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on 15 December 2006
This is an indispensable guide to the domestic and foreign policies of the US state. In Part I, Blum analyses the US state's use of terrorists, particularly those who fought in Afghanistan, and its use of mass murderers like Pol Pot. In Part II, he analyses the US uses of weapons of mass destruction - bombing, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, chemical and biological weapons. In Part III, he analyses the US role in the world, its relationships with democracy and elections.

He looks at the notion that 9/11 is explicable only in terms of evil. He cites the Pentagon's own Defense Science Board, which quoted, and contradicted, Bush when it said, "Muslims do not `hate our freedom', but rather they hate our policies." He writes, "This idée fixe - that the rise of anti-American terrorism owes nothing to American policies - in effect postulates an America that is always the aggrieved innocent in a treacherous world, a benign United States government peacefully going about its business but being `provoked' into taking extreme measures to defend its people, its freedom and its democracy."

He writes, "Throughout the period of the Cuban revolution, 1959 to the present, Latin America has witnessed a terrible parade of human rights violations - systematic, routine torture; legions of `disappeared' people; government-supported death squads picking off selected individuals; massacres en masse of peasants, students and other groups, shot down in cold blood. The worst perpetrators of these acts during this period have been the military and associated paramilitary squads of El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Haiti and Honduras. Not even Cuba's worst enemies have made serious charges against the Castro government for any of these violations ..." Now the US state is encouraging Florida-based Cuban anti-communist terrorists to help Venezuelan fascist to overthrow President Chavez.

Blum concludes that, to the US state, "'democracy', at best, or at most, is equated solely with elections and civil liberties. Neither jobs, food or shelter, nor education or health care are part of the equation. Thus, a nation with hordes of hungry, homeless, untended sick, barely literate, unemployed, and/or tortured people, whose loved ones are being disappeared and/or murdered with state connivance, can be said to be living in a `democracy' ... provided that every two years or four years they have the right to go to a designated place and put an X next to the name of one or another individual who promises to relieve their miserable condition, but who will, typically, do virtually nothing of the kind ..."
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on 23 October 2017
good read
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on 1 April 2002
Mr Blum's book is well researched and well written. It is not, as I first suspected it might be, a vitriolic anti-American rant. The facts are presented with a minimum of embelishment.
No doubt there will be some who will dispute some of the arguements he presents, but much of it is beyond reproach, such as the section on the US's shameful voting at the UN.
For those of us who are concerned that the British are following the US into one mistaken action after another, it makes very sobering reading.
In his war against terrorism George Dubya needs to look no further than his own secret service to find examples of murder and coercion.
Read this book, then have a stiff drink as you remind yourself that the USA is leader of the free world.
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on 24 May 2011
This book has been thoroughly researched and I find no reason to doubt the veracity. My guess is that most readers of this book will not be surprised by most of the content, though because of the author's pedigree and the span of the book, most readers also may not be aware of. So for that reason, if you're thinking about reading this then you probably won't be disappointed.

However, the book lacks any progression. This book is simply a catalogue of affairs in which the US has meddled, and as a consequence it reads more like a reference book. It doesn't go anywhere, by and large it doesn't explain the background to each affair, and nor does it follow up with the eventual outcome; it simply contains bursts of historical fact - on average about a page in length although some take short (approx. 5 page) chapters.

