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Lies of an Indispensable Nation: Poems About the American Invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, by Lilvia Soto

Most Americans think that the war on terror started as a reaction to the September 11 attacks on the United States. In a series of poems and essays, Lies of an Indispensable Nation reveals that the seeds of this tragedy were planted much earlier, during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, and that by the end of the 20-year fiasco, on 1 September 2021, there had been eight U.S. presidents involved in the secrets, lies, and manipulations that led to millions of dead, wounded, tortured, impoverished, and displaced men, women, and children.

Lilvia Soto shares with us the poems of sadness and anger, disappointment and compassion she wrote contemporaneously with the events of the first ten years of this double war, beginning with her reactions to the tragedy of 9/11 and the world-wide memorials of the next year. Her essays, based on scholarly research as well as her own experiences as a citizen witness, tell the story of the American invasion and occupation of the two middle eastern countries and end with the rushed and bloody withdrawal of the U.S. military from Afghanistan.

In addition to the history of the 20-year war, Lies of an Indispensable Nation offers us a wider historical perspective by placing the war on terror in the context of other empires, their conquests and subjugation of other peoples for their own perceived glory and enrichment.

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