Imperial Overstretch: George W. Bush and the Hubris of Empire / Edition 1

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Burbach and Tarbell argue that George W. Bush has fundamentally changed America's place in the world—for the worse. Hijacked by neoconservatives and the petro-military complex, the nation that once broke from an empire is swiftly becoming an empire itself. Fed by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; a never-ending fear of terrorism; mushrooming defense expenditures; and the slow but steady erosion of civil liberties on the home front, is this empire in danger of becoming too large to survive? What are the costs—in lives at home and abroad—of failure? Who is driving these policies? And—most important of all—can Americans change direction and restore America's reputation in the world as the shining "city on the hill"?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Imperial Overstretch is a brilliantly argued narrative of the past, present and future of the American global imperial project. Indispensable reading!"-author of Declining World Order: America's Imperial Geopolitics

"Roger Burbach and Jim Tarbell provide us with indispensable insights into why, for all its bluster and armed might, the American empire has feet of clay. Provocative and comprehensive, this book is must reading for the global resistance movement."-Walden Bello, 2003 Recipient, Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize)

"A brilliant expose of savage greed and imperial hubris masquerading as the United States of America."-Mike Davis, University of California at Irvine

"Imperial Overstretch is indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand the underlying motives for the US invasion of Iraq. Placing the Iraqi occupation in the context of the administration's imperial design, the authors highlight the fatal flaws in its' destructive drive for global domination."-Michael Klare, author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Petroleum Dependency

"Imperial Overstretch is a sweeping view of the history of US empire, the economic and military underpinnings of this empire, and the rise of the petro-military complex under the Bush administration. It is essential reading for those wishing to understand the rise of the neo-cons, the political birthing of George Bush and the imperial hijacking of September 11. But most of all, Imperial Overstretch is an urgent call to the American public to join the global movement against corporate and military domination, to jointly slay the imperial beast that is a menace to us at home and abroad."—Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and the women's peace group CodePink

"As at time when American imperialism is in a particularly brutal and violent phase, this book 0is essential reading."-David Barsamian, Alternative Radio, and co-author with Arundhati Roy of The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile and with Noam Chomsky of Propaganda and the Public Mind

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842774960
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Burbach is Director of Research and Publication at the Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA) in Berkeley, California. Jim Tarbell is a freelance writer and broadcaster based in California.

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Table of Contents

• Bush and the Costs of the New American Imperium
• Empire as a Way of Life
• The US in the Age of Globalization
• Neo-Conservatives and the Petro-Military Complex
• The Politics of Fear: Bush Hijacks September 11
• The Doctrine of Pre-emptive War and the Iraqi Debacle
• Imperial Overstretch: An American Exit?
• Bibliography
• Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Useful analysis, poor politics

    On the evening of 9/11, Bush told his cronies, ¿This is a great opportunity.¿ The US ruling class seized the chance to expand its empire. Its attack on Afghanistan killed more than 3,000 civilians and overthrew the Taliban government - which had not attacked the USA. It failed to get the Al Qaida leadership, which had attacked the USA. Then Bush, with Labour¿s support, attacked Iraq, which has never attacked the USA, killing, according to The Lancet`s recent estimate, more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children. The US occupation government in Iraq and its puppet have kept Saddam¿s labour laws banning some trade unions and forbidding all strikes. In June 2003, US troops stormed the Iraqi Workers¿ Federation of Trade Unions¿ offices and arrested its leaders. The authors trace the bones of empire in the drive for oil and bases. They describe the Bush crowd and Bush himself. They note the traditional US ruling class aim of `scaring the hell out of the American people.¿ As ever, empire brings aggressive wars `to prevent war¿, violent military occupations and vile war crimes. The US is indeed a giant with feet of clay. Its military forces are dispersed over 153 countries. Its leadership is pathetically inadequate to the impossibly huge tasks of running an empire. Its economy is overstretched. The government deficit was $375 billion last year, the trade deficit $435 billion, so Bush had to borrow $500 billion abroad. An empire in decline produces chaos at home and abroad. How do the authors suggest that we beat this empire? By building links between the campaigning environmental, peace and anti-globalisation groups, and by ever-bigger demonstrations and Forums! But occasional international contacts between activists change nothing. The endemic failures of the Second and Third Internationals prove this beyond doubt. Their approach is pure anarchism. It rejects working in trade unions and rejects workers¿ nationalism - it is a recipe for permanent subjection and defeat. Only solid working class politics, rooted in national trade unions, can defeat the capitalist classes who run the empires.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2004

    A Must Read

    This book, although it does not break new ground as to the economic motives usually found behind foreign policy, does show how the second Bush administration has abandoned any semblance of ethics or common decency in the conduct of both its domestic and foreign policies. Anyone who reads this book and is not revolted and incensed by the arrogance and total disregard of the real interests of this country would do well to question what they really believe in. It is immaterial which political party one belongs to. There is plenty of meat for all.

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