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Book by book by book

Mid-East Realities - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - 30 June 2004:
It's the big 4th of July weekend in the USA in a few days -- good time to remind everyone about all those Bush exposing books out there for the reading. But also a good time to remind everyone that it's not just about the Bush Administration - hardly. In many ways the Clinton Administration set the table for what has happened since Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld took over and for what the U.S. would do once given the necessary excuse -- which of course came with 9/11. And in many ways a Kerry Administration would pursue similar policies, even if with more soothing less crusading rhetoric -- though sadly similarly deceptive and disingenuous if carefully analyzed.
Meanwhile former Iraqi "Administrator" Ambassador Paul Bremer is back in Washington quickly on the TV circuit proclaiming that everyone is dying for a 'noble cause' in Iraq, a country he insists that is now doing much better than before he and his troops took over, though the facts and figures don't quite verify his repetitious slogans. The current American President may even give Bremer some kind of award during the 4th celebrations -- earlier this month in the White House no less than neocon-godfather, and former editor of the American Jewish Committee's Commentary, was awarded the 'Medal of Freedom' thanks to all his neocon kids who now run things throughout the corridors of official power in today's Washington. And rumors persist in Washington that should Bush remain President in November 'moderate' Colin Powell may be out and 'neocon' Paul Bremer may be in.
This list of books exposing the Bush presidency for what it really is all about is an essential corrective to all the propaganda and TV clips constantly bombarding the American people. Of course there is Fahrenheit 9/11 destined to set 'documentary' records again this holiday weekend -- but then Michael Moore's film is not really so much a real documentary as it is a kind of visual Op Ed twisting and sometimes contorting images into emotive reactions and revulsions. In many ways though some of these books are more significant, however in a TV/Movie age even collectively they will not have the same impact though they do help set a climate for skepticism and anxiety. This particular list was compiled a few months ago by USA Today so it's hardly complete at this point. But it is a good starting place for those wanting to choose a little holiday reading, however depressive, sometimes shocking, surely politically and historically depressing.

Bush under attack by a barrage of books
When White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked about The Price of Loyalty, the best seller about former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill's disillusionment with the Bush administration, he replied, "I don't do book reviews."

If he did, it would be a full-time job. The Price of Loyalty is part of a wave of books bashing Bush.

In the first half of 2004, major commercial publishers will publish at least 25 books critical of Bush. Some may add to the criticism about his decision to go to war in Iraq. Among the titles:

House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, who promises to document how financial and personal ties between the Bush family and the Saudi royal family affects U.S. foreign policy (March).

Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror by former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who joins O'Neill as the second Bush insider to break ranks with his former boss (March).

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush by John Dean, President Nixon's counsel (April).

Bush on the Couch by psychoanalyst Justin Frank, who diagnoses Bush as a rigid thinker with a simplistic worldview (May).

Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror by "Anonymous," a member of U.S. intelligence community (May).

Also out this month: Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You by Paul Waldman and The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America by Eric Alterman and Mark Green.

Former president Bill Clinton used to be fodder for best-selling conservative authors. Now, the only two political books on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list are critical of Bush: The Price of Loyalty (No. 24) and Kevin Phillips' American Dynasty (No. 40).

Nation Books' Neil Ortenberg, who published Jack Humberman's The Bush-Hater's Handbook last month, traces the trend to the popularity of paperbacks such as Vincent Bugliosi's Betrayal of America that "hit on issues of the day Bush's stolen election, America's infatuation with military might in a condensed and incendiary fashion." When larger publishers saw their success, "the floodgates opened."

But Adrian Zackheim, publisher of Sentinel, a conservative imprint at Penguin, says it's timing rather than a shift to the left by readers. With the Democratic primaries dominating political news, "it's not the best time to publish a book supportive of an incumbent president."

Out this week: John Podhoretz's Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane and Sean Hannity's Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism.

In September, Sentinel publishes Ronald Kessler's A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush. It's touted as "contrarian" because it praises Bush.

WND Books plans an August book by David Bossie, a former Republican congressional aide, promising "all the dirt on the 2004 Democratic nominee for president whoever that may be."

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