review by: Eric Bochene / May 12, 2003

With the Cheney-Bush junta conducting “perpetual war”, Vidal asks whose interests are served by a doctrine of pre-emptive attack. Was the rubble in Afghanistan turned to more rubble to avenge the 3,000 slaughtered on September 11? Or was Osama “chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan”? After all, Corporate America has long been excited by Eurasia’s mineral wealth.

And whatever happened to Osama? “Once Afghanistan looked to be within the fold, the junta, which had managed with some success to pull off a complex diplomatic-military caper, abruptly replaced Osama, the personification of evil, with Saddam Hussein. This has been hard to explain since there is no US intelligence to connect Iraq with 9/11. Doubtless, ‘evidence’ is now being invented. But its uphill work, not helped by stories in the US press about the vast oil wealth of Iraq which must, for the sake of the free world, be reassigned to US consortiums.”

Vidal exposes that America has been in a constatnt state of alert and ready for war since the World War II era. He shows how America has been in a vengeful mood and where the media is assigned its familiar task of inciting public opinion, where the citizenry are reduced to spear-carrying and the Cheney-Bush junta is the latest, most lethal–and unconstitutional–advocate of Corporate America’s Enemy-of-the-Month club.


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Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels, five plays, many screenplays, more than two hundred essays, and a memoir. The Times Literary Supplement (UK) noted that Vidal’s United States (Essays 1952-92) is one of the great American books of the twentieth century. It won the 1993 National Book Award.

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