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on 21 March 2004
Coming from a person that is well read on the Middle East, Asia, and other political issues across the, there is only one comment to share with potential readers. Read this book. Regardless of the reason you are interested in reading the book, it is truely one of the extremely rare books that I reccomend as a "Must Read". It opened my eyes to issues and matters that I was not aware off despite my extensive library. John Pilger's book compelled me to continue reading continuosly until i finished it in less than a day... it revolves around Indonesia, Iraq, Australia, and the failings of the international governing & humanotarian bodies such as UN, WHO and teh American influence on such puppet organizations. Must Read.
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on 25 March 2003
Reading this book left me in a state of shock.
Like a lot of people, I always thought that 'we' were the good guys, and that our governments, while not whiter-than-white, were at least a fairly light grey. But the evil (there's no other word) perpetrated by our leaders, as described in this book, is of a type that I thought only existed in movies and the heads of conspiracy lunatics.
But Pilger outlines it, documented fact by documented fact.
I never cry, but I lost count of the times I wept as I read this book. For me, it's been a totally life-changing experience. The world I thought I knew has been turned totally upside down, and I'm left with the challenge of how to integrate this knowledge and DO something about it.
I'll end this review, because if I really start writing about the book, I won't know where to stop. But if you live in the Western World, you MUST read this book and discover what atrocities are being carried out in your name (and financed by your taxes). And it's a grave shock to find out that by purchasing products that are household names, you're helping to create a living hell for people who are already poorer than we can begin to imagine.
The book is very readable (and re-readable). I recommend it more highly than anything else I've read for years.
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on 19 December 2015
Compelling, truthful, insightful and very interesting. John Pilger is a true credit to journalism and if your book shelf is empty from his contributions then there is a serious problem. There are very few authors like him still around, it only makes sense for us to make the most of them before it becomes treason to speak such truths. Noam Chomsky for me is not very layman friendly, John's work on the other hand i feel are.
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VINE VOICEon 21 October 2008
John Pilger has been an investigative journalist for many decades. He is known as being impassioned; some might say emotionally manipulative. The way his books work - and this one is no exception - is that he describes an event, such as life in Iraq or Aboriginal Australia, he interviews people on the receiving end of Western policy and then he confronts the politicians with his evidence, culled from both first hand interviews and academic and/or independent research organisations.

The New Rulers of the World follows this pattern. The subject matter is nothing new but then again, the crimes described in it are old ones, given modern doctrinal disguises, such as cloaking imperialism in the language of 'humanitarian intervention'.

If you are already familiar with Pilger's work, then this is a fine addition to the canon. If you've never read any of his books then this would be an excellent starting position, covering as it does several faces of contemporary exploitation, including Indonesia, Australia (Pilger lives in London but is an Australian) and the Middle East.

John Pilger's analysis shares much in common with Noam Chomsky, who also locates anti-democratic policy making in entrenched structures of power within Western institutions. Consequently, his work is often dismissed (and often by people who won't read it), as shrill, blame-America-first, soft-on-terrorists, anti-Americanism. This ideological rhetoric would have been equally appropriate under Stalinist Russia, with outsiders being denounced as anti-Russian stooges of Western imperialism.

Unlike Chomsky, however, Pilger writes beautifully. Chomsky can often be quite dense to read, full of sarcasm, with lengthy, meandering sentences. Pilger's work is clear and concise, though equally fact-filled, yet the warmth of humanity of many he interviews shines through in his conversations. This might be a difference of style and not substance, it could be argued but the passion of Pilger's work is undeniable.

As with much that is deemed 'controversial' or 'dissident' and beyond the realms of polite expressible discourse, all that can be asked is that the book be read honestly and then to make up one's own mind.
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on 12 May 2003
Pilger writes a convincing fact-filled book describing how the West (mostly the US and Canada) is exploiting the Lesser Developed Nations (LDNs) of the world. Not a shocking thesis, but Pilger approaches the topic with a wide-angle lens and narrows his viewpoint to relevant, first-person experiences.
The only problems I found with the book, which I do recommend, are that Pilger does not offer any alternative explanations for this exploitation nor does he offer any suggestions - things a responsible citizen of the world could do to better the situation.
Pilger does seem full of himself from time to time, and probably should be since he a very accomplished journalist, yet there were times I felt thankful that I had not met him at a cocktail party.
His last chapter, on Australia's obscene treatment of the Aborigines was more personal in nature, read more easily, and could have been a book on its own. Maybe that will be next?
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on 23 November 2016
Certain forces govern politico-economic matters of the world from behind the curtain. This is the central idea of John Pilger’s book, The New Rulers of the World, the new edition of which has been published by Verso in 2016.

