In this important addition to the literature of public policy, intellectual activist Noam Chomsky presents a scrupulously researched critique of America's "imperial grand strategy" -- a quest for dominance at any cost that not only has cast us in the role of a rogue superpower but also jeopardizes the very survival of humanity. Examining the roots of this post-WWII version of Manifest Destiny, Chomsky combs through half a century of American history for vivid examples of military aggression cloaked in the sheep's clothing of "self-defense" (Cuba, Vietnam), "preventive warfare" (Granada, Nicaragua), "humanitarian intervention" (Kosovo, East Timor), and "war on terrorism" (Iraq).
Chomsky argues that the Washington propaganda machine offers up a spin cycle of patriotic bromides designed to mask the true, self-serving motives of our government. With this as his foundation, he exposes the tradition of dominant elitism that has motivated American presidents from Roosevelt and Kennedy to Reagan and the Bushes. In case after case, he shows how policy makers have ignored public opinion and run roughshod over international law -- thereby perpetrating terrorist acts as ruthless as those they oppose. Chomsky uses the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a stunning example of how the grand imperial strategy has backfired. Far from eliminating the threat of terrorism, the war against Saddam Hussein has enhanced terrorist activity, as potential targets of U.S. aggression begin to see weapons of mass destruction as the only deterrent to American intervention. Clearly, Chomsky believes the stakes in this dangerous game of global hegemony have never been higher. Reading his thoroughly researched, copiously footnoted, and always engaging analysis, it is difficult not to agree. Anne Markowski