ALLIES: The U.S., Britain, and Europe in the Aftermath of the Iraq War

William Shawcross, Author . Public Affairs $20 (272p) ISBN 978-1-58648-216-9

Once a prime critic of U.S. foreign policy in his much-acclaimed Sideshow (1979) , Shawcross has now become convinced that the U.S. is the only country capable of changing the world for the better. Arguably, the one common thread between Sideshow and Allies is the laudable conviction that wholesale violation of human rights crimes against humanity cannot be tolerated in a just world order. Just as he excoriated Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger for the saturation bombing of Cambodia, Shawcross now lauds George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But unlike the earlier book, this one is short on investigative journalism and long on opinion. Bush, Blair and Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz are cast as unalloyed heroes in a morality play, with the French and the Germans portrayed as ever-"cynical" villains. The absence of nuance will no doubt appeal to Bush and Blair partisans, but will put off some others. Shawcross offers little that has not already appeared in the newspapers, and glosses over the failure to discover weapons of mass destruction, the contracts awarded to companies close to the U.S. administration, and the growing restiveness of Iraqis in "liberated" Iraq. President Bush can do no wrong; French President Chirac (the "crook") can do no right. This is a polemic, not a work of careful research and persuasion. It contributes more heat than light to the debate over Iraq, and will change few minds. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/05/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-1-58648-347-0
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