Reviewed February, 2006
Osama Bin Laden correctly recommended this book to the U.$. public in his latest video released from a secret hiding place. Blum's book is an expansive update on what we need to know about u.$. interventions around the world.
The main point from the book we should learn is that Amerikkka operates in a fashion nothing like the image of so-called democracy and freedom. People may wish for democracy and freedom, but the world in the u.$. image does not actually work that way. When the U.S. Government supported candidate does not win an election, assassinations and coups are on the way via the CIA. People who still believe in reform or ballot box struggle after learning the facts in this book prove themselves hopelessly naive. It's not enough to win an election and then have the CIA overthrow the victor. The true representative of a country's majority must fight a People's War against the imperialist oppressors. One may start with a belief in bourgeois democracy and still end up becoming a Maoist in countries dominated by u.$. imperialism.
Thanks to Osama Bin Laden's recommendation, Rogue State hit #30 on the Amazon best-seller's list. On the other hand, many will add to their ignorance by using the Osama Bin Laden recommendation as an excuse not to read the book, and yet go on saying that the other side is just brutal terrorists with nothing to say and no goals. As we wrote this review, Bu$h said in public that he believed Osama Bin Laden helped to elect him with a speech a few days before the election. Then again, Osama Bin Laden probably knew very well what the effect of his words were on the average Amerikan voter. In the case of this book though, Blum has some very sharp criticism of Democrats, including their role in the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela for 28 years.
Because of the Osama Bin Laden recommendation, William Blum felt obliged to point out that the original edition appeared before the bombing of the World Trade Center in 2001. That's an example of pandering and failing to address the flawed reasoning methods people are employing to justify their exploiter and oppressor politics. Whether Osama Bin Laden endorsed the book and even if William Blum were Osama Bin Laden in disguise would not matter one bit as to the truth or falseness of Rogue State. When we fail to fight the battle connected to that and win, we give into identity politics, which is merely an extended variety of ad hominem reasoning. People who are too insecure to read a book because of Osama Bin Laden's connection or lack thereof to it only demonstrate that it is they who have nothing to say: they can't have anything to say, because they haven't read the other side. It's a waste of time talking with people who come up with unending excuses for fear leading to ignorance. Some kinds of fearful people will not read until they have become fearful enough that their side might lose or is losing. These questions of fear and identity have to find resolution before a persyn is able to move forward in politics scientifically.
MIM comrades have been inside the World Trade Center, and it could have been MIM comrades hit by the bombing. On a daily basis, MIM comrades walk in and out of skyscrapers that could end up coming down, because the U.S. Government believes that it has the right to risk the lives of people for its degenerate politics. We at MIM are not going to be complaining about terrorist attacks in the United $tates, England etc. until after we have effectively done something about u.$. terrorist attacks on others. Even mouthing off against the Bu$h regime is not good enough. What counts is not so-called dissent, but getting the job of justice done.
In recommending this book, Osama Bin Laden also takes a rather objective view of himself. Blum points out that Osama Bin Laden had the backing of the same u.$. imperialists carrying out interventions around the world. Chapter 2 is titled "America's Gift to the World: The Afghan Terrorist Alumni." That refers to Osama Bin Laden among many others.
The book jacket quote by William Blum is exactly right: "If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize--very publicly and very sincerely--to all the widows and orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce to every corner of the world that America's global military interventions have come to an end. I would then inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but--oddly enough--a foreign country. Then I would reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings, invasions and sanctions. There would be more than enough money. One year's military budget in the United States is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. That's one year. That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."
This book falls in the category of in-depth agitation. We heartily endorse it and pick on it only on a few theoretical points that would not make it past Maoist censors if Blum were in our party. We discuss our line on Cuba and the Soviet Union elsewhere.
On agitational points, we have rare disagreements with Blum. We do not believe Amerikans should be able to sue Third World governments when Amerikans get caught invading those countries or otherwise counter-repressed. (p. 80) Recently, Amerikkkans have tried to sue Saudi Arabia and Iraq for their fortunes. Blum may believe that this would bring to the surface the U.S. Government's role once these cases go to court, but we at MIM believe that the labor aristocracy is aware of that role and would like to take the assets of Saudis and Iraqis anyway. Those who see Amerikan so-called workers as exploited people will tend to support Blum's line as did Michael Moore for example. We at MIM believe Amerikans should keep their hands off Iraqi and Saudi wealth, because that is an intra-bourgeois fight for assets that only stirs up national chauvinism and militarism.
MIM has recommended Blum's book, The CIA: A Forgotten History. That book is more orderly than part one of Rogue State. On the other hand, Rogue State is more up-to-date with releases of confidential information from national security archives. We also appreciate the large print for readability.