The information is certainly well worth knowing - and more people should know about this - but soon after I started I found myself flicking ahead to see if the course changed in any way. It doesn't.
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on 19 September 2002
William Blum's book is the perfect antidote to the endless pack of lies that we are presently being told by Bush, Blair and the BBC about Iraq and the constant presumption of good that is bestowed upon the USA.
In the 60's Blum worked for the State Department but could only take so much. He has since dedicated himself to trying to counter through one medium or another to mythology of US political credibility. Like all great American dissident writers he cares first and foremost about the victims of terror, torture, genocide and aggression. That may sound familiar as it is the same claim made by the usual suspects who forever appear on Newsnight BUT with one great difference. Their indignation is also about the far lesser crimes of the enemies of the USA (who almost always owe their careers to the CIA in the first place)
while Blum is concerned with the far greater crimes committed upon vastly greater numbers of people by the American Empire.
His style of writing is clear, precise, verifiable and designed for a generation of people who want clear writing that can be read on the commuter trains and time spent in airports and on planes as well as a good read at home.
The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is that should be reserved for grander works like Chomsky's YEAR 501 but this work is far accessible for a wider audience.
Excellent book.
An important account of US conduct in the world that the folks on the tele refuse to mention.
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on 25 May 2009
This book exposes the crimes of the US since the end of WW2. It's shocking and depressing and the big question is: how does it get away with it? William Blum explains how the United States has bullied, tortured and blasted it's way through the last 60 years. It's lied and deceived, gone unchallenged and created a monster. If you ever had difficulty understanding the phrase 'ignorance is bliss' you'll understand after reading this book. My ignorance was taken from me and the world seems a scarier place, on the other hand media propaganda is easier to see through and world politics is the equivalent of the school playground.
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on 13 November 2009
There is no true democracy, this book is one of the best books I've ever read. there appears in the background an insidious control by multinationals, banks and governments of every countries peoples.

It is apparently true that if you pay people enough money you can get them to do anything. and this is our world today a world full of greed and exploitation.

We have a world whose media television,and newspapers are in the hands of the rich and powerful so the world's peoples never get the true picture of world events,and very often the truth is distorted to bring about hidden agendas.

It would appear that we have to rely on writers like William Blum to truly understand the world we live in.
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on 7 August 2006
As I flowed through the pages of this book, I kept looking at the cover to make sure I hadn't inadvertently picked up a Stephen King book... The content of this book is terrifying, enough to age a person with a conscience. William Blum is meticulous in his referencing; throughout the book he is concientious in not getting carried away with 'rumors' or 'conspiracy theories'... I cross referenced many of the facts. As chapter followed chapter I felt my hair turn white, and realised the mafia that sits unperturbed in the highest powers. It is shocking, but rings so true. Furthermore, current world events seem to be adding the 'seal of truth' to everything mentioned in this book.

I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how the world runs, but be aware that many of the pages contain material that is too difficult to digest, in particular when referencing tortures. I close with this quote strategically placed in the book:

'None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free' Goethe
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on 2 January 2011
People need to wake up and realise that most of what they were told in history classes at school were lies and falsehoods.America is not what it seems, and there is no American dream. Any country, that defies America, or tries to have an alternative model is in serious trouble. Extreme violence will be used to teach that country a lesson. William Blum,in Rogue State, details meticulously the horrendous crimes against humanity carried out by the American Government since the second world war.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2006
Blum has chosen a superb title for this book, recounting the horrors inflicted on the world by US imperialism in it's never-ending goal of domination of the world's resouces and markets and the elimination of competition,especially the maintenance of third-world undevelopment.From the trashing of Italian democracy in 1948, where the CIA colluded with Mussolini's fascists to prevent the election of the Italian Communists,through the US-backed genocide of 200,000 native Americans in Guatemala in 1954 to the horrors of Vietnam,Panama,Nicaragua and Iraq,Blum documents the reality behind the claims of the American establishment to uphold democracy ,human rights and national sovereignty.Everyone who seriously thinks the US and it's vassals invaded Yugoslavia,Afghanistan and Iraq to save lives, and bring peace,democracy and justice to the 'grateful' people of those lands,should read this book and then read it again.This book is THE first port of call, THE one-stop reference on the reality of US foreign policy since it's ascendancy in 1945.It is a devastating counter-blast to the legions of 'journalists',cosily embedded in the corporate-funded media,who swallow whole the received wisdom of our rulers and expect us to do the same.
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