Boekenlijst

boekentips voor meer achtergrond info bij de aflevering 'verkoop van een oorlog'

Corn, David. The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception. (Three Rivers Press; New York, 2003)

Geschreven door David Corn in de periode dat hij Washington-redacteur was van het progessieve weekblad The Nation. In die eerste jaren van de regeerperiode van George Bush verzamelde hij al vele bewijzen van nogal vrije omgang met de waarheid, ter meerdere eer en glorie van hemzelf en zijn politieke agenda. De presidentscampagne van 2000 (' I'm a uniter, not a divider'), de Enron-kwestie, global warming, stamcellen, de War on Terror....Het boek volgt opkomst en beleid van Bush chronologisch, en beschuldigt niet alleen, maar herinnert publiek en lezers ook aan de eigen 'medeplichtigheid'.

DeYoung, Karen. Soldier, The Life Of Colin Powell. (Alfred A. Knopf; New York, 2006)

Biografie door Washington Post-redactrice DeYoung: het leven van 'the most trusted man in America'. Verschenen in 2006, dus een jaar na het moment waarop hij als minister van Buitenlandse Zaken aftrad en werd opgevolgd door Condoleezza Rice. Leest als memoires maar dan in de derde persoon. Het begin ligt in de eenvoudige komaf op Jamaïca, de immigratie naar The Bronx, tweemaal Vietnam, en daarna de carrierere die wat meer bekend is. Het boek met de bescheiden titel eindigt zoals het begint: Powell was 'somebody who served'. Dat Dick Cheney ondertussen de macht had, maakte dat de Powell doctrine (8 vragen die bevestigend moeten worden beantwoord alvorens de VS tot militaire actie overgaat) niet werd toegepast, noch in Afghanistan, noch in Irak.

Drogin, Bob. Codenaam Curveball. (Mouria; Amsterdam, 2007)

Codenaam Curveball vertelt over een oplichter doe de geheime dienst voerde met informatie die men wilde horen. Geen enkel boek of onderzoek dook eerder zo diep in de zaak van de Irakese informant Curveball en zijn beweringen die ten grondslag liggen aan de aanval op Irak. In Codenaam Curveball worden de feiten naar boven gehaald waarom en hoe een onbelangrijke man met minimale ambitie de loop van de geschiedenis zo heeft kunnen veranderen. Pulitzerprijs-winnaar Bob Drogin sprak onder ander met Colin Powell, met verscheidene VN-inspecteurs, met het voormalige hoofd van de wapeninspecteurs in Irak David Kay, en Tyler Drumheller, voorheen hoofd van de Europese Divisie van de CIA.

Isikoff, Michael, and Corn, David. Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (New York: Crown, 2006).

Filled with news-making revelations that made it a New York Times bestseller, Hubris takes us behind the scenes at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, State Department, and Congress to show how George W. Bush came to invade Iraq - and how his administration struggled with the devastating fallout. Hubris connects the dots between Bush's expletive-laden outbursts at Saddam Hussein, the bitter battles between the CIA and the White House, the fights within the intelligence community over Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction, the outing of an undercover CIA officer, and the Bush administration's misleading sales campaign for war. Written by veteran reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn, this is an inside look at how a president took the nation to war using faulty and fraudulent intelligence. It's a dramatic page-turner and an intriguing account of conspiracy, backstabbing, bureaucratic ineptitude, journalistic malfeasance, and arrogance.

Packer, George. The Assasins’ Gate. America in Iraq (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005).

The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerrilla war in Iraq. It brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration’s war policy and led America to the Assassins’ Gate—the main point of entry into the American zone in Baghdad. George Packer’s best-selling first-person narrative combines the scope of an epic history with the depth and intimacy of a novel, creating a masterful account of America’s most controversial foreign venture since Vietnam.

