (his term for guerrilla leadership), if you turned over your properties, wealth, guns, etc, you could still get away with serving just eight years. EIGHT! But, yeah, if you didn't want to turn yourself in, Uribe was going to hunt you down like a dog and kill you in the jungle.

ANYWAY. Read this book. It's fucking amazing.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby coldharvest » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:13 pm

The Heart Of Everything That Is
The untold story of Red Cloud, an American Legend
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Kurt » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:04 pm

I am reading The Medieval Origins of The Legal Profession by James Brundage.

I have learned that the Public Notary is perhaps the oldest continual profession that requires certification.

It is older in continuity than even the Pope.
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