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This book is far from easy to read, but that's not because it's badly written, quite the opposite. Page after page of Rogue States slaps you stone cold in the face as what you perceive to be 'the real world' is totally reinvented. Post-September 11th many people in the UK gave their full backing to what is now known as 'The War Against Terrorism' for what was seen as 'a most horrific attack against the whole of the free and democratic world' (quote: Tony Blair, far too often). Are we free? Are we at all truly democratic? Or have we through mis-education and social training living under the charade of perceived freedom and democracy? Rogue States will make you question your core beliefs on these matters, backing up every arguement with hard facts. For me the most significant aspect of September 11th is that is was 'seen' and seen by the whole of the world, live on TV. But New York rather unfairly has a greater number of cameras-per-square-mile than the Colombian Amazon, the crop fields of Laos and the Kurdish villages of southern Turkey. It's here where even greater crimes against humanity are being performed, with the US implicity involved and the media ignorant. There's a much bigger picture out there being swept under the carpet and into the pages of history. A prime example of recent media ignorance would come not from this book but from a recent incident on ABC News with Peter Jennings. Human Rights Watch recently released their annual report on abuses of Human Rights around the world, with the US the featuring prominently for the deaths caused to thousands in Afghanistan from the extensive bombing of civilian areas. Did ABC mention this? No, not even a sentence. He instead chose to focus on smaller parts of the report that mentioned China and others. As always, what you aren't being told is the information you most require in order to make a fair judgement. Chomsky's writing brings you, along with him, to come to the horrifying conclusion that Human Rights no longer exist in the 21st Century. They have been replaced or, rather, disregarded in favour of what suits the New World Order... aka USA. Learn about the IMF and how some poor nations will never be able to catch up with their debts despite having already paid greatly more than the original loans. Learn about Kosovo and how atrocities were in fact escalated knowingly before intervention, as was the case in East Timor, also covered. Learn a little about the cigarette trade, learn what effect heavily-subsidized US agri-business has on some of this planets poorest nations and learn all about why the 'Drug War' in Colombia is little more than a political marketing stunt... what drug war? If you want the truth, if you think you can handle the truth, then the first step is to turn off the TV. The second, buy this book, it is your duty as a human being if you, as a human being, believe that all should be equal no matter what their creed or colour. This book will leave you numb and that is why in closing I must ask you to truly consider this: Do you want the truth? Because once you've got it, you'll have to live with it.
A long, long time ago (well, not that long ago, say about the time Ronnie Reagan and Maggie Thatcher ruled the world), the ‘evil empire’ (Soviet Russia) was the great enemy that justified the bombing of poor defenceless 3rd countries, the undermining of sovereign governments, the subverting of ‘unfriendly’ popular movements and a massive build-up of weapons and military spending. The existence of a monolithic and demonstrably different system, (even one as flawed as State Socialism), was so useful to Western governments and corporations that they would have needed to invent one if one didn’t exist. Now, with the ‘evil’ empire lapsing into 3rd world poverty and corruption, ‘our’ governments need to invent new enemies to continue as before. Forget a peace dividend of diverted military spending, forget turning arms-money into money for hospitals and education. Into the gap created by the demise of ‘communism’ have stepped the ‘rogue states’. The list should be fairly obvious: Iraq, Serbia, Libya, North Korea, Cuba. Half of these we are still bombing regularly, the rest we are blockading. Notice also how few of these are right-wing or pro-US dictatorships. Where is Colombia? Why aren’t the pro-US governments who depend on death squads listed as rogue states? Chomsky, in his usual scholarly manner turns the question on its head as asks ‘who are the real rogue states?’ Which states have consistently flouted UN resolutions, have refused to sign basic UN conventions (such as human rights, rights of children etc). Which states have launched attacks on sovereign nations? Which nations have subverted foreign governments? Funnily enough his list of answers bears little resemblance to the tabloid list. In almost every case his answer is the United States, with Britain tagging along. I won’t attempt to summarise Chomsky’s evidence. As one would ex pect his sources are impeccable, he has done his research and it shows. His writing is crystal clear, and though he’s an academic it’s clear that he’s engaged with the world around him. The writing style is concise and to the point without being unduly dry, this is definitely one of the more easy to read books that he’s written. In reading ‘Rogue States’ Chomsky’s anger comes through loud and clear. It works, too. Read this and you’ll feel angry too. Angry that what we read in the press is so at odds with what is going on in the world. Angry that our governments collude in the big-power politics of the States. This is an enlightening book, and one that can be recommended without question.
A look at the concept of 'rogue states', who they are and what they do.