From page 17 to 47, in the chapter ‘Model Pupil,’ Pilger mentions globalisation as an anathema by taking Indonesia as a case study, insinuating that globalisation exploited Indonesian workers financially while producing goods — Producerism — for markets in affluent countries. However, Pilger does not mention the level of education and skill of Indonesian workers before seeking employment to multi-national companies. Interestingly, Scotland has also been complaining of economic exploitation at the hands of England. Secondly, Pilger looks at globalisation in a narrowed economic context dissociated from consumerism — an enhanced consumption of goods — and isolated from information technology. In fact, the blend of globalisation, consumerism, and digitalization have engendered a new social hierarchy including its own billionaires such as Bill Gates.

Pilger’s book is anti-imperialism quintessentially and declares that the colonial era led by the United Kingdom was an era of imperialism whereas the post-colonial era continuing to date dominated by the United States is an era of new imperialism. For instance, on page 101, while introducing the chapter, ‘The Great Game,’ Pilger quotes a statement uttered in 1898 by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India: “To me, I confess that [countries] are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.” Here, Pilger has overlooked the fact that the application of Curzon’s words is anachronistic, as societies have grown complex with time: 2016 is not 1898. Secondly, the confession is time-specific, as domination customary in the nineteenth century is not akin to domination prevalent in the twenty-first century. Thirdly, in the nineteenth century, the boundaries of countries were more rigid and assertive than now when the willful fluidity of boundaries introduced through various immigration policies challenges nationalism cherished in the nineteenth century. Fourthly, the rise of democracy itself challenged the idea of domination. Even if domination were deemed a constant factor as a human longing spanning over centuries, the strength of the twenty-first century lies in the pervasiveness of democracy, which can temper domination and the attendant exploitation. In this context, the twentieth century witnessed the battle for the survival of democracy fought on the continent of Europe, where democracy challenged non-democratic ideals of domination such as Nazism and Fascism. The cost of the conflict was paid primarily by European blood; the contribution of Western Europe in guarding democracy tooth and nail cannot be undervalued.

Pilger cites several examples whenever the US, with the help of its allies, inflicted politico-economic atrocities in the world to establish new imperialism. Pilger considers Zbigniew Brzezinski, the main proponent of this recourse. For instance, from pages 116 to 117, Pilger writes: “There are many blueprints for the new imperialism, but none as cogent as that of Zbigniew Brzezinski, an adviser to several [US] presidents [e.g., President Carter, Bush Senior, Clinton and Bush Junior]… The first priority has been achieved, says Brzezinski. This is the economic subjugation of the former superpower [i.e., the former Soviet Union].” Further, on page 156, Pilger writes: “Men like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received tens of millions of CIA dollars... Invited to London in 1986, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a ‘freedom fighter.’ Between 1978 and 1992, Washington poured some $4 billion into the mujaheddin factions. Brzezinski’s plan was to promote an international movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and ‘destabilise’ the Soviet Union, creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, a ‘few stirred-up Muslims’.” Taken together, these paragraphs say that, in certain parts of the world, people can be stirred to act in a desired way in the name of religion. Secondly, the paragraphs call attention to the reality of not only the birth of new imperialism but also the creation of a few stirred-up Muslims. Being conjoined, both faces of the same phenomenon have multiplied over the years in terms of allies, adversaries, gains and outrages. Presumably, not all stirred-up Muslims have been consumed; a few might have been left to spawn their ideology, even if at the inspiration level. Nevertheless, both faces have gone potent to challenge each other on one land or the other. The more the world is shrinking, the more these two contenders find ruses to weather each other. If war is a business, as per the repetitive themes given in the book, the business is flourishing.

