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World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism Hardcover – 11 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; First Edition edition (11 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385522215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385522212
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,541,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 26 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
George W Bush really does polarize people. Liberals and leftist extremists despise him with a passion, whereas his conservative allies defend him meekly. The liberal media, and the pretty much everyone in the middle, doesn't much care for him either. As the Iraq war descended into sectarian barbarism in 2006, before the Petraeus `surge', his natural allies were beginning to jump ship too. Who would have thought liberal hawk politicians and conservative cheerleaders were so opportunistic and cowardly?

Well now we a this fantastic new book by Norman Podhoretz which gives an unapologetic defense of the Bush Doctrine and a razor-sharp rebuke to his sneering critics. World War IV is the fight against Islamofascism (with the Cold War being World War III). Podhoretz believes it will require heavy sacrifices and patient resolve. President Bush has demonstrated tremendous resilience. Yet a massive failure of nerve and defeatist mentality, seems to afflict most of the opinion-making elite in America. Considering the level of defeatism in the liberal press, among public intellectuals and among the political leadership, it is perhaps even more amazing that so many young Americans have answered the call and donned the uniform in the post 9-11 era.. Podhoretz writes: "In their determination, their courage, and their love of country, they are by all accounts a match, and more than a match, for their forebears of World War II and World War III."

Defending Bush against the claim that he `failed to make the case' for removing Saddam, Podhoretz carefully documents the many instances in which Bush did exactly that. Was Saddam Hussein contained within his `box', as Clinton was fond of arguing? Bush answered this argument in 2002.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kjeld Hesselmann on 21 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
To day the Western civilization is once again threathend by religious/political totalitarian ideologies. The challence is as overwhelming as it was seen in the fourties, when democraties stood face to face with the most evil force the world had seen yet.
Nazism was defeated thanks to a generation of Americans and Brits who throwed in their lives in the course of human dignity.
Soviet Communism collapsed at last. The internal contradictions were too huge to comprehend for the system at large. - To help the system on its way to the "ash heap of history" were the firmness of the U.S., expressed through President Ronald Reagan.
The third World War came to an end in 1989. It's Podhoretz' term for the longlasting "Cold War" which at times were quite hot.
World War IV began in September 11, 2001. Once again an allover war started with an unprovoked attack on the United States. "War On Terror" was President Bush's initial message to the world and the West's enemy number one: the Islamofascists.
The attacks on Western capitalist democracies have displayed various colors as a signal banner: red, black/brown, and green. But they all. Communists, fascists, National Socialists, and Islamofascists display an absorbing contempt for human life.
Norman Podhoretz calls in this superb analysis for an awakening to soberness. Can the generation, in the free world to day, live up to their forebears in their determination to fight evil? Or has defaitism overruled all conscience? Are the Europeans on their way to surrender to dhimmitude? Are America alone in her fight against humanity's enemies? The answer is blowing in the wind.
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5 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Ebbini on 26 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you want a searing defense of Bush and his doctrine, whether you believe it has failed or not, then this book is for you. Otherwise, it Podhoretz's message is basically "I'm right, and if you disagree with me you are worse than wrong, you are immoral!" The problem is that he thinks he knows all the answers for everybody, even if he tries to convince you otherwise. And his answers, the panacea to the world's problems?: "The good ol' American way of life!" Too often, to 'prove' his point he cites that "future historians will prove me right". So not only is this a moral guide to politics, but a guide to future events also, by the leading clairvoyant in the world!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 77 reviews
281 of 337 people found the following review helpful
A provocative thesis about the very real threat 11 Sept. 2007
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The thesis of this book is that the United States and the free world are now engaged in a fourth world- war, this one against radical Islam. The 'third world war' ended with the fall of the Soviet Union, and now according to Podhoretz the West faces another long- term struggle which will be decided not in a year or two but in the decades ahead. The point - man of this war at present is President Bush who Podhoretz sees as continually defamed and slandered by anti- American elements in the far - too- liberal for his taste Western media.
While I am fundamentally in sympathy with his approach and believe that he rightfully sees the insidious intentions of a radical revolutionary fundamentalist Islam , I have reservations about his approach. One reason for this is that when we think of War we tend to think of great military forces in direct collision. True, the United States and the Soviet Union did not come to the ultimate face off, as the Allies did against the Axis but there were two massive military and political empires in direct contention.
Here there is , as Podhoretz is well aware of, an assymetrical situation. Therefore he sees it as a new kind of war, a new kind of struggle which is especially demanding in the propaganda and media spheres. As I understand it he reads the intentions of Radical Islam rightly. Whether it be the Sunni Salafi Wahhabite strains or the Shiite Messianic strains there is an ideology whose ultimate goal is putting all of Mankind under the flag of Islam. The rise in this regard of a radical Iran on the verge of nuclear weapons is at this moment a key and most threatening development in the overall struggle.
In regard to Iran Podhoretz is most forthright and persuasive. He outlines the dangers of a nuclear Iran, and he rightly characterizes the regime as an Islamofascist one. He understands Gulf Oil, America's allies in the Middle East would all be put in great jeopardy by a nuclear Iran. And he strongly advocates as major step in the war the preempting of the Iranian nuclear threat.
Iran also plays a part in another aspect of the Islamic threat, the element of Muslim penetration into Europe. There is by this time a whole literature suggesting that in a few decades post- Christian Europe my well be Islamic.
But there are great weaknesses in the world of Islam, including the major failure to within their own societies confront the modern world and properly adapt to it. The Islamic world is by and large a backward world not simply in its political structure but in its command of the knowledge, and technique of modernity.
So my own understanding is that in the civilizational confrontations of the future it is not really poised for mastery and conquest. Its forces are too scattered, divided, and weak. Consider the chaos in Iraq with not simply Sunnite- Shiite conflicts but with internal Shiite conflicts. To my mind the danger of radical Islam and Islam's anti- American stand is in its power to weaken the U.S. isolate it from its allies, and generally serve as auxillary to the forces which present a greater real threat in the future, a renascent Russia, and far more importantly ,an ambitious rapidly developing China.
On the whole I believe Podhoretz rightly points to an ongoing, and increasing danger presented to the U.S. and the West by radical Islam. I believe he is right in seeing that this danger will not go away soon. And that the U.S. struggle will be a long term and global one. The historian Michael Oren in surveying two - hundred years of American involvement in the Middle East showed many of the U.S. involvement in that part of the world has been deeper and longer than we knew. It may be that the struggle of the kind Podhoretz rightly indicates the U.S. to be in will be going on in another one hundred years from now.
On the whole this is an informative and rich work which anyone who takes true interest in the present world- situation would do well to read.
135 of 177 people found the following review helpful
The Truth Hurts 18 Sept. 2007
By Vance - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Must reading for liberals and conservatives alike. In fact, every voter should be given a copy for mandatory reading. This was a concise and insightful review of the history of US foreign policy, from the post-WW II "Truman Doctrine," which formulated the plan to fight WW III, known as the Cold War, to the Bush Doctrine, designed as a road map to fight Islamofacism in WW IV.

