America Facing Collapse
Book review of Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies"
[This book review originally published in: netzeitung.de April 19, 2004 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.netzeitung.de/ausland/againstallenemies/282563.html.]
In the most important book of 2004, Richard Clarke decries the regime of George W. Bush. He shows the aggressiveness of modern terrorism and regards America as endangered. Die Netzeitung analyzes this book in a series of articles.
Richard Clarke served many American presidents as a terrorism expert. This began with "pop" Bush (the elder), continued with Clinton and ended with the son of the elder - the current president George W. Bush. With his book "Against All Enemies", Clarke wrote a book that can rightly be described as the most important book of the last years.
Michael Moore proved the popular model with his brilliant polemic against the Bush administration and his illegitimate assumption of power ("Stupid White Men"). After the first shock over September 11, the prescribed patriotism has given way to sober reflection. Many American intellectuals conclude: Bush Jr. deceived the country and drags the whole world into ruination.
With this judgment, Clarke's book is the most profound true story. Typically enough in the first shock from the White House, all possible personal interests were imputed to the former colleague. However the story changed when Condi Rice was forced to testify before the investigating committee. That CIA director Tenet lied before the committee was the final confirmation for Clarke's theses. This regime is irresponsible and dangerous.
Clarke is an official. As an official, he is loyal to his native country and acritical when facts are involved. In "Against All Enemies", he draws a picture of the Bush administration that drives cold shivers down our backs. Selfish, ignorant and arrogant, a mafia goes to work that in many regards recalls that manager who only wants to cash in himself and doesn't care about his business.
Still Clarke goes beyond criticism of the prevailing administration. He demonstrates that terror does not only have the name bin Laden but has become a branched-out network where different radical groups cooperate across countries. He shows that these groups misuse Islam. He describes how combating this terror is very hard. Its range extends from the Japanese Aum-sect and Indonesian Islamists to the sleepers in Europe and the US.
The United States is badly prepared for this new world-political situation. The Iraq war, Clarke writes, is the greatest favor that could be given to the terrorists. They unite against the US that on its side loses sight of protection of its own country and becomes assailable. Clarke pleads for a highly professional combating of terrorists. He also urges alliances with Islamic countries that do not desire world domination.
Clarke's book reveals that the enemies of nation-states today are a network of fanatical killer troops, not first of all states. Clarke also outlines what the West and the US must do to banish the threatening danger.
Die Netzeitung will discuss and analyze Richard Clarke's book in several parts. The first part of the series will focus on Clarke's recollections of the depressing events in the White House on the fateful day September 11. The political omissions of the past years were revealed on that day. Clarke already had a presentiment of the political test of strength that was imminent in the form of the Iraq war when vice-president Richard Cheney ordered the security experts to the high security bunker of the president.