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Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs [Paperback]

Noam Chomsky
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Sep 2000
Noam Chomsky argues that, contrary to popular perception, the real ‘rogue’ states in the world today are not the dictator-led developing countries we hear about in the news, but the United States and its allies. He challenges the legal and humanitarian reasons given to justify intervention in global conflicts in order to reveal the West’s reliance on the rule of force.

He examines NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, the crisis in East Timor, and US involvement in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Chomsky relies on both historical context and recently released government documents to trace the paths of self-interest and domination that fuelled these violent regional conflicts. Throughout, he reveals the United States’s increasingly open dismissal of the United Nations and international legal precedent in justifying its motives and actions. Characteristically incisive and provocative, Chomsky demonstrates that the rule of law has been reduced to farce.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press (20 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896086119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896086111
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,448,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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The indefatigable Chomsky ... One might reasonably ask just how deserving of our anger are Gap or McDonald's compared with the violent depradations of a superpower that alone vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law?... For America to call itself the 'global policeman', he writes, is an insult to policemen everywhere, 'who are supposed to uphold the law, not tear it to pieces.' (Guardian )

In its wide range across the politics and economics of diverse countries, Rogue States makes an excellent introduction to Chomsky's thinking and an ideal Christmas present - treat yourself! (Labour Left Briefing )

