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Rumsfeld: An American Disaster [Hardcover]

Andrew Cockburn
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 May 2007
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - the mesmerizing figure who oversaw the US Army, Navy, Airforce, and Marines - is in the news everyday, widely blamed for the catastrophic state of Iraq. In October 2006 Rumsfeld was sacked, his disastrous running of the war in Iraq being held responsible for the American public's loss of faith in the Bush administration. In this groundbreaking book "Rumsfeld", Washington insider Andrew Cockburn reveals that Rumsfeld's political legacy stretches back decades and speculates as to where his career might take him now. Drawing on sources that include Rumsfeld's inner circle as well as high-ranking officials in the Pentagon and White House, "Rumsfeld", going far beyond previous accounts, reveals its subject in his true colours - as a man consumed with the urge to dominate each and every human encounter, and whose ambition has long been matched by his inability to display genuine leadership or accept responsibility. The book demolishes the notion that he has been a forceful and effective manager driven to transform the military, and intimately details Rumsfeld's all-important relationships to Bush and Cheney, and how it affects the wars that the USA and the UK are fighting today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cockburn also exposes and scrutinizes Rumsfeld's earlier career, revealing his long-standing record of processing faulty intelligence, blurring personal and professional interests, and manipulating bureaucratic systems. Brimming with powerful revelations, "Rumsfeld" is sure to emerge as the must-have piece of investigative journalism.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books (15 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844671283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844671281
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 854,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Cockburn is a writer and lecturer on defense and national affairs, and is also the author of five nonfiction books. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and National Geographic, among others. He currently lives in Washington, DC.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Investigative journalist Andrew Cockburn shows how Rumsfeld has helped to push the US state into political and military disaster.

Cockburn introduces us to Rumsfeld's business career, which depended on promoting aspartame, a sweetener suspected of causing brain tumours. He swung a compliant Food and Drug Administration into approving it anyway and bought enough Senators to amend the Drug Act to extend its patent, yielding the company $3 billion extra revenue.

Rumsfeld played a key role in fixing the intelligence to fit the policy of attacking Iraq. Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamel told US officials about Iraq's arms build-up in the 1980s and also told them that in 1991 "all weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear - were destroyed." The US state shouted worldwide about the build-up, but hid the destruction.

Bush appointed Rumsfeld the US Secretary for Defense in January 2001. Cockburn details Rumsfeld's catastrophic decisions in the disastrous wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. The US state has failed to focus on defeating Al Qa'ida, widening the wars into attacks on the Iraqi and Afghan peoples. So Iraq lost to the invader but is defeating the occupier. The Taliban lost Kabul but is winning the war.

Rumsfeld claimed that he could occupy Iraq with a small force. He apparently believed the crook Chalabi who told him there would be no postwar guerrilla resistance and that Iraq would quickly become a stable capitalist ally.

The US has the largest military spending ever and has spent $500 billion so far on the Iraq war, yet US soldiers' families have to buy them body armour and the soldiers try to protect their unarmoured Humvees with salvaged bits of plywood. No wonder the US army is at breaking point.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hawk has his wings clipped 17 May 2007
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This is a book that makes absolutely no attempt to be even handed , objective or balanced . Andrew Cockburn has set out to give the now disgraced former Secretary of Defence Of The United States a right good critical mauling . It would be judged character assassination if it wasn't all patently true .Some may feel uncomfortable reading such biased subject matter but English journalist Andrew Cockburn in choosing Rumsfeld as a subject has by virtue of the mans appalling arrogance , shady shenanigans and destructive micro-management virtually ensured that not too many will complain too much , if at all. If anyone deserves a judicious battering it's the neo-con compadre of George W Bush .
It's not as if Cockburn has had to try too hard to find people willing to lambast the man and his record , at least judging by the number of former colleagues lining up to testify to their loathing of the man and record his many failures. Rumsfeld holds the record for being both the youngest and oldest Secretary Of Defence and it's appropriative that Gerald Ford who first appointed him in 1975 noted that Rumsfeld was a [...]. Rumsfeld first appeared under Nixon where he exaggerated the Soviet nuclear threat, and has been steadily making enemies ever since , not least within the Republican party . Dick Cheney , his former gopher on Capitol Hill turned against his colleague and even refused to support his nomination for President Rumsfeld has even got on the wrong side of Paul Wolfowitz and George Bush Snr , not that this stopped Bush Jnr returning him to the post of Defence Secretary in 2001. Not that Rumsfeld devoted his entire life to politics .
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Understatement 7 May 2007
A chilling account of the ineptitude and immorality of a US presidency and it's operators. Not just an American disaster but Rumsfeld's incompetence has affected the Middle east, China and North Korea. Sadly with the complicity of the UK government. If misjudged policies were followed with dilligence and proper planning it wouldn't have been so bad. However mistaken policies have been pursued incompetently which has just increased the harm. Tony Blair doesn't even merit a mention suggesting that to Rumsfeld he was and remains an irrelevancy to US foreign policy.
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