On page 120, Pilger writes: “America’s ‘real job’ is to maintain its economic disparity with the rest of the world.” Here, Pilger presumes that the dissolution of economic disparity may lead to the dissolution of poverty in the world, notwithstanding the fact that poverty is a relative term, making the concept of disparity under transition and that over the years more wealth has been generated and distributed the world over, thereby introducing new billionaires. Disparity promotes competition, and in a world of competition, there is no taboo to be a billionaire. Secondly, Pilger overlooks the fact that nature itself was not generous in doling out resources such as coal, gas and oil. Some areas have been endowed with more than other areas. A human being has generally either furthered or resented the nature-induced discrimination. Thirdly, the growth in the wealth of a country cannot be seen independent of the growth of the country’s population, though this relationship has been recently challenged by the prospects of human resource. Fourthly, in the absence of a class-less society as an example, the dream of a classless world is difficult to realise. Hence, disparity seems to be a lasting reality. Interestingly, the bi-dimensional major challenge that the US President-elect Donald Trump has taken upon himself is to stop a foreign conflict from becoming local and to stop the local economy from becoming foreign.
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on 27 October 2003
Currently an International Relations student at the london School of Economics, this is the first book from John Pilger i have read, and boy, have i been missing out. He explores the sanctions that have crucified Iraq after the 1st Gulf War, and the the aftermath of the Afghanistan war, and the so called War on terrorism. He also looks at how the UK, under Blairs blind agreement to follow US foreign policy, was selling arms & courting the very "terrorists" that it now declares as a blight to democracy.
However, If you buy this book for no other reason, you must read the interview with James Rubin, as he squirms under the questioning from John Pilger about UN sanctions and the half a million people who died for "the good of the nation."
John pilger mixes facts with a relative unbiased attitude, that makes this book a superb read for young & old.
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on 15 April 2003
I do not say this lightly. This is the best book I have ever read.
Pilger continues to set his own journalistic standards for integrity with a sublime piece of work.
Divided into four essays, the book sets out to inform the reader of the world's ills as caused by globalisation and imperialism and it does this persuasively and intelligently.
A common thread of injustice, genocide and corruption knits three essays. Taking on the subjects of the widely unreported military coup in Indonesia, The topical UN sanctions on Iraq scandal, and the continuing injustice Australia's Aboriginal population are subjected to. The last of these close to the antipodean authors heart.
Pilger details the bloodshed and cruelty inflicted on the poor people of east Timor by the machine that is globalisation. Often graphic, never gratuitous, the account is one of heartbreak at the scale of the atrocities committed.
There is so much in this book that is directly related to current international affairs that it almost becomes a companion piece to news at ten.
The account of the effects twelve years of UN sanctions have had on the people of Iraq is compelling and shocking. Pilger relays eyewitness accounts of Turkish raids on Kurdish villages, soaring cancer rates from the effects of depleted uranium dropped by allied forces in the first Gulf War, and corruption and cover up in the UN. This only begins to scratch the surface of the truly horrifying story.
The penultimate report is a highly intelligent delve into the medias use of and influence by propaganda. Explaining with clarity, Pilger dismisses conspiracy theory whilst showing that the fear of journalists is such that there needs no conspiracy. He is one of the heroic exceptions.
Naom Chomsky says
"John Pilgers work has been a beacon of light in often dark times. The realities he has brought to light have been a revelation, over and over again, and his courage and insight a constant inspiration"
I couldn't put it better.
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on 19 June 2002
This book is a collection of essays, covering Chile, Indonesia, terrorism, the Gulf War and the treatment of Aboriginals in his native Australia. Although patchey in quality, it is strongly recommended for those who care to find out the true motives for the western actions in distant lands. The section on the sanctions against Iraq and the depravation it caused to the very people we were told it was designed to protect is worth the price on its own.
He may be no Chomsky, but his is a voice that should be heard.
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on 27 September 2010
Definately not a "feel good" read. No doubt will be dismissed by people of right-wing opinion but concurs with many other commentators such as Joseph Stiglitz, Noam Cholmsky and Robert Fisk. This view should be plomulgated more widely to the people of the western world. Only then wil the politicos have the power to change things. Narrow self-interest is already destroying our world.
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