Hopefully, our Presidential candidates are reading similar books to avoid the grave and costly mistakes of their predecessors as detailed in this interesting, and highly readable foreign affairs book.

Some may bristle at the defense of Bush's foreign policy initiative, including his doctrine of preemptive defense. That aside, it provides a cogent and readable explanation for its underpinnings rather than the puerile name-calling that the left is prone to engage in.
155 of 204 people found the following review helpful
Should Be Required Reading 17 Sept. 2007
By L. Young - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding analysis of the five years post 911. Podoretz places The War on Terror (or what he calls WW IV) in the context of the last sixty years of U.S. foreign policy. Drawing valid parallels between the response of the media, academia, and political leaders to WW 2, and the Cold War (or what he calls WWIII) Podhoretz has a clear vision of the dangers of the world today. He compares Bush favorably to Truman and asserts that history will prove the President to be a great president in the foreign policy arena. However, what Podhoretz fails to do is to point out explicitly the dangers of pulling out of Iraq before achieving success. Should be required reading.
27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
When will we start truly naming our enemy? 24 Nov. 2007
By A. Richert - Published on
Format: Hardcover
No one wants to say the word. From the President (he only occasionally uses the term), to our Congress, to the media; they use the words "War on Terror", along with other creative titles. I believe Norman Podhoretz's newest book title appropriately names it, World War IV, The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism. The key word being Islamofascism.

World War IV does a very good job of describing our current struggle and the importance that we as a nation win in the battle against Islamofascism. Below is a description of two to the key chapters in World War IV.