Rich, Frank. The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina. (Penguin Books; New York, 2006)

This blistering j'accuse has vitriol to spare for George Bush—calling him a "spoiled brat" and "blowhard"—and his policies, but its main target is the PR machinery that promoted those policies to the American people. New York Times columnist Rich revisits nearly every Bush administration publicity gambit, including Iraqi WMD claims, Bush's "Mission Accomplished" triumph, the Swift-boating of John Kerry and the writing of fake prowar letters-to-the-editor from soldiers. He uncovers nothing new, but his meticulously researched recap-cum-debunking—complete with appended 80-page time line comparing administration spin to actual events—builds a comprehensive picture of a White House propaganda campaign to bamboozle the public, smear critics, camouflage policy disasters and win the 2002 and 2004 elections through trumped-up security anxieties. Along the way, he pillories a sycophantic media (Bob Woodward gets spanked hard), spineless Democrats and an infotainment culture that happily accommodates the Bush administration's erasure of the line between reality and fiction. Sometimes Rich's critique of Republican politics as cynical image-manipulation goes overboard, as in his "wag the dog" theory of the Iraq war as a Karl Rove electoral maneuver; more often, though, it's on target. The result is a caustic, hard-hitting indictment of the Bush administration, timed to make a splash in the upcoming election campaign.

Rushing, Josh, (in collaboration with Sean Elder). Mission Al Jazeera. Build a bridge, seek the truth, change the world. (Palgrave MacMillan; New York, 2007)

Rushing, a Texas native and former Marine, is a correspondent for Al Jazeera International, and he is based in Washington, D.C. His purpose here is twofold. He not only wants to dispel many of the myths and prejudices accepted by Americans about the Arab world but also hopes to persuade Americans that they can more effectively convey positive aspects of American culture and American government policies by interacting with molders of Arab opinion such as Al Jazeera. He spent 14 years as a Marine Corps media liaison officer, and he relays the now-familiar biases and misconceptions of Americans about Arabs. What is more interesting and informative are his descriptions of how the Arab world perceives American actions. Although he acknowledges that these perceptions are often distorted, Rushing asserts that American officials aggravate the problem by refusing to engage with Al Jazeera. Unfortunately, Rushing discounts one of the reasons for that refusal, which is Al Jazeera's highly charged, biased reporting. Still, this work is a useful, informative effort to offer a different perspective on the cultural divide between Americans and Arabs. Jay Freeman

Suskind, Ron. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill. (Simon & Schuster; New York, 2004).

The George W. Bush White House, as described by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, is a world out of kilter. Policy decisions are determined not by careful weighing of an issue's complexities; rather, they're dictated by a cabal of ideologues and political advisors operating outside the view of top cabinet officials. The President is not a fully engaged administrator but an enigma who is, at best, guarded and poker-faced but at worst, uncurious, unintelligent, and a puppet of larger forces. O'Neill provided extensive documentation to journalist and author Suskind, including schedules with 7,630 entries and a set of 19,000 documents that featured memoranda to the President, thank-you notes, meeting minutes, and voluminous reports. The result, The Price of Loyalty, is a gripping look inside the meeting rooms, the in-boxes, and the minds of a famously guarded administration. Much of the book, as one might expect from the story of a Treasury Secretary, revolves around economics, but even those not normally enthused by tax code intricacies will be fascinated by the rapid-fire intellects of O'Neill and Fed chairman Alan Greenspan as they gather for regular power breakfasts. A good deal of the book is about the things that O'Neill never figures out. He knows there's something creepy going on with the administration's power structure, but he's never inside enough to know quite what it is. But while those sections are intriguing, other passages are simply revelatory: O'Neill asserts that Saddam Hussein was targeted for removal not in the 9/11 aftermath but soon after Bush took office. Paul O'Neill makes for an interesting protagonist. A vaunted economist from the days of Nixon and Ford, he returns to a Washington that's immeasurably more cutthroat. And while he appears almost naïvely academic initially, he emerges as someone determined to speak his mind even when it becomes apparent that such an approach spells his political doom. --John Moe

Suskind, Ron. The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11. (Simon & Schuster; New York, 2006).

In November, 2001, Suskind writes, Vice-President Dick Cheney announced that if there was "a one percent chance" that a threat was real "we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response." He added, "It's not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence." This view of a White House dangerously indifferent to facts is familiar from, among other sources, Suskind's "The Price of Loyalty," but he adds much here that is disconcerting, particularly regarding the embrace of torture. (It's hard to shake the image of Bush asking, literally, for Ayman al-Zawahiri's head, which the C.I.A. briefly thought it had found in a riverbed in Afghanistan.) Suskind, whose main source seems to be the former C.I.A. director George Tenet (to whom he is very kind), has made news with revelations about Western Union's coöperation with the C.I.A. and about a plan to release cyanide gas in subways, although it's not clear that this threat was more real than other phantom! s the White House chased.
(2006 The New Yorker)

Unger, Craig. The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future. (Scribner; New York, 2007).

