From Publishers Weekly
This furious, scattershot jaccuse is more an attack on Bushs character than on his Iraq policy. Revisiting such controversies as the aluminum tubes canard and the forged documents about Iraqi uranium purchases from Niger, journalist Moore (co-author of Bushs Brain: How Karl Rove Made George Bush Presidential) asserts that the Bush Administration cynically proffered charges it knew to be false in order to trump up a case for invading Iraq, an effort abetted, he says, by a credulous media. Moore juxtaposes his allegations of Bush Administration underhandedness with several somewhat mawkish chapters on the lives, deaths and funerals of three American soldiers killed in the invasion, complete with family members recriminations against Bush for sending other peoples children to die under dishonest pretenses. Moore also includes a thorough rehash of the evidence for Bushs apparent desertion from the National Guard during the Vietnam War, a dereliction that he contrasts with reminiscences of men who fought in Vietnam while the privileged Bush, he says, played hooky. From this heavy-handed counterpoint between muck-raking exposes and tear-jerking war stories emerges an indictment of a president who, Moore says, betrayed the soldierly ideals he now appropriates for political gain, for whom "duty, honor and service
were only words." Moore is a fine reporter and debunker, and marshals a compelling summation of the accusations surrounding Bushs own war record and the seemingly fraudulent rationale for invading Iraq. Unfortunately, his fleeting analysis of the politics behind the war settles for simplistic assertions that it was all about oil. With so much of the book devoted to what Moore depicts as Bushs scandalous perfidy, he never develops a cogent critique of the presidents policies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"...a compelling expose of the conflict with Iraq and the political effort to help George W. Bush win a second term in office." (Prospect
, March 2004)