The book I read to research this post was Hidden Agendas by John Pilger which is an excellent book that I bought from a local secondhand bookstore. This book is around 610 pages so is a pretty decent length and was published in 1998 so is a bit dated but very interesting nonetheless. The book is a social commentary on the world politics of that time and much of it is still quite relevant. One of the things looked at is the First Gulf War where we were treated to footage of so called smartbombs and told not many Iraqis would die because they carefully selected targets. In fact 250,000 Iraqis died and I remember at that time Emma Thompson the actress made quite an apt quote that she didn’t know there was so much empty real estate in Baghdad. In many ways that war was even worse than the Vietnam War because the explosive power of these weapons was greater. Just one of these bombs could take out an entire village and we weren’t shown the effects of the extensive carpet bombing carried out by the B-52 bombers. Much of US foreign has been and still is centred around keeping labor prices in foreign countries low so this can be exploited by US companies. Even the sanctions against Iraqi oil were probably at least partly to keep the crude oil price artificially high which benefitted US companies and friendly countries like the Saudi’s. In Britain around this time we saw trade union power being diminished to the extent that nowadays most workers don’t bother joining a trade union. This of course has benefitted big business where often workers who have worked for them can be offered flexible working practices like reduced wages without the need to make them redundant first thus saving the company a fortune. If you look at some of the conflicts around this time like Columbia where allegedly they were going after bigtime drug dealers but often they were left alone and it was a cover for going after nationalist guerillas who were just fighting for better conditions. If you look at the Mau Mau Emergency in Kenya in the 60’s many of the villagers forcibly moved were essentially put in concentration camps with food and water withheld from villagers who supposedly supported the Mau Mau. Death squads were used to hunt them down and despite them only killing 32 white settlers, 10,000 Kenyans were killed. As many of you probably know I like doing controversial history and this book certainly gives you food for thought. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it. On television in particular due to the need for ratings news programmes tend to focus on domestic news and that tends to centre around domestic politicians and often their personal affairs. This book takes a different perspective and I would definitely recommend it.