I read this book because I wanted to get another perspective on what happened on the fateful night of 11-12 September, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. I knew that 4 people were killed, including the Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens. I had read 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff and wanted to know how much artistic liberty he took. I still don’t really know the answer. This book was full of detail, but not about the attack at Benghazi.
If you want to know a lot about the DS, then this book might interest you. If you want to know what happened in Benghazi on the night of September 11-12, 2012, read something else. This book doesn’t even get to the first assault on the compound in Benghazi until chapter 10! Then there are the acronyms….I think my head might explode from so many letters. There were acronyms for agencies that really didn’t matter to the story. If you’re a weapons buff, you might like the mind-numbing details of weapons used in conflicts (most unrelated to Benghazi). I found it another tedious layer to sort through to get to the story.
Divine providence. Manifest destiny. American exceptionalism. These are all terms bandied about in the political arena today. There is no debating that many of our Founding Fathers invoked “nature’s god” and “divine providence” in their writings. Is America exceptional? Is there a plan for this country ordained by God himself? Do the actions of citizens invoke God’s favor or His wrath?
Carol Swain addresses these topics in her book “Be The People”, making a largely well-informed and well-articulated argument for her tenants. The crux of her book hinges on 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” New International Version (©1984)
Conservative Christians have made the same arguments for decades and sadly, many of the issues facing our country are worse — not better. The best point of Carol Swain’s book is that we each have the responsibility to know our beliefs and to know our history and our founding documents. As a society we have abdicated our role as the keepers of that for which our Founding Fathers fought and died. You may not agree with Ms. Swain’s conclusions but as an American you cannot disagree with her methods…know what you believe (can we at least agree on the Ten Commandments?), know what the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence have to say about how things should be done.
There’s an old saying “If you don’t vote, don’t complain!” I’d take that a step further and say “If you don’t vote from an informed perspective, don’t complain!”
Far from uniting the nation, as many of us had sincerely hoped, President Obama seems to be presiding over an increasingly divided United States of America. Kevin McCullough is one of his vocal detractors and Mr. McCullough argues his case in his intentionally ironically-titled book.
The cases against this administrations policies and actions are ubiquitous. Tune in to most talk-radio and you’ll hear many of the same complaints voiced in this book. No surprise then, that Mr. McCullough is himself a radio talk show host.
The author makes a valid case for many of the points he argues. If you are a follower of politics his arguments make some contextual sense. Sadly, I found the book very difficult to read and extremely poorly annotated. The lack of objective annotation was probably the most disappointing aspect of this book. There are a plethora of opinions voiced in our media-saturated society. What we all need, in order to make informed choices in the voting booth, is FACTS. True, opinions can be legitimately derived. But without factual citations we are left “taking their word for it” when faced with arguments.
There are plenty of voices out there clamoring for us to see things “their way”. While I ultimately share many of Mr. McCullough’s opinions, it is not because he articulated them in a particularly compelling way. There is such a thing as truth, and it is up to us to try to discern and act on it. Failing that we are left following whomever has the most persuasive style. Come to think of it, maybe that’s what happened in the 2008 election. “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” ~Alexander Hamilton
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