Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Booknote: _Crossing the Rubicon_

Michael C. Ruppert's book, Crossing the Rubicon: the Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil (New Society Publishers, 2004), is a very thick book, over six hundred pages, and while length should not be a deterrent to reading, I do give the warning (I know, not the best way to start a review or commentary, but as I said, it is fair warning). The author, a former LAPD detective who now works as a investigative writer, handles the connection between Peak Oil and 9/11 as a criminal investigation in the sense that he presents evidence, names suspects, gives motives, and leaves the materials to the reader to decide as a jury. The book contains a lot of numbers and figures, but these are gradually connected. The main thrust of the book is the connection of the events of September 11, 2001 to the problem of Peak Oil and the United States' need for new sources of fossil fuels to feed growing energy demands. In the process, the book looks at geopolitics, roles of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, and the actions of various multinationals such as Halliburton. The early chapters look at how the Soviet Union was brought down in large part due in large part to the desire of outsiders to exploit the oil resources of the Caspian area. The irony rests in the fact that the oil reserves in the area were not as rich as they were first thought to be. So far, the book makes for interesting reading, but one has to read a little bit at a time. The reader gets a sense there is some cabal controlling world affairs, but if one looks at the evidence, one has to at least ask the questions.

The chapter on Osama Bin Laden and his connection to the Bush family makes for interesting reading. Specifically, the author argues that the Bin Laden family did not really cut off Osama as they would have the world believe. In addition, here is what I find compelling, the Saudi Bin Ladin Group, part of Osama's family business, holds various investments in the United States, including holdings of companies like Citigroup. Add to this the family's connection to the Saudi royal family, and again, one has to at least ask the questions. Readers interested in foreign affairs, terrorism and policy, and issues of the Middle East may find this book interesting.

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