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Radical Aliens

David Cole: The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair, 22 October 2009

The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial 
by Moshik Temkin.
Yale, 316 pp., £25, July 2009, 978 0 300 12484 2
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... today. Where Senator Borah in the 1920s rejected ‘foreign interference’ as ‘impudent’, Donald Rumsfeld in 2003 dismissed France and Germany’s opposition to the Iraq war as the views of ‘old Europe’. The Bush-Cheney White House considered international hostility to the US inescapable, and therefore gave it no weight at all. When John ...

Degeneration Gap

Andreas Huyssen: Cold War culture conflicts, 7 October 2004

The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War 
by David Caute.
Oxford, 788 pp., £30, September 2003, 0 19 924908 3
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... Kennan’s strategy of ‘containment’. More objectionable still are the parallels drawn by Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice between the Cold War democratisation of West Germany and Japan and today’s project of bringing democracy to the Middle East. The only parallel evident at the moment would be along the lines not of democratisation but ...


Patrick Cockburn: A report from a divided Iraq, 19 May 2005

... US is resisting a full Shia takeover and wants to stop them getting the Defence Ministry as well. Donald Rumsfeld flew in to Baghdad in April to make it plain that Jaafari’s proposed purge of ‘suspected infiltrators’ would not be tolerated. The Sunni Arabs are divided and unclear in their aims. They want the US occupation to end. But, having ...

La Bolaing

Patrick Collinson: Anne Boleyn, 18 November 2004

The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn 
by Eric Ives.
Blackwell, 458 pp., £25, July 2004, 0 631 23479 9
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... called talk with ‘the night crow’) is totally inaccessible, which means that, with Donald Rumsfeld, we need to know what we do not know. In establishing who Anne Boleyn was, in appearance, behaviour and allure, Ives has little to add to the penetrating detective work which he carried out in the 1980s. Several alleged portraits are found ...

Because We Could

David Simpson: Soldiers and Torture, 18 November 2010

None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture 
by Joshua Phillips.
Verso, 237 pp., £16.99, September 2010, 978 1 84467 599 9
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... them? The ‘few bad apples’ theory was widely discredited from its very first utterance by Donald Rumsfeld, so it is disheartening to see it replicated in some of the statements still coming from the MoD. But at the other extreme, the idea that a coherent mandate condoning torture runs all the way along the chain of command is also hard to ...

Something Fine and Powerful

Thomas Laqueur: Pearl Harbor Redux, 25 August 2011

Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq 
by John Dower.
Norton/The New Press, 596 pp., £22, October 2010, 978 0 393 06150 5
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... possessed. From there it morphed into an example of the ‘shock and awe’ so beloved of Donald Rumsfeld, the military doctrine of delivering ‘instant, nearly incomprehensible levels of massive destruction directed at influencing society writ large’ and thereby destroying the will of an enemy to resist. Here was Clausewitz’s ‘wish to ...

Terrorists? Us?

Owen Bennett-Jones, 7 June 2012

Terror Tagging of an Iranian Dissident Organisation 
by Raymond Tanter.
Iran Policy Committee, 217 pp., £10, December 2011, 978 0 9797051 2 0
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... as likely candidates for office in any government formed after the mullahs’ fall. A decade ago Donald Rumsfeld and the neocons were so in thrall to the INC’s Ahmed Chalabi that they provided helicopters to bring him and a band of diehard supporters to Nasiriya so he could be seen personally liberating Iraq. But when they landed, it was plain that ...

The Catastrophist

Malcolm Bull: The Apostasies of John Gray, 1 November 2007

Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia 
by John Gray.
Allen Lane, 243 pp., £18.99, July 2007, 978 0 7139 9915 0
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... possible to construct from this knowledge of the particulars a desirable social order.’ But, as Donald Rumsfeld reminded us, there are not only ‘known knowns’, but ‘known unknowns’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ as well. So the growth of knowledge may take the form not only of a transition from known unknown to known known, but also from unknown ...

Driving through a Postcard

Christian Lorentzen: In New Hampshire, 3 March 2016

... of grey bricks set into the brown grass. It was a Tuesday morning, and we were on the way to see Donald Trump address an arena full of New Hampshire residents at Great Bay Community College on the outskirts of Portsmouth. On the radio the former Colorado senator and disgraced 1984 presidential candidate Gary Hart was saying that left and right were less ...


Stephen Holmes: Naomi Klein, 8 May 2008

The Shock Doctrine 
by Naomi Klein.
Penguin, 558 pp., £8.99, June 2008, 978 0 14 102453 0
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... invasion of Iraq and went on to make millions of dollars from the war and occupation. Cheney and Rumsfeld, who were capable of unleashing disasters, maintained their financial interests in corporations that would earn windfall profits from disasters. In such cases, ordinary conflict-of-interest problems are compounded. It is simply not true that what is good ...

The President and the Bomb

Adam Shatz, 16 November 2017

... not-so-hallucinatory scenarios of the steps to apocalypse, while the sabre-rattlers-in-chief – Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un – trade insults like schoolchildren locked in a brawl. Of course the threat of nuclear war never vanished. All that went away was the bipolar conflict with the Soviet Union, the theatre in which we feared the war would erupt. As ...


David Bromwich: I met a Republican, 7 March 2019

... Donald Trump’s​ strategy for succeeding in the November mid-term elections consisted almost entirely of an effort to foment immigration panic. After it failed and he lost his Republican congressional majority he made a feint at appeasing the Democrats, with a deal to keep government running, then threatened to invoke emergency powers to build the wall his right-wing base demands, and at last offered a hint of moderate conciliation ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Iraq’s Invisible Weapons, 19 June 2003

... They were no more sickening in 2003 than they had been twenty years before, at a time when Donald (‘I don’t do diplomacy’) Rumsfeld was shaking Saddam diplomatically by the hand in Baghdad. To pretend now that the evidence of institutional cruelty is some sort of revelation is outrageous, meant as it clearly is ...

Advantage Pyongyang

Richard Lloyd Parry, 9 May 2013

The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future 
by Victor Cha.
Bodley Head, 527 pp., £14.99, August 2012, 978 1 84792 236 6
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... of the men who did most to fashion Bush’s thinking. Paul Wolfowitz is not mentioned; Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and John Bolton, the moustachioed Strangelove of the mid-Bush years, between them merit only seven references in the index. Three of these are to page 84, where Cha unexpectedly records at length the epithets applied to them by ...

The Push for War

Anatol Lieven: The Threat from America, 3 October 2002

... at last bring a discussion of its calamitous role into the open in the US. With the exception of Donald Rumsfeld, who conveniently did his military service in the gap between the Korean and Vietnam Wars, neither Bush nor any of the other prime movers of this war served in the military. Of course, General Colin Powell served in Vietnam, but he is well ...

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