Not for me 😔

Severely lacking in structure and coherence, and much of the book isn't very relevant as biographical details. Fell short of expectations.

Synopsis

In mid-2013, something was decidedly wrong with our policy in the Middle East. And Russia. The Administration was lying about Benghazi. It was condoning the Muslim Brotherhood. It was allowing Iran to become a nuclear power and befriending its President. It was letting the Iraqi Kurds down, snubbing Israel and Saudi Arabia, chastising the Egyptian leader, and ineptly standing by, watching the Syrian genocide. All while allowing for a power vacuum that would be filled by al-Qaeda, or worse, by Russia.
A year later, with Crimea, Yemen, and a bit of Iraq added to its Grand Board of Go, Russia was on its way to unfettered access to the Arabian Sea - the Tipping Point in its Eurasian quest, and the bell toll for Atlanticism. The Russo-Islamic Alliance it was, scripted in Putin’s early days by a scary fellow, Dugin.
To anyone who thinks the Cold War ended in the Eighties, and that Russia’s buck stops in the barren lands of the Middle East, think twice. Trashing decades of history, President Obama had apparently decided to revisit the Truman Doctrine. Who was he, what was his motivation? We were in mid-2014 and the stage was set for Russia’s next move.

Given the research that has clearly been put into the issues discussed in Between Obama's Lines, one could expect it to have been a prominent work. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the quality of the book falls significantly as it lacks a meaningful structure overall, as well as a clear red thread to keep the reader engaged throughout. Though it has some interesting pieces of information here and there, I don't find them to be sufficiently connected in terms of the flow of the writing, which at times can make it difficult to understand why the mention of certain facts would be relevant.


What's more: based on the title, one would get the impression that this was a biography about Barack Obama Jr., but very little of the book actually concerns him personally. It could just as well have started on chapter 6, cut out many of the future chapters, and then rewritten the remaining ones to circulate around his actual life, and his connections to the issues described. Instead, the author writes in relative depth about historical events like the Cold War, the Iraq War, the Benghazi scandal, the Arab Spring, etc. Again, many of those issues could be connected to Obama's decisions, but I found the focus to be on the wrong place in terms of the relevance to the expectations emanated from the title.


An interesting issue brought up was his father's ideology as well as those from other associates. Also here, however, I found the focus to be misdirected – too much about the associates and their social networks – rather than their direct (or a clearer explanation of the indirect) impact on Obama (though there's certainly some good content here). Though some important figures were discussed, I'd like some more detail on Saul Alinsky's influence. After all, Prissert contends that "he [Obama] embraced two of Saul Alinsky’s basic principles, self-interest and lust for power." Outside of that quote, Alinsky isn't mentioned except for in two lists of names of people who allegedly had great influence on Obama.


I think both the topics of geopolitics and political corruption are important and interesting, but this book unfortunately went far below my standards in terms of structure and coherence. There are far better ones on these topics, including ones on Obama's connections and controversies, to say the least. Given Prissert's extensive research, he definitely has the potential to publish some better books in the future if he pays more attention to structure, coherence, and eloquence.

Reviewed by

I'm a student whose interests vary between economics, history, politics, psychology, philosophy, and others. Economics is my favorite subject, and I have reading and writing as active hobbies outside of my academic work.

Synopsis

In mid-2013, something was decidedly wrong with our policy in the Middle East. And Russia. The Administration was lying about Benghazi. It was condoning the Muslim Brotherhood. It was allowing Iran to become a nuclear power and befriending its President. It was letting the Iraqi Kurds down, snubbing Israel and Saudi Arabia, chastising the Egyptian leader, and ineptly standing by, watching the Syrian genocide. All while allowing for a power vacuum that would be filled by al-Qaeda, or worse, by Russia.
A year later, with Crimea, Yemen, and a bit of Iraq added to its Grand Board of Go, Russia was on its way to unfettered access to the Arabian Sea - the Tipping Point in its Eurasian quest, and the bell toll for Atlanticism. The Russo-Islamic Alliance it was, scripted in Putin’s early days by a scary fellow, Dugin.
To anyone who thinks the Cold War ended in the Eighties, and that Russia’s buck stops in the barren lands of the Middle East, think twice. Trashing decades of history, President Obama had apparently decided to revisit the Truman Doctrine. Who was he, what was his motivation? We were in mid-2014 and the stage was set for Russia’s next move.

