Rogue State: American and the World Under George Bush

Rogue State: American and the World Under George Bush

by T. D. Allman
     
 
On the morning of September 12, 2001, America had the love and support of the world. It was a unique moment, when the United States might have mobilized a worldwide movement of nations and peoples in a genuine effort to fight terrorism. That did not happen. Instead the world became a more dangerous place- not because of terrorist attacks-but because the Bush

Overview

On the morning of September 12, 2001, America had the love and support of the world. It was a unique moment, when the United States might have mobilized a worldwide movement of nations and peoples in a genuine effort to fight terrorism. That did not happen. Instead the world became a more dangerous place- not because of terrorist attacks-but because the Bush administration went on a kind of foreign policy rampage. Rogue State tells the story of how Bush and those around him squandered the goodwill of the world, insulted America's allies, lost the respect of developing nations, and unleashed a new era of danger and instability in international affairs in the course of an unelected president's single-minded drive to launch an unneeded war in Iraq. Allman fits the Bush administration's Iraq obsession into the pattern of its wider campaign of alienation and destabilization. From its scorn for worldwide efforts to ban torture and chemical weapons, its refusal to ratify the Kyoto accords, to its own North Korea-like repudiation of the nuclear test ban treaty, and its sabotaging of attempts to make international crimes against humanity punishable offenses, Allman portrays a U.S. presidency in an exasperated, and increasingly frightened world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran journalist Allman scores the Bush administration's ideology and actions in this fierce critique of its actions these past four years. Allman (Unmanifest Destiny; Miami: City of the Future) begins by analyzing what he calls Bush's "hijacking" of the 2000 presidential election. For Allman, the case is clear: Nixon-appointed Chief Justice William Rehnquist disregarded democracy and acted in blatantly partisan ways to bring about Bush's presidential victory. He goes on to sneer at what he sees as the perversity of Bush's choice of Dick Cheney as vice-president, "a crafty henchman," cataloguing Cheney's "acquisition of unelected power and money" and his incompetence in his current post. Allman anatomizes the character of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld axis in terms that are simplistic but that some will find persuasive, and similarly delineates the ideological leanings of Cheney's cohorts Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. No one in the administration escapes Allman's scorn: he characterizes Condoleezza Rice as a mediocre dolt and even the more moderate Colin Powell as marginalized and untrustworthy. Allman goes on to accuse Bush of introducing divisive "wedge issues" and of alienating the rest of the world in his pursuit of American global dominance. Like many on the left, Allman paints a picture of a Bush administration lacking in reason and foresight but full of arrogance. Other culprits in this global farce (or tragedy, Allman quips) are "Bush's poodle," Tony Blair, gas-guzzling SUV-driving Americans, the accident-prone Humvee and the American media. While at times it crosses the line into stridency, Allman's tome will appeal to the ever-increasing market for readable, if highly rhetorical, anti-Bush rants. (May 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An unsatisfying jeremiad on the evils of the Bush administration, Pax Americana, and other avatars of the Star-Spangled Imperium. Even those who agree with former New Yorker staff writer and Vanity Fair foreign correspondent Allman that George W. Bush has "done more than Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein to endanger America" are likely to be worn out by the time his first chapter draws to an end. Allman counters the "willful, prideful ignorance" that, he holds, surrounds the administration with a flood of ad hominem invective that, in the aggregate, makes the rhetorical excesses of Al Franken and Michael Moore seem tame: Colin Powell is reduced to near-house servant status, Condoleeza Rice characterized as "a third-rate, irredeemably conventional intellect," Bush as a "dry drunk" who "taps into a powerful American syndrome of self-indulgent chauvinistic behavior." Occasionally Allman hits a mark, as when he observes that vice president and so-called War Party stalwart Dick Cheney "has never carried so much as a slingshot in his nation's defense," a truth on the way to becoming a truism; and he does a nice job of likening the ascendancy of Dubya via judicial fiat to the similar promotion of Rutherford B. Hayes, whose actions and inactions in office deformed American politics for generations. Still, one has to wonder at the author's journalistic seriousness when he utters sententious pronouncements such as, "The problem with Bush is not his IQ, but his emotional intelligence," and when he presumes to instruct conservatives in what they believe. Many moderate-tending readers will agree with Allman that the present adventure in Iraq is a shameful diversion from the real war on terror and willshare his indignation at recalling Dubya's response to American inspectors' failure to turn up weapons of mass destruction even after Saddam Hussein's capture: "What difference does it make?" But these closely reasoned moments are few, and the rest is finger-pointing and -waving. Helpful propaganda, for those who need it. Otherwise, there's little new here, and nothing that hasn't been said better, and less shrilly.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560255628
Publisher:
Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/31/2008
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
0.96(w) x 5.00(h) x 8.00(d)

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