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Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President,…

Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone (2015)

by Scott Shane

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting look into the Obama administrations perspective on drone usage. Details highlighted in this book brings fresh perspective on the two terms lead by President Obama and the many decisions made by the administration. This author delivers clarity on many foreign policy issues that national news diluted. Parallels to assassination and targeting of U.S. citizens are eye opening constitutional topics highlighted within. Great refresher for those that followed the OBJ Troy mission.
  gslim96 | Feb 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is extremely interesting. Scott Shane draws connections succinctly between the three parts of his work: the terrorist, the president, and the drone. These parts are interweaved throughout to form a fascinating narrative that serves as a record of the past and a prologue to our present time. The drama is intensely human, and better for being entirely real. The reporting is top-notch, the writing captivating, and Shane asks all the right questions in Objective Troy.
  leBleuCheese | Dec 20, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In this well written and thoroughly researched book Shane traces the path of Anwar al-Alwaki from his typical American youth to his death by drone strike in Yemen. The forces that shaped his religious worldview cannot be definitively identified but the author presents some of the factors that played a part in transforming Alwaki from a seemingly moderate imam to a role as a principal instigator of terror. Those factors include his increasingly strong reliance on the teaching of Islamic fundamentalist, Sayyid Qutb who argued for a violent establishment, or return to, an ideal Islamic world. Inferred by Alwaki’s choice of reading material while imprisoned in Yemen is a belief in an eminent apocalyptic end time.
Shadowing the biographical story of Alwaki, Shane presents the dilemmas facing America in our struggle with terrorism; both moral and legal and the paradoxes that are created. Is it morally wrong to torture yet legally right to assassinate, for example. Strangely, the opinions supporting both positions were prepared by the same team of lawyers suggesting that conclusions already decided shaped the reasoning—that is not explicitly stated by Shane but readily derived. The execution of an American citizen without due process is another example.
The author also deals with the increased reliance on drones to strike at the heads of leaders of Jihad in the belief that elimination of leaders will cause the collapse of the various groups one by one.
As a journalist reporting facts, Shane avoids both personal opinions and offering advice about solutions to the terrorism threat to America but the overall scope of the book does show the complexity of the problem and ways forward. To back completely away from the issue as well as ramping up opposition both are likely to reinforce Islamic fundamentalist’s eschatological expectations. Doing nothing can be a sign that they are winning and doing more is likely to renew vigor. A middle road is hard to define.
This book is a good provocative read. ( )
  WCHagen | Oct 20, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Objective Troy is a hair raising story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni- American imam who called for moderation after 9/11, but gradually became radicalized, returned to Yemen and began to terrorize and murder Americans at every opportunity.. Barack Obama’s campaign to murder Awlaki stopped at nothing. In an attempt to murder an American citizen Obama exceeded the excesses of the Bush counterterrorism programs using our mammoth spy system and deadly drones to eventually locate Awlaki and murder him. The murder of an American citizen without the benefit of a trial and the court system is controversial to this day. To me it was unconstitutional and many also think so. The book is compelling and well worth a read. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Oct 12, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
LibraryThing early reviewer copy. This is a well-sourced book exploring the rise of the drone as a weapon of war, and the evolution of the Obama administration in their use. Objective Troy was an American citizen, killed in Yemen after inciting numerous terror attacks on the United States. The author does a great job contrasting the American experiences of Barack Obama and Anwar al-Awlaki. This book whets the appetite for the inevitable Obama memoir. Five stars. ( )
  kcshankd | Oct 5, 2016 |
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The Prophet beckoned with his hand toward Yemen and said, "Belief is there."
- Hadith
(saying of the Prophet Muhammad) No. 5670,
narrated by Abu Masud, seventh century
But what is one to say to an act of destructive ferocity so absurd as to be incomprehensible, inexplicable, almost unthinkable; in fact, mad?
- Joseph Conrad, 
The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale , 1907
Perfection of means and confusion of aims seem, in my opinion, to characterize our age.
- Albert Einstein, 1941
For M, L, and N, and of course, for F
First words
(Prologue) In the summer of 1984, Nasser al-Awlaki spotted a chance to take his growing family from Yemen on an extended visit to the United States, where he had spent nearly a dozen memorable years as a student and young professor.
Sheikh Anwar had instructed him to make sure the airliner was over American soil when he pushed the plunger on the syringe.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804140294, Hardcover)

     Objective Troy tells the gripping and unsettling story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the once-celebrated American imam who called for moderation after 9/11, a man who ultimately directed his outsized talents to the mass murder of his fellow citizens. It follows Barack Obama’s campaign against the excesses of the Bush counterterrorism programs and his eventual embrace of the targeted killing of suspected militants. And it recounts how the president directed the mammoth machinery of spy agencies to hunt Awlaki down in a frantic, multi-million-dollar pursuit that would end with the death of Awlaki by a bizarre, robotic technology that is changing warfare—the drone.
      Scott Shane, who has covered terrorism for The New York Times over the last decade, weaves the clash between president and terrorist into both a riveting narrative and a deeply human account of the defining conflict of our era. Awlaki, who directed a plot that almost derailed Obama’s presidency, and then taunted him from his desert hideouts, will go down in history as the first United States citizen deliberately hunted and assassinated by his own government without trial. But his eloquent calls to jihad, amplified by YouTube, continue to lure young Westerners into terrorism—resulting in tragedies from the Boston marathon bombing to the murder of cartoonists at a Paris weekly. Awlaki’s life and death show how profoundly America has been changed by the threat of terrorism and by our own fears.
      Illuminating and provocative, and based on years of in depth reporting, Objective Troy is a brilliant reckoning with the moral challenge of terrorism and a masterful chronicle of our times.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 03 Jul 2015 03:14:44 -0400)

A dramatic account of the cat-and-mouse game between the Obama administration and most-wanted terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki traces the President's shifting campaigns and the evolution of the robotic technology that ended Awlaki's life.

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