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Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq by Hoffmann, Stanley (2005)

Book Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq by Hoffmann, Stanley (2005)

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- Language: Unknown
- Format: PDF - Djvu
- Pages:Unknown
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (1705)
- Bestsellers rank: 3
- Category: Other books
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  • By William Podmore on July 30, 2005

    Stanley Hoffmann, a Professor at Harvard University and the author of many books on international affairs, has written a very insightful book on current US foreign policy. He looks at the Franco-American dispute, the question of US imperialism, 9/11, the preparations for the attack on Iraq, the war and the subsequent occupation, and the future of the international system.He writes that after 9/11, "the road selected by the United States was that of a declaration of `war' against terrorism, the creation of the notion of `illegal combatants', and the assimilation of states suspected of sheltering terrorists to the terrorists themselves. This was playing into their hands."He suggests, "It is time to refocus the struggle against terrorism, by giving priority to the fight against Islamic jihadists (the most dangerous for U.S. and Western interests), and by spending far more energy on a permanent solution to the Palestinian problem, along the lines almost agreed upon at Taba in 2001 and advocated by the Geneva informal alliance of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as by Jimmy Carter."He notes, "Nothing wholly good can come out of a war that resulted from a mix of self-deception and deliberate deception, waged in a part of the world in which alien control has for a long time fostered turmoil and tragedy. The presence of terrorism is not an invitation to empire, but an incentive for finding policies that reduce its appeal, and for pursuing the terrorists in ways that do not help them multiply. In the case of the Middle East, an exit from Iraq, combined with a new effort by the U.S., the U.N., the EU, and Russia to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and to create a livable Palestinian state, would mark a return to reality, to good sense, and to morality."He concludes with some sensible proposals. He writes of Iraq, "There are good reasons for calling for the end of the occupation. As in Palestine, the occupation is the main cause of the current troubles (which does not mean that they will end if we leave; but whatever we do to try to resolve the internal conflicts is likely to backfire). Continuing U.S. military control, direct or indirect, will feed anti-Americanism (as in post-1965 South Vietnam) and provide a training and breeding ground for terrorism, native and from other countries. American interests would be better served by a shift of U.S. resources toward ... the fight against al Qaeda and its allies around the world - who have become more diversified and decentralized and continue to receive manpower and support from schools and factions in officially pro-American states such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan."We do indeed need to focus on defeating Islamic jihadists. The barbaric bombing of Londoners on Thursday 7 July is to be utterly condemned, without qualification. The inhuman fascists who carried out, or connived in, these acts, wish to push us into a dark age of unreason and fear. They will try to blame their inhumanity on others. But terrorists are responsible for their crimes and we must hold them to account. There can be no excuses given. All of us must assist to unmask these mass murderers.

  • By William Podmore on May 3, 2006

    In this brilliant book, Stanley Hoffmann wrote, "the road selected by the United States was that of a declaration of `war' against terrorism, the creation of the notion of `illegal combatants', and the assimilation of states suspected of sheltering terrorists to the terrorists themselves. This was playing into their hands." Instead of focusing on getting Al Qa'ida, this road widened the war unnecessarily in space and time.About the occupation of Iraq, Hoffmann noted, "There are good reasons for calling for the end of the occupation. As in Palestine, the occupation is the main cause of the current troubles (which does not mean that they will end if we leave; but whatever we do to try to resolve the internal conflicts is likely to backfire). Continuing U.S. military control, direct or indirect, will feed anti-Americanism (as in post-1965 South Vietnam) and provide a training and breeding ground for terrorism, native and from other countries. American interests would be better served by a shift of U.S. resources toward ... the fight against al Qaeda and its allies around the world - who have become more diversified and decentralized and continue to receive manpower and support from schools and factions in officially pro-American states such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. ... It is time to refocus the struggle against terrorism, by giving priority to the fight against Islamic jihadists (the most dangerous for U.S. and Western interests), and by spending far more energy on a permanent solution to the Palestinian problem, along the lines almost agreed upon at Taba in 2001 and advocated by the Geneva informal alliance of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as by Jimmy Carter."He urges us all, "In the case of the Middle East, an exit from Iraq, combined with a new effort by the U.S., the U.N., the EU, and Russia to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and to create a livable Palestinian state, would mark a return to reality, to good sense, and to morality."He concludes, "Nothing wholly good can come out of a war that resulted from a mix of self-deception and deliberate deception, waged in a part of the world in which alien control has for a long time fostered turmoil and tragedy. The presence of terrorism is not an invitation to empire, but an incentive for finding policies that reduce its appeal, and for pursuing the terrorists in ways that do not help them multiply."


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