Allies

Overview

William Shawcross, one of Britain's most admired journalists, eloquently and forcefully defends the war in Iraq and explores its implications for our relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.

The Cold War certainties that had seemed so fixed in the 20th Century were overturned by the war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein's Republican Guards were the battlefield victims of a brutally quick war of shock and awe. No less shocked and awed were some of America's former allies: "old" ...

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Overview

William Shawcross, one of Britain's most admired journalists, eloquently and forcefully defends the war in Iraq and explores its implications for our relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.

The Cold War certainties that had seemed so fixed in the 20th Century were overturned by the war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein's Republican Guards were the battlefield victims of a brutally quick war of shock and awe. No less shocked and awed were some of America's former allies: "old" Europe, large blocks of the UN, and half the G8 nations suddenly found themselves outside the chain of command and influence.

Bush, Blair and their allies were driven by a new global vision. Their mission, expressed with great moral certainty, has been called imperialist. In fact, it was simply inevitable after 9/11: that terrible event ushered in a new era with new rules. Shawcross shows what the future will hold for Iraq, Israel, and the Middle East, how Western alliances will be changed for ever, and demonstrates that the war was the definitive proof that a new era of 21st Century international politics has begun.

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Editorial Reviews

London Times
Shawcross gives a useful account of the development of neo-conservative thought...
Ian Macintyre
Herald
Allies is a work of courage and clarity, a plainly, sometimes plaintively, argued piece of common sense...
John Lloyd
Independent
An articulate, informed presentation...has its real value in its lucid and hugely readable understanding of the Bush/Blair outlook.
Paul Rogers
Sunday Times
Well-informed, lucid account...explains why Bush and Blair were prepared to take such enormous risks...
Michael Burleigh
The New York Times
William Shawcross, who made his journalistic reputation as the scourge of Henry Kissinger (in Sideshow), and later anatomized the failures of international aid and of humanitarian intervention (in The Quality of Mercy and Deliver Us From Evil) -- that William Shawcross -- has written a polemic ardently endorsing the war in Iraq. And that's not all. Shawcross also argues for the Bush administration's aggressive use of the doctrine of pre-emption, Donald Rumsfeld's distinction between old and new Europe, the neoconservative case for regime change, the perfidy of the French, the indispensability of the Americans and much else to gladden hearts in Washington. What's going on here? — James Traub
The Washington Post
This morally driven Blair, bringing his intensely developed sense of right and wrong to international affairs, is one of the twin heroes of Shawcross's compellingly written polemic in defense of the Iraq war. The other ally of the book's title is, of course, U.S. President George W. Bush. Then as now, the Republican Bush has seemed an improbable ally and soulmate of Britain's Labor prime minister. As Shawcross tells it, these two very different leaders were brought together by crisis and by a fervent Christian faith that is unusual among political leaders on Blair's side of the Atlantic. — Martin Kettle
Publishers Weekly
Once a prime critic of U.S. foreign policy in his much-acclaimed Sideshow (1979), Shawcross has now become convinced that the U.S. is the only country capable of changing the world for the better. Arguably, the one common thread between Sideshow and Allies is the laudable conviction that wholesale violation of human rights crimes against humanity cannot be tolerated in a just world order. Just as he excoriated Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger for the saturation bombing of Cambodia, Shawcross now lauds George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But unlike the earlier book, this one is short on investigative journalism and long on opinion. Bush, Blair and Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz are cast as unalloyed heroes in a morality play, with the French and the Germans portrayed as ever-"cynical" villains. The absence of nuance will no doubt appeal to Bush and Blair partisans, but will put off some others. Shawcross offers little that has not already appeared in the newspapers, and glosses over the failure to discover weapons of mass destruction, the contracts awarded to companies close to the U.S. administration, and the growing restiveness of Iraqis in "liberated" Iraq. President Bush can do no wrong; French President Chirac (the "crook") can do no right. This is a polemic, not a work of careful research and persuasion. It contributes more heat than light to the debate over Iraq, and will change few minds. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Shawcross (Sideshow; Deliver Us From Evil), a London-based foreign correspondent, is well known for his critiques of American and European foreign policies. His readers will not be surprised that he is critical of European nations-particularly France and Germany-for their policies toward Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He believes that preemptive action in Iraq was justified because of the horrors committed by the regime. Shawcross sees the decision of both the United States and Britain to go to war as growing from the religious beliefs of the two countries' leaders and the influence of neoconservative thinkers in their administrations. The author is critical of the remaining European leaders for their failure to take action in recent crises closer to home (especially in the Balkans), for their use of anti-American rhetoric to play to a domestic audience, and for their policy of continuing to do business with Iraq despite available information about its internal policies. Shawcross has mustered his facts forcefully, though specialists wanting more detail and background should consult Kenneth Pollack's The Threatening Storm. Shawcross's book will add balance to Middle East collections.-Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586482169
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 1/6/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 The Gate of Fire 11
Ch. 2 President Bush and Prime Minister Blair 39
Ch. 3 The Old Alliance 75
Ch. 4 The Collapse of Consensus 109
Ch. 5 The Ozymandias Moment 157
Ch. 6 The Right Thing to Do 213
A Note on the Sources 235
Acknowledgments 245
Index 246
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2004

    allies against terror

    This is a very readable book filled with details of why Saddam had to be removed, and how the U.S. and Britain forged an alliance of right vs. wrong, over the self-interested opportunism of the French, Germans, and Russians.

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