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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful ideas to reduce the dangers of wars, 1 Jun 2007
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
This fascinating book records Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar's talks in January 2006. They are astoundingly well-informed and full of good ideas for reducing the dangers of war. They discuss terrorism, fundamentalism (especially in Saudi Arabia), the sources of US Middle Eastern policy (particularly oil), the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Achcar points out that the Bush-Blair claim that they must now stay in Iraq because, having invaded, `we have the responsibility', is like the vile rule in some societies that a man who rapes an unmarried woman must marry her. They cite the US military commander in Iraq who admits that the presence of US troops `fuels the insurgency'. They note that most people in Baghdad believe that the USA's chief aim is to `rob Iraq's oil' and they note that most Americans think that the USA should get out of Iraq.

Chomsky and Achcar point out that the EU gives the Israeli state economic privileges and they suggest that the EU should desist until Israel stops building new illegal settlements and the illegal Separation Wall. They agree that an academic boycott of Israel is a bad idea, but worse, it is a divisive diversion from academic unions' main job, to defend their members' wages and conditions.

Chomsky observes that in October 2003, Iran suspended its nuclear enrichment programme in order to reach a general agreement. The EU said that it would provide `firm commitments on security issues', but it reneged when the USA refused to join the talks. In January 2006, Iran offered to suspend its nuclear programme again; the EU rejected this offer too.

Achcar observes, "There's a general trend at the level of the mainstream media to praise those ruling politicians who rule without consulting the polls; that is deemed a great virtue. But behind it is the very elitist idea, also embedded in the very concept of `representative democracy', that, once elected, a representative is free to do whatever he or she wants, even against the unanimous will of his or her constituency." So the Labour government opposes the will of the British people over the attack on Iraq, the EU, the Private Finance Initiative, immigration, breaking up Britain, etc., etc. But are we really surprised that capitalist states do not represent the people?
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing as always, 21 April 2007
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Peyman Askari (SOTON, UK) - See all my reviews
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It is a stunning book as always filled with Chomsky's subtle humour. It's interesting when Achar and Chomsky get into arguments, achar gives these long winded rebuttles, but chomsky shoots him down with single liners. I also found Chomsky's input to be far more interesting than Achar's
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible background reading to the middle east mess., 11 Feb 2011
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Mr. S. Lawless "stevelawless" (brighton UK) - See all my reviews
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The detail and insights into the political dynamics of imperialism in the middle east in this book is fantastic. These guys really understand what is going on and the method of transcribing conversations over a three day period make it very easy to read. Chomsky has a mind like a scappel. How he remembers so much detail is just totally impressive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Jun 2014
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Everybody should read it very good indeed
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5.0 out of 5 stars the danger of power by hegemony, 12 April 2014
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prof chomsky, his one of the most effective and critical person on the american policy in today's world of politics.

haven't finish reading this book yet.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explanation at last., 11 July 2008
By 
King of Fools (world traveller) - See all my reviews
I've often found myself wondering why the USA is so involved with Israel and Saudi Arabia, why haven't we managed to get peace between Israel and Palestine and why do we hate Iran?

This book provides the answers to those questions in a succinct and easy to follow manner. It's a shame that discourse on these subjects is so hard to find in the main stream media. Would Americans be so shocked to find the USA has a self interested foreign policy rather than a moral one?
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The detail and analysis in Chomsky's books never surprise me, but they always inform me-vital for understanding the middle east, 13 Sep 2009
What this book is, in short, is a series of conversations Professor Noam Chomsky and Professor Gilbert Achar had about various factors in the middle east, such as the history and politics of it, us involvement and foreign policy there, discussions about ethnicity and religion, and what they see in the future, and the result is brilliant. Because of it's conversational tone, for a book of this type it is relatively easy to read, both Chomsky and Achcar clearly have a deep knowledge and understanding of the middle east and it's history, and both bring different things to the book. It really helps you understand a lot of things going on/that have gone on, such as Us-saudi relations, to the kurdish issue, to the gulf war and relations with Iran, to the Israel/Palestine problem and the internal problems within Israel and Israeli politics that make it difficult to solve, and more. The book is written in a scholarly way, fully academically referenced, and every point is backed up by evidence. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the world, and particularly in the middle east.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perilous Power, 7 Jun 2009
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B. Gill "Bal" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great discourse between two very knowledgeable and aware intellectuals but written in an extremely readable manner. The book covers very pertinent issues and exposes the hypocrisy of the US policy makers between their intentions and their words. It's quite amazing how easily Chomsky and Achcar have managed to demonstrate that you can fool most of the people most of the time, as surely the US has done in it's oppressive and undemocratic manner to fool most of the western world. Chomsky and Achcar should be essential reding material in schools and Colleges and Universities.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for anyone new to chomsky, 9 Aug 2008
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this book offers the opportunity for new chomsky readers to know what he thinks about the current situation in the M.E.

although i read many of his books before, i was surprised because this book is very readable, and the conversation style that the book employs is great, offering the chance to view matters from chomsky and achcar's perspectives.

highly recommended.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great even for the layman..., 2 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. M. G. Smith "Mark Smith" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
Not being of the educated masses, i found this book to be an excellent over view of the various issues surrounding the Middle East and its impact on global events. Its very specific in key areas with excellent sources for further reading on particular issues.
Wether its Israel/Palestine, US relations with the Saudi Kingdom or Iraq/Afghanistan..its all here and only on a few occassions did i find it hard going..overall an excellent book.
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Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy
Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy by Noam Chomsky (Hardcover - 29 Mar 2007)
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