Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames Paperback – May 26, 2015 by Kai Bird (Broadway Books)
The story of Robert Ames life as chronicled in this book left me with some unfortunate conclusions. Firstly, the relationship between Israel and their neighbors and the Arab world as a whole has only become worse. Suicide bombers are not a new phenomenon with the rise of ISIS but have been part of history in the Middle East for some time. Spies on the ground have a better feel for our allies and adversaries than their bosses in Washington who may have objectives that are not based on reality. The bombing of the American embassy in Beirut and the siege of the Libyan embassy have dangerous similarities. They both should have been better fortified and protected. There is a strange naïveté we have about this. Lastly, the U.S. needs more "spies", liaisons or agents on the ground connecting, befriending or trying to understand local politics and their bosses in Washington should not second guess their conclusions or expect them to conform to all the rule books at home when needs on the ground are different.
An eye opening book. It gave me some understanding of the radicalization of the Middle East.