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Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2007
Robert Parry's book accurately and, for those who count themselves as
lovers of liberty, excruciatingly delineates the deceitful, arrogant, and ironic rise of George W. Bush from military coward and failed businessman to President of the United States, via manipulation and coercion of the
highest court in the land. Parry's book goes on to reveal that Bush and his political cronies may well have been able to thwart the horrific events of 9/11 had they not been more concerned with personal power and blinded by their hatred of their political opposition. Once again, irony comes to the forefront, in that Bush is looked upon by the American people as a strong and forceful leader in the wake of 9/11, when Parry
shows that his bravado was nothing more than a flimsy facade created by a nervous and fearful media. And then, of course, comes the Iraq war, a war actually being fought for oil, but asking for the sacrifice of thousands of brave American soldiers being told they are fighting terrorism. But perhaps the most unforgivable and egregious act committed by George W. Bush during his reign, and revealed by Parry at great length and in minute detail, is Bush's flagrant and criminal disregard for the Constitution of the United States--in essence, making up his own rules as he sees fit, and interpreting the Constitution to suit his own purposes. Reading this book, I found myself asking the question time and time again, "why are we standing still for this, and not demanding reform?" I've since come to the conclusion that we, the American people, no longer deserve our country, and that we must accept whatever fate our lackadaisical attitude and behavior brings us. I commend and admire Robert Parry for having the courage to bring these sad and disastrous facts to light. At least there's still one real American among us.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2007
If you are also tired of the DC spin then this is the book for you. Written by a team, family team, of honest to goodness investigative reporters who have documented the unbelievably long list of failed decisions, policies, executive orders, etc of this administration. The failures have come so fast, so sudden, so numerous we can hardly keep abreast. I plan to read this book at least once every year to never forget the many issues that the American public has been failed on. From even before 9/11 the problems were being planned. Today the mistakes are still coming at us, now the disaster in Iraq is being pushed aside to make room for the coming disaster in Iran. I recommend this book to all who question why we are where we are. The Parrys,father and sons team, have produced an excellent work in this book. Tired of the mind numbing politics and DC spin, then you'll want this book. Also if you really want to know the reason for Iranian distrust of US check out 'All the Shah's Men'. We have some bloody history!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2007
The Parrys do their usual fine investigative reporting in this book Neck Deep. They connect the dots from early in GWB's career to the current fiasco we find ourselves in. This book should be bought even if reading time is precious. Save it for history if you have to, for that is what it is - history without the mainline media spin. The authors use some of their previously written articles to point out the previously mis-leading big media accounts of "facts" and their timely accounts of history. I plan to read it ever so often to remember how we really got into this mess. Buy it - then compare it to the spin of other "historians" and to what you see as truly happening.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2007
As with everything Robert Parry attaches his name to, this is a Top Notch and thoroughly researched piece of investigative journalism. Since I agree with the other reviews posted before mine, I'll keep it short and advise you to read all of his other books, as well as direct you to visit his website at [...]
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2007
The America that existed before 2000 is now basically in shambles. Just about every fundamental American principle, even biggies like the constitutional rule of law and the separation of powers, is under attack. Want more? Torture, secret prisons, warrantless spying - I could go on. Our reputation around the world, even in the eyes of our allies, has been ruined, and we are stuck in a bloody occupation of a foreign land that was no threat to us.

So what happened? (911 and/or GWB? Not so simple, as you'll see.) This is the question the book sets out to answer. If the United States is to recover, then it's important to examine exactly how and why we got into this mess in the first place. Veteran independent journalist Robert Parry of consortium news (.com) has written a book that does the best job by far I've ever seen (and I read a lot) of explaining how it happened.
Blame, most of all, a complicit mainstream media, and a right-wing media propaganda apparatus that together can basically trick many average citizens into believing things that simply aren't true - ie "Iraq has a massive weapons of mass destruction program," and "Saddam is in league with Al Qaeda" etc.

The thoroughness of the research presented here is easily worth five stars. It should come as no surprise that Mr. Parry could write such a book. He is the same man that first helped to expose the corruption in the Reagan administration re: Iran-contra. Not only is his book enlightening, it is quite an interesting read for anyone concerned with the course our government has taken since the 2000 selection.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2007
For anyone who wants to know what has really been happening politically in the US for the past 50 years or more, this book will add considerably to your knowledge. If you want to know how and why the House of Bush seized power and subverted the American electoral process - read this book. Robert Parry and team at [...] are bright stars in the list of American journalists and investigative reporters who can still wear those names with pride. All their books and articles are well worth your time.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2008
Nat, Robert, and Sam Parry
The Media Consortium, Arlington, VA
418 pp.
Reviewed by Mildred Perry Miller, Chattanooga, TN

I have been "neck deep" in the book Neck Deep by Nat, Robert, and Sam Parry since I received the tome in my Christmas stocking. The subtitle is The Disastrous
Presidency of George W. Bush. For those who have been observing the adminis-
tration of George Bush since its inception on a chilling rainy day in Washington, DC, January 20, 2001, it has been an ominous time and 7 years of appre-
hension and dismay. In fact, the way the election was handed to George W. Bush
by five Republican members of the Supreme Court, since Bush had lost the pop-
ular vote and all of the votes in Florida had not been counted, still elicits many
questions. In this book, the Parrys are determined to answer the question of "Who
Killed the American Republic?" for it is dead according to what it was before the intrusion of George W. Bush onto the American scene.

