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American Empire: Before The Fall - Book Review
Liberty Columnists - Book Reviews
Written by TJ Lawrence   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 08:49


American Empire, Before The Fall by Bruce Fein, The Campaign For Liberty's first book publishing is interesting, informative and perfect for that friend of yours who is scared stiff that a bunch of "islamo-fascists" are going to swoop across the border and blow up Americans. That sports-fan friend who swears that the best defense is an overwhelming offense or that neighbor who talks as if they are willing to shoot across the street at someone who's cleaning their rifle in their garage because they might go crazy and start shootin' one day.

The book walks the reader through the storied history of the American descent into Empire by contrasting the ideas of individual Liberty espoused by the Nation's founders and the key charter documents with an explanation of the psychology of Empire building, the misdeeds and outright crimes of key American politicians, the atrocities of war and the contradictions of state run foreign policy. Best of all, Bruce Fein does a tremendous job at breaking apart the position that so many Americans have been indoctrinated to hold; preemptive strike and preemptive war.

My favorite excerpt from the book has to be from Chapter 2 after Bruce explains that the Taliban and Al Qaeda combined are nearly invisible in number as compared to the Soviet Red Army and the German Wehrmacht. He then belts out this gem to cement his visual into your mind.
"United States citizens at home are vastly less likely to be killed by Taliban or Al Qaeda than by a domestic murderer. Three thousand Americans have been killed by international terrorists in the United States during and since September 11th, 2001. In that same interval, approximately 153,000 murders have been perpetrated in the United States, and only 61% of the criminal homicides result in a suspect's arrest, let alone a conviction." - pg. 50-51
Now I knew before reading this book that this would be a snapshot into the decades gone by with several areas of history and foreign policy that I am not well versed in, Bruce Fein certainly delivers on this expectation. What I did not expect from this book was the lack of a solution and a glossing over of the American Civil War.
This book focused mainly on the international points of reference so I can see how a diversion into domestic affairs may have seemed a bit side rail and still I felt stunned that Bruce Fein completely missed the fact that the Civil War and Lincoln's administration completely centralized the power of the general government, set the stage for more efficient Empire building and set a vast precedent for an extremely expansive, powerful, unaccountable and downright criminal executive branch. I saw no need to leave out such an important event when there was indeed extensive detail into other controversial important instances throughout American history which pushed the United States onto and further down the road to Empire.
The final chapter in American Empire, Before The Fall is a short manifesto on how to solve the problem of the American Empire. This small chapter lists out an idea for a new piece of legislation Bruce entitles "The Constitution Act of 2010". This piece of legislation in part would "expose[ed] the president to criminal prosecution or impeachment for initiating war without an express statutory directive ..", "No monies of the United States should be expended to support military bases or troops abroad, except in times of war expressly declared by congress", "No monies .. expended to support any defense treaty commitment .. including NATO, Japanese Defense Treaty and the South Korean Defense Treaty", "The Foreign Intelligence Act should be amended...", "No classified information should be withheld from Congress", "Military commissions should be abolished", "The Federal Reserve Board should be abolished" and the list goes on and on. All great ideas though, if of course, you can persuade the wolves to eat something other than hens at the hen house for dinner.
After finishing this chapter I was left thinking.
This the same old song and dance I see so many people make. "If you don't like the system get all the right people elected and change it." How has that tactic worked? Shouldn't 230 years of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic have handily proven that simply not obeying the general government is just about the only peaceful way Americans have left in solving the problems caused by the authoritarian imperial tyranny of the United States?

"..and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force .." -- Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolution, 1798

Nullification and peaceful civil disobedience are some of the tactics I would have liked to see as part of Bruce Fein's solution to arresting the further progression of the American Empire. New legislation alone will not stop this unaccountable coercive force, as the United States no longer uses its charter documents and the principles within them as their playbook. A critical mass paradigm shift and peaceful more radical steps by the American people will be the resolute key, only this conclusion is not yet popular fair.


Our valuable member TJ Lawrence has been with us since Tuesday, 10 November 2009.

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