The backstory of two men, President Obama and Anwar al-Awlaki, and how the use of drone technology came to play such a role in their careers.
Shane tells quite the story in this thick book. The chapters take turns in covering Obama and then al-Awlaki and their respective responses to 9/11 and terrorism.
Anwar was a promising Imam in The United States and was even promoted as a moderate voice by the media following the terrorist attacks. But as the military began it's devastating retaliation, his lectures and promotions became more and more extreme.
For his part, President Obama was enthralled with the use of drones to attack terrorists. It limited the amount of boots on the ground and "appeared" to be a cleaner option.
Shane does a fairly good job and explaining why President Obama chose his course of action. He brushes aside some of the more FoxNewsy type of rhetoric and boils it down to what actually was taking place that most of the nation wasn't aware of happening. He also does a fine job laying out why al-Awlaki went the route he did in his life.
Shane will explain his views of using drones and how they don't eliminate civilian casualties and how, often, they will only kill civilians. But the two-tone character path was eye-opening for me.
You read about how Anwar al-Awlaki turned more extreme with each web address or online forum and you really can't form a frame of reference. Add to that some of the things his own family remembers and it's a book of utter despair.
Can't we be better than this? On both sides. I suppose that might be a take-away.
This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Tim Duggan Books