Podhoretz's book does an excellent job of laying out the United States' foreign policy since WWII, describing the Truman Doctrine and the process of fighting WWIII, which was often referred to as the Cold War to Bush's current doctrine of how to fight WWIV. Chapter two "How We Emboldened the Terrorists" is an excellent chapter showing how President Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan (yes, even Reagan), H. W. Bush and Clinton appeased and/or ignored terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens and interests and how this indeed did embolden our enemy.

I believe chapter eleven, The Radicalization of the Democrats, is worth the price of the book alone. Podhoretz succinctly refutes the argument of "Bush lied and people died". After reading this chapter you will see why Podhoretz states "If, given all this, George W. Bush had failed to take action against Iraq, he would have been guilty of an egregious dereliction of his responsibility to `preserve, protect, and defend' this country `against all enemies, foreign and domestic' and for that he would truly have deserved to be impeached". (pg. 161). Two be fair, Podhoretz also addresses the right in chapter twelve, Defeatism on the Right.

Our current politicians and citizenry would benefit from reading this book.
29 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A cogent analysis 26 Sept. 2007
By D. Moore - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Podhoretz does the literate public a favor by presenting the strategic perspective from which any reasonable analysis of the current basic conflict between Islamism and its many adversaries must begin.

For some reason, the Left insists on regarding al Qaeda and its relations as avenging angels of history, the apotheosis of the poor brown people come back to revenge themselves on the white oppressor-capitalists.

Underlying this is the notion that al Qaeda and its relations do not pose an "existential threat" - or, in the words of one of my law professors, "they can't destroy us."

This is an interesting tack from which to begin. Podhoretz highlights the great geopolitical framework created by the military and diplomatic dispositions resulting from the conclusion of the first Long War (1914-1945) - or the war against German Militarism. The reader ought to be reminded that the Wehrmacht managed to kill something like 5 million or so of its adversaries' armies in 1914-1918, while incurring about 1.8 million casualties, and managed to kill something like 30 million in the second, while suffering roughly 3 million casualties. The USSR suffered something like 27 million casualties. Would not one presume that such catastrophic losses, resulting from armies certainly attempting to pose an "existential threat" to their adversaries, cause national death?

Yet they did not. So perhaps whether an enemy poses an "existential threat" ought not to be construed as the apocalyptic and therefore at least quasi-mythical event of instanteous thermonuclear extinction envisaged in the Cold War. It is unlikely that even this event would in fact lead to complete "existential" destruction.

So the "existential threat" meme offered by the political critics - and they are only dealing with the domestic political aspect of the question, shamefully - is basically a straw man. The truth is one does not wield one's national defense solely in the face of existential threats. Perhaps rather one might do better to consider the threat posed by Islamism + WMD in major USA city as one which, should it occur, would result in a USA and strategic environment completely beyond the imagination of Bush's critics. It is true that the current battle, in its current phase, has already forced some changes on us; the political critics would counter that it is Bush, and not the Islamists, who have done this.

All I can say is, read Podhoretz with an open mind and attention not to the domestic political ramifications of the analysis, but with attention first to the strategic situation, with its historical roots in the geopolitical framework that emerged in 1945 - and then imagine it was your job to figure out how to preserve all the good of that system for yourself and for the other participating nations in the face of "real existing" Islamism, who are assuredly not the avenging angels of politics or teleological history they are apparently, even if only rhetorically, taken to be by so many.

And a word on "Islamofascism" - fascism as it actually occurred was a species of authoritarian movement that arose in virtually every country of Europe following the First World War. It arose in Italy, Germany, France, Romania, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Austria - even England had a variety of fascist party. The first cause is the collapse of Empire, the second is the militarization of society required by the First World War, the third is severe economic depression. Every one of these countries' fasicsms bears certain similarities to one another, notably total control by a charismatic leader or group who promise a return to a mythologized past, but most are milieu-specific; they are ultimately idiosyncratic. Italian fascism, for example, is quite distinct from National Socialism, and both are different from Franco's government, although Spain and Italy are more alike. All three are importantly different from Romanian or Finnish fascism. All hated the liberal West, which was regarded as decadent. Ultimately, all were attempts to re-create a legitimate authoritarian antidote to the loss of the former government and against the temptation of Bolshevism - much more real a threat than is remembered (because the socialist-academic movement has obscured its role - seriously, I'm not being an idiot right-wingere here). "Islamism" - i.e., Salafi Islam as the engine of revolutionary brigades, the purpose of establishing a Caliph, anti-Semitism - is fascism in the Islamic world. Islamo-fascism is therefore a perfectly appropriate description to apply here.
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