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Posted May 27, 2004
This gripping and passionately written book shows how reactionaries use George Orwell to cover their warmongering and to smother their opponents. Conservatives and social democrats alike wrap themselves in Orwell¿s mantle to attack democracy and sovereignty. Orwell all his life adopted the Etonian pose (like Boris Johnson today), ¿I¿m really a frightfully decent chap, so you must excuse my attitudes to women, Jews, the working class, socialists, communists ¿ ¿ In his extensive research, Lucas has found some remarkable material. General Anthony Zinni, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, ¿Access to energy drives all U. S. policy in the region.¿ When Rupert Murdoch asked Blair in March 2003 what the Sun could do to help him, Blair said, ¿Step up the attacks on the French.¿ The broadcaster Michael Savage said, ¿We need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to kill the enemy.¿ Lucas reminds us that the Guardian reported as early as 27 December 2002 that the CIA was using torture at the Bagram air base, and, on 7 March 2003, that US forces had beaten Afghan prisoners to death. Christopher ¿I¿d vote for Bush¿ Hitchens said that the war ¿will be greeted by the majority of the Iraqi people as an emancipation.¿ On the occupation, a State Department official observed, ¿the bottom line is we control the purse strings, the appointments, and anything else of political value.¿ Lucas quotes Edward Said, ¿Demonisation of the Other is not a sufficient basis for any kind of decent politics, certainly not now when the roots of terror in injustice can be addressed, and the terrorists isolated, deterred, or put out of business.¿ That one sentence contains more sense about how to fight Al Qa¿ida than all the Bush and Blair lexicon of lies. We must right injustices, especially the Israeli denial of sovereignty to the Palestinian people (against the disgusting lie that attacking Iraq could bring peace between Israel and Palestine); and we must isolate, deter or kill Al Qa¿ida¿s leaders. We need to do both. We can fight for justice, without supporting terror, and we can oppose terror, without supporting the US empire - to deny this is to accept Bush¿s own logic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.