The End

All television networks interrupted their regular programming. In the background, the video of a large scale explosion followed by a mushroom cloud was running in a cataclysmic loop, with charred human remains scattered on streets, buildings collapsed, people running, walking to nowhere or simply standing still, or crouched in a daze. The captions, in all languages, mostly in English and Arabic, laid it simple: “Israel strikes Iran”.


In the foreground, the cameras showed a still image of the United Nations pulpit. The Permanent Security Council had been called for an emergency meeting, and the leaders of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States had been meeting since the morning. The Presidents of the United States and Russia were to hold a joint conference, scheduled for 21:00 EST.


A day earlier, Iran had fired yet another missile test from its Sharud site in the North. In response, Israel had decided the time had come. Much like a date is about to expire on a milk carton, the threat of an Iranian nuclear or electromagnetic pulse attack had been imminent for too long. It was time to throw the carton out.


It was now 21:17 EST. The commentators’ voice-overs were biding time, each with their own theory and bias. “It had to happen” one asserted. As all networks were suddenly watching the same show, it felt like an open discussion. Another replied: “Sure, but did you see this? It’s a carnage.” “No it is not, that’s Al Jazeera’s coverage 5. I am one mile away from Arak, and there is no damage here. Lights out, but no fires.” “Fox, shut up, we know where you come from.” One chipped in, in Arabic, “Yaumul Hisab, this is The Day of Reckoning.”


One thing was sure, Israel had targeted nine sites, curiously shaping a Star of David: Darkhouin, Mo’Allem Kalayeh, Khondab, Arak, Esfahan, Natanz, Jabr Ibn Hagan and Parchin 6, and one more in its center, target Fordow, near Qom. A few seconds later, the mushroom cloud. Nobody could tell whether it was due to the Israeli missiles, or to the Iranian nuclear sites.


At 21:20, the Presidents of Russia and the United States walked into the United Nations conference room. They were flanked by all the members of the Permanent Security Council, and their aides. The first to speak was the Russian:


“The Security Council strongly condemns the attack by Israel on its neighbor Iran, and deplores the loss of civilian lives that has resulted. This is not an act of self-defense, as Iran has not threatened Israel by any means. We are working on a resolution that shall prevent Israel from conducting any such operation in the future, and are urging its leaders to implement an immediate cease-fire. It will include sanctions to make her regret her senseless act of terror.”


He then shook the hand of the American, and handed the pulpit over to him:


“My fellow Americans, and citizens of the World, we are witnessing an historical moment. My predecessor would have certainly agreed with the Russian President, having let him take-over most of the Middle East, and turned his back on our allies in the region. But I do not. To the contrary, I reiterate my long held belief, that Israel not only has the right to self-defend herself – Iran acted first, and not for the first time -, but also, and more essentially, the right and duty to exist. In annihilating Iran’s nuclear force, Israel and her allies have not only eliminated a threat to themselves, but the Russian threat to the world. You see [showing a chart of the Middle East], the red dots on this chart mark the countries where Russia has a strong presence, military or otherwise. It is pretty clear, and it is called the Russo-Islamic Alliance. The objective is no less clear. Russia has no economic interest in most of these barren lands, with the exception of Iran, Iraq, their oil, and that of their neighbors. Russia’s real interest lays in the access to the Arabian Sea, through the Strait of Bab el Mandeb on one side of the Arab Peninsula, and the Strait of Hormuz on the other. Through these Straits flow more than twenty percent of the world’s oil products.


Why the Arabian Sea? In geopolitics, it is called the Gate to India. And India is the gate to China, as in Asia. And Asia is the final destination in Russia’s Big Journey, the conquest of Eurasia. [Turning to President Putin] So, Vladimir – may I call you Vladimir? -, you just lost the key to the Big Journey. It is now time to change focus. Would you work with us on World Peace? [Turning back to the audience] I want to thank Israel for her patience through the years, for her tenacity, for her courage and determination. I want to thank all our friends and allies in the region, his Royal Highness King Salman, President al-Sisi, Sheikh Al Maktoum, President Masum, the Peshmerga, and all who understand that Peace is the only option. And I want to thank our men and women in uniform, here, in Israel and wherever they are to protect us, with their military might. God bless you, and God bless America.”

About the author

We all focus on recent events while losing track of how they developed. Engineer by education, investment and real estate adviser by trade, and amateur historian when things get out of whack in my world, I write for the young adults and older folks who are curious to know, "what happened, really?" view profile

Published on February 10, 2019

Published by

60000 words

Genre: History

Reviewed by

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