23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Humor in Well-Documented Observations about the US President,
This review is from: Dude, Where's My Country? (Paperback)
If you don't know who Michael Moore is, you are missing a treat. He has an uncanny knack for knocking the stuffing out of pompous statements, actions and cover-ups with well-aimed common sense.
Dude, Where's My Country? will delight liberals, feminists, conservationists, opponents of President Bush, fans of Oprah, civil liberties advocates and those who belong to unions. At the same time, it will infuriate and enrage social conservatives, those who oppose abortion, some religious leaders and right-wing commentators on television.
So many ratings for this book will simply reflect one's personal stand on the various political and social agendas.
Regardless of where you stand, the well-documented questions of the book come together in a way that anyone would benefit from thinking about. The documentation comes in public materials that you can read for yourself. I was struck that the New York Times had an editorial that was very similar to this book on the subject of Iraq yesterday. I wondered why these questions aren't asked more often . . . and why the president hasn't really answered them.
The main weakness of the book is that Mr. Moore cannot resist taking his humor a little too personally in his attacks. I graded down what was otherwise a very thoughtful book one star for this flaw.
The main perspectives of the book are as follows:
1. 9/ll was an attack by mostly middle class Saudi Arabians funded by a multimillionaire Saudi Arabian. Why don't we focus on the source of the problem . . . rather than creating general hysteria about terrorists?
2. Your chances of being hurt by a terrorist in the United States are much less than your chance of getting any serious illness that concerns you. If you bought insurance against this threat, it would cost you almost nothing . . . because you don't have very much risk.
3. The War on Terror is being used for political purposes to advance President Bush's power and re-election.
4. The Bushes are in bed with the Saudis and the oil company interests, and the Iraq war was really about looking after those interests.
5. The United States brings many these problems on itself and should clean up its act (such as our former support for Saddam Hussein against Iran).
6. People support tax cuts for the rich because they think they might become rich. The odds are against that.
7. The average American is socially progressive and fiscally conservative. The Republicans represent a small minority of Americans and are kept in power by wealthy interests.
8. People should seek to dislodge Mr. Bush from the presidency in this election before he starts more wars, spends more money, makes rich people even richer, eliminates more civil liberties, and harms the environment even more.
I was amused that in Mr. Moore's search for someone to replace President Bush, he didn't think of Senator Kerry as a possible alternative. It would be fun to read an update of this book that takes a similar look at Senator Kerry's past positions and actions.
As Mr. Moore points out in the book, presidents do tend to lie to citizens. When I was done, I wasn't sure whether Mr. Bush does this more often than other presidents . . . or simply isn't as good at it. But, the book does make you wonder whose side Mr. Bush is on.
As I finished the book, I began to think how much fun it would be if political debates on television featured such well-documented questions and criticisms . . . rather than the bland "rah-rah" we normally get from journalists in the form of questions designed to make the interviewee look good.