The presidency of George W. Bush has led to the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the United States -- the bloody, unwinnable war in Iraq. How did this happen? Bush's fateful decision was rooted in events that began decades ago, and until now this story has never been fully told.
From Craig Unger, the author of the bestseller House of Bush, House of Saud, comes a comprehensive, deeply sourced, and chilling account of the secret relationship between neoconservative policy makers and the Christian Right, and how they assaulted the most vital safeguards of America's constitutional democracy while pushing the country into the catastrophic quagmire in the Middle East that is getting worse day by day.

Woodward, Bob. Bush in oorlog. (Balans/Van Halewyck; Amsterdam/Leuven, 2002)

Washington Post onderzoeksjournalist Bob Woodward (All the President's Men) geeft de inside story over de besluitvorming, machtsstrijd en acties van de Bush-regering de eerste honderd dagen na '11 september' die tot de oorlog in Afghanistan en tegen terrorisme waar dan ook (de Bush Doctrine) hebben geleid. Hoofdrolspelers: Bush: 'Ik doe de dingen niet volgens het boekje. Ik ga af op mijn gevoel'; vice-president Cheney, man van de harde lijn; de botsende ministers Powell (Buitenlandse Zaken) en Rumsfeld (Defensie); en de zeer invloedrijke hoofdadviseur voor Nationale Veligheidszaken Condoleezza Rice. Woodward interviewde ruim honderd personen (en Bush zelf): van Defensie, Buitenlandse Zaken, de CIA etc. Veelal 'informele' interviews, dus soms anoniem. Verder veel citaten uit geheime (!) vergaderingen van de Nationale Veiligheidsraad, een verslag van de CIA-infiltratie-actie in Afghanistan etc. Geen schokkende onthullingen, geen kritische evaluatie, wel een fascinerend en gedetailleerd verslag van wat zich van dag tot dag afspeelde. Een historisch belangwekkend boek dus dat op alle Amerikaanse bestsellerlijsten belandde. Met zwartwitfotokatern, kaartje en naamsregister. Woodward schreef al eerder boeken over de Watergate-affaire, de Clinton-periode en de CIA. (Biblion recensie, Redactie)

Woodward, Bob. Het aanvalsplan. (Balans; Amsterdam, 2004)
Onderzoeksjournalist Bob Woodward schreef het definitieve verhaal over de motieven van president George W. Bush c.s. voor de omstreden oorlog tegen Irak. Op ongeëvenaarde wijze beschrijft Woodward ruim twee jaar politiek achter de schermen van het Witte Huis en onderzoekt hij de oorzaken en consequenties van deze oorlog. Geheime acties tegen Irak blijken al ver voor de oorlog te zijn begonnen. De auteur geeft een vlijmscherp portret van de hoofdrolspelers in dit drama en interviewde tientallen sleutelfiguren voor dit opmerkelijke en onthutsende boek, inclusief president Bush zelf.

Woodward, Bob. State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III. (Simon & Schuster; New York, 2006)
Starred Review. If there ever was a crystalline indictment of a president's wartime decisions, this is it. In the third volume exploring the political carnage and bureaucratic infighting prompted by the September 11 attacks, legendary investigative journalist Woodward (Bush at War, Plan of Attack) dissects the Bush administration's conduct of the war in Iraq. The picture isn't a pretty one, and Woodward's disarming, matter-of-fact prose makes his page-turning account more powerful still. The incompetence and arrogance on display in the highest levels of the executive branch is as stunning-and as unsettling-as the dismay voiced by civilians and soldiers who endeavor and fail to open the administration's eyes to the failures in Iraq, from the complex security challenges to simple logistical matters like securing sufficient translators. Unable to manage the war they unleashed, the principals-President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and national security advisor, later Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice-fare poorly here. Many of the charges are familiar-the president lacks inquisitiveness, the vice president is obsessed with WMD, Rice is "the worst security advisor in modern times"-but gel anew in the light of Woodward's explication. The breakout star of this disturbing spectacle is Rumsfeld, who presides over the conflict with a supreme self confidence that literally leaves Woodward at a loss for words. If journalism is the first page of history, then Woodward's opus will be required reading for any would-be historians of the time. (Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.)