Chomsky doing what he does best... An invaluable tool for deciphering the rhetoric the powerful use to rationalise their excesses. (Socialist Standard ) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is a world renowned linguist and one of America's foremost social critics. He is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and the author of numerous books for Pluto Press, including Fateful Triangle, The New Military Humanism, Power and Terror and A New Generation Draws the Line. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly revealing 5 Mar 2003
This book will change the way you look at the world! Being somebody brought up to believe in the good intentions of the West, I had to re-evaluate my view of life entirely. Everybody should be made to read Chomsky, and this book in particular, before saying anything on foreign affairs. Compelling, well-researched, and infinately enlightening, Chomsky expertly uses politicians rhetoric as the perfect weapon against them, highlighting just how two-faced even the most charming of our world leaders are. Brilliant!!!
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading in today's political climate 18 Feb 2003
In this critical analysis of the US's position as the world's sole superpower and policeman, Chomsky uses the track record of the US to lable it as a 'Rogue State'.
From the Balkans, to East Timor and from Columbia to Cuba, the foreign policy of the US leaves it with bloody hands. Chomsky introduces examples of 'rogue' behaviour such as the support of the US for Suharto's massacres, terrorism in Nicaragua together with their voting record in the UN.
As the US is labelling nations as 'rogue states' belonging to an 'Axis of Evil', Chomsky offers compelling evidence to show the hypocracy of this.
No one topic/state dominates this book, it is a superb overview of American foreign policy which should be in the collection of the biggest Chomsky fan or a newcomer to the great man's work.
Easy to read and brilliant.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open the curtains and let in the light 2 May 2003
In a world where mainstream media is so heavily biased towards western powers, Chomsky provides an essential service to anyone interested in reading the truth. Refusing to bow to the powers that be, Chomsky highlights several unpalatable truths about the role of the West in world affairs, and the corrupt, cynical, and often brutal methods employed by western powers to further their own causes.
In this book, Chomsky focuses largely on the role of the US in the Middle East, its stance on Nicaragua, and its support of the despicable Suharto in Indonesia. Not merely another hothead spouting unsubstansiated opinion, Chomsky backs up his words with references to UN reports and voting results, Red Cross reports, and also Amnesty International statements, to name but a few neutral sources.
It is very often chilling reading, but nonetheless if you want to understand what really goes on, and how little of it is really reported, this book is well worth a read. Just be prepared for a few unpleasant shocks.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be more widely read! 3 July 2002
A disturbing book, examining the role of western elites in the exploitation, supression and murder of HUGE numbers of people. Despite being reasonably cynical about the motivations of the rich and powerful I find myself being shocked by the extent to which democracy has been subverted and to which the most powerful nation(s) prey on those with less influence.
Even if only 50% of this well written and heavily referenced work is true it book should be on the curriculum of secondary schools in Europe and N.America.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful - you may not like what you hear. 30 Sep 2003
This is a dangerous book. This is a book that is terrifying to read. This is a book that goes against eveything most westerners stand for.
The problem is, due to the impeccable references and neverending bibliography, you cannot fault Chomsky's unerring, deadly accurate logic.
In this book, Chomsky indictes world superpowers in what is truly a WMD: Facts and logic. Not only does he blow the lid off countless episodes most western leaders would like to forget, but also shows how they have (and will) happen again and again until someone takes notice.
Many call this book left wing, and I think is a fair assumption. However, two other factors swayed me into loving this book:
1) Most of the previous material you would have read/seen (news, papers, articles) will be right wing biased. This merely evens the playing field.
2) Just because it is left wing, doesn't mean it is wrong.
You need an open mind and also be able to accept that most aspects of the politics we all see are through rose-tinted glasses. For crystal clear vision, grab a copy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of perhaps limited value to non-Americans 21 Sep 2005
In a rare and helpful moment of concision, Chomsky summarises his argument to this book in the first paragraph of the opening chapter. The term rogue state, he observes, has two meanings: either it denotes a state judged recalcitrant or "undesirable" to world powers; or those very world powers who (rightly) deem themselves beyond the capability of international institutions to punish. In short, by the second definition, the USA is the world's most obvious rogue state. So far, so hoopy.
What follows is a 200 page, lucidly argued, well-documented (if highly selective), infuriatingly footnoted rant against US aggression. It documents US interventions in world affairs from the time of the founding fathers (Cuban aggression) through early empire building (in the Philippines and the Caribbean), the cold war (Indonesia, Indochina, South America and Africa) to the modern world (Iraq, the Middle East and Israel). In all of these cases, Chomsky argues, the USA has acted in its narrow self-interest, often in flagrant defiance of international law, although sometimes under the mask of righteousness or as a kind of "global policeman". Claims of US benevolence have been undermined by support for a series of brutal dictators (Suharto, Duvalier, Mobutu, Pinochet, Saddam Hussein, etc etc).
This is all very well in so far as it goes. What Chomsky conspicuously fails to do in Rogue States is answer the more interesting question of why all this happens, and even more interesting, what can be done about it. Frankly, while most non-Americans will be shocked by the evidence, few will be surprised by the central premise.
What is needed, and lacking, in Rogue States, something that would turn it from a polemic into a political tract, is some kind of comparative evidence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Literary "Pandora's Box"
This book tells us what we don't want to hear, but really should. It tells us that instead of the West being the source of benevolence and justice in the world, the West -... Read more
Published on 5 May 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A little to the left please
Now I will not profess to have a great political mind and I will fully admit that I am one of those neophytes introduced to Chomsky through a certain book by Michael Moore. Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2003 by Simon A. Woodhart
5.0 out of 5 stars More Americans should read this!
I thought this book was a very very good read. As mentioned before everything Chomsky states is backed up by an extensive list of referneces which is alot better than some books... Read more
Published on 26 April 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Chomsky in his pomp!
Chomsky is like a Psychiatrist trying to help his patient develop insight into their actions and their effects on the outside world. Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2003 by J. Maher
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellente
This book is absolutely astounding I recommend it to everyone.It exposes the true nature of the United States and it's foreign policy with a number of references which are highly... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2003 by JCVD
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific but brilliant
I wish everyone could read this book. The sickening truth about how the vast majority of the world is made to live in poverty and despair in order to preserve the wealth of western... Read more
Published on 21 Jun 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars E X C E L L A N T
A brillant exposure into the insight of US policies from an alternative angle. The discussion of NEW WORLD ORDER is throughly entertained from conception to conclusion. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2001 by ahmed.mohammed@visto.com
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