|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.76(d)|
|Age Range:||18 - 17 Years|
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
"Occasionally the right man is at just the right place at exactly the right time.... Frank Rich is that man.... A shrewdly observed and reasoned explanation of the motives behind all this horrifically destructive deceit." -Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times "Frank Rich has the perfect credentials for writing an account of the Bush administration, which has done so much to blur the lines between politics and show business." -Ian Buruma, The New York Times Book Review "A gripping, witty and devastating indictment of President Bush's reliance on public relations to market his Iraq and counterterrorism policies." -The Washington Post "Fierce and uncompromising." -Time Out "An incisive assault on the administration's message control and word games." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Destined to enjoy a healthy shelf life." -The New York Times
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Frank Rich, a New York Times columnist, shows how Bush sold the Iraq war to the American people, and then how reality hit back. He follows the media trail and the Bush administration¿s endless efforts to dominate the media. He shows how, for example, Bush personally authorised the leaking of classified information about pre-war intelligence. Also, twenty federal agencies made and distributed hundreds of fake news segments, complete with pretend independent reporters, like the fictional accounts of Pat Tillman¿s death and of Jessica Lynch¿s capture and release. This was covert propaganda, supposedly illegal in the USA. In Britain, we had similar fictions about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station. Rich studies the USA¿s political culture, particularly its servile mass media. TV news programmes showed war without wounds and routinely assumed that opponents of the war were unpatriotic. The President¿s Daily Brief ten days after 9/11 told him that there was no evidence that Iraq had a role in the attacks, and `scant credible evidence¿ of Iraq-Al Qa¿ida links. Everyone but Blair told him that Iraq had no nuclear capabilities and had never tried to buy uranium from Niger. This didn¿t stop Bush lying the USA into an unnecessary war, lying that Iraq had links to Al Qa¿ida, lying that Iraq had nuclear capabilities and lying that it had tried to buy uranium from Niger. The Blair government echoed the lies. Further, Rich reveals that in a January 2003 meeting with Blair, Bush suggested faking an incident to provoke Iraq into firing on a U-2 plane painted in UN colours. Also, Blair agreed with Bush that during the future occupation of Iraq it was ¿unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups.¿ Now the US state lies that only Al Qa¿ida terrorists oppose the occupation, when a US National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the insurgency is home-grown and thrives on general resentment of the occupation.
I found this a useful book - as far as it goes - which is not very far. Rich gives an interesting blow by blow account of the media sales spin applied to the WMD and Iraq/Al Qaeda lies used by the American government to justify its invasion of Iraq. What he leaves to a much smaller section in the epilogue is the obvious question, " ... what really did trigger the war in Iraq?"His answer, is that in 1992, what were to become the neocons "...conceived a controversial manifesto preaching the importance of asserting unilateral American military power after the cold war. Well before the next Bush took office, these and other neocons fated to join his camp had become fixated on Iraq, though for reasons having much to do with their own ideas about exerting American force to jump-start a realignment of the Middle East and little or nothing to do with the stateless terrorism of Al Qaeda or with nation building." and he essentially leaves it at that.I found a detailed explanation of the missing part of the story in Sniegoski's, "The Transparent Cabal". He shows how hard line Likudnik Jews in the Bush administration and the American Enterprise Institute, JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) and CSP (Centre for Security Policy) successfully hijacked American foreign policy at a critical point in history.Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Secretary of State Powell's chief of staff and was well aware of Feith's Israel orientation, stated in regard to him and his neocon associate David Wurmser:"A lot of these guys, including Wurmser, I looked at as card-carrying members of the Likud party, as I did with Feith. You wouldn't open their wallet and find a card, but often I wondered if their primary allegiance was to their own country or to Israel. That was the thing that troubled me, because there was so much they said and did that looked like it was more reflective of Isreal's interest than our own." In this unbalanced book, Rich doesn't look at the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan (Israel related) wars but to date (January 2010) they have cost the American taxpayer $ 950.322.000.000 and about 4.500 dead. The Iraqi figure is about 151.000 completely unneccessary fatalities and a wrecked country.He is only choosing to tell half the story.
This book is subtitled "The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina" and is a point by point explanation of each and every time the Bush administration has lied to us in order to further its agenda at the expense of the American people. It's not new news, but it may be one of the first times the timeline of manipulation has been laid out so clearly and effectively. Reading it made me sick to my stomach. I know that history shows us this isn't the first time our elected leaders have proven unethical, but that this particular administration is blatantly so, and expects us to follow along with its wishes like lambs to the slaughter, makes my blood boil.The best bit in this book comes in the epilogue and reads as follows:...the Bush presidency could well prove, as its most severe critics have maintained, the worst ever. Its legacy will include the destruction of America's image, credibility, and prestige abroad; record budget deficits produced by unchecked spending and tax cuts; an abused and broken military; a subversion of the Constitution achieved by rigidly ideological judicial appointments, the abridgment of civil liberties, and outright lawbreaking in the White House; an indifference to environmental imperatives, including the energy conservation urgently needed to end America's chronic economic dependence on the congenitally unstable Middle East; and the promotion of America's homegrown religious fundamentalism with both official and political assaults on medical and earth science (including evolution) and the rights of gay Americans. (And that's just the short list.)Well said, Mr. Rich, well said.
Like Bush himself, a little of this book goes a long way. Read the first four chapters and you've read the whole book. Very repetitive.
As for Mr. Podmore's 'expert' analysis, how time has changed the 'truth' about who was fighting us in Iraq. Please, people. Don't listen to ANY review when it's done with malice and political bent. Decide for yourselves as to whether or not any book is worth reading. Coming from an Independent, I would have probably read this book when it first came out, but when I saw how it was skewed and who it was written by, I decided to wait and see how things turned out, and as usual, regardless of who's writing a book on the Presidency or the war, it's always done with the author wearing the rose colored glasses of his political party and more often than not, also based upon the author's said party dogma. The average American citizen is smart and can make an informed choice when given both sides to a story, especially when both sides are truthful and not slanted and this is how this book should be read, and only then, can the reader make up his own mind.