The Parrys theorize, and rightly so, that it is not just Bush who has brought our
beloved America to its impending demise; other perpetrators have been the
so-called media pundits, both political parties, all forms of the media, and the public in general. The most prolific and worst offenders in distorting America's
history and proscribing the Constitution and having the most influence on foreign
policy and the thinking of Bush have been those people calling themselves the
neo-cons, namely Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Abrams, Kagan,Krauthammer, John Bolton, David Wurmser, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, I. Lewis Libby, Max Boot, Norman Podhoretz, Dick Cheney, and many others. These men fostered the phil-
osophy that the Middle East needed to be democratized and that it could only be
done by force. They had, in fact, according to Neck Deep ,tried to get President
Clinton to declare war on Iraq and are now eager to have Bush bomb or declare
war on Iran. Many think the immediate goals are oil and power and military bases.

Major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post, plus many
talk show hosts and reporters,supported Bush throughout the time when war was
being discussed and even later. Some of the most vociferous and supportive of
Bush's war were Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume, Chris Matthews, Charles Kraut-
hammer, Mort Kondracke, Fred Barnes. Chris Matthews even went so far as to say
"We are all neo-cons now." Cal Thomas thought that those who disagreed with
the war should have their words recorded and filed away so they could be used
against them later. The neo-cons had been for war in the Middle East for years.

The Parrys, authors of Neck Deep, feel that a deep decay was taking place in Amer-
ica at the time Bush seized the presidency and that he took advantage of that,
himself having very little knowledge of history or the rule of law or the role of the
President in our society. He, with advice from his Attorney Generals and others,
felt he could supersede any law and proceeded to act accordingly, and if anyone
disagreed, they were probably terrorists. His motto was, "You are either with us
or you are against us."

If anyone is interested in the factual truth about what has happened to America, and wants to know who has killed the American Republic, they should read this
book and take it to heart. Those who have driven the war and planned it do not,
in most instances,havesons and daughters among the dead and wounded. Most
of them have not gone to war when they were of war age. The Parrys feel that much of the damage of this administration could have been avoided. All of the
evidence was there before us, but out of fear and intimidation, too many people
went along and made no effort to learn the truth. This book will explain how the
9/11 tragedy was used to disregard and ignore the safeguards built into our sys-
tem, and "how the Washington political /media elite failed the country." In fact,
the 9/11 tragedy and other concepts completely pulled the wool over the eyes of
millions of Americans, including the 77 Democrats in the Senate who voted to
authorize Bush to invade Iraq, even though no WMDs had been discovered after
months of searching. The world is much less safe now than it was in 2001,thanks
to Bush and the neo-cons.

Finally, many public figures are exposed for what they are and the myths that have
been built up around them have been stripped away. One can see and understand
them as real people with flaws and also better natures, with explanations as tohow
they have made our country into what it is today. I highly recommend this book
and believe it lends itself to truth and American patriotism. This book is readable,
written with great clarity, interesting, and rewarding in that one can finally learn all
of the truth of just what has happened here and in Iraq that is dragging America
down. While the truths in this book show the demonic behavior of some of the
officials in government, the authors end on a note of hope, saying "by Spring 2007
a change could be detected in public awareness of the national crisis. Perhaps
the most hopeful sign was that many Americans had come to understand how little the Washington insiders...deserved to be trusted. That skepticism, if it were ever
combined with serious demands for reform, could be the start of a rebirth for the
American Republic." In his second inaugural Lincoln called for a rebirth of freedom and that is what is needed now.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 15, 2009
The book hardly touches on the "Shock and Awe" that Con-thinking machines have perpetrated on the economy. The Final Result of Runaway, No Restraint Capitalism; yet more contributions to the nation and history by "Compassionate Conservatism"! So the miserble disaster of BushGroup which is detailed in this book so well, mainly the fraudulent run-up to "Daddy's Iraq War", has not finished with Con economic theory and practice. We can hope this father-sons team will only come up with a new edition soon with a final tally on the Wreck the USA policies of Bush and his fellow cons!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2013
This book written in late 2007, focuses on the lessons that Americans should have learned from the eight disastrous years of GW Bush rule. The number one lesson that is that a Republic "drugged on ideological catnip" may forfeit its freedoms without even being aware that it has done so.

That Junior's tenure ended in a Republic-destroying disaster and probably will earn him the distinction as America's worse President ever, came as no surprise to those of us who had read about his upbringing. We did not fail to miss as the author so carefully indexes, how, repeatedly throughout his adult life no matter how much he screwed up or how far he descended down the ladder of moral low-liveness, he always got picked up and dusted off by his dad's rich friends. Each time they made sure he landed on his feet and suffered no adverse political consequences.

As this book also recounts, his young adulthood was a textbook case of a youngster headed nowhere but for big trouble and fast. To wit: Junior's drinking and driving, his problems with alcohol and cocaine more generally; his knocking up girls and then running for cover, his dodging Vietnam by being allowed to jump the line into the Texas Air National Guard; his fear of flying that ultimately resulted in his flunking out of flight school and then being AWOL from military duty, his wasteland of business failures, and finally his general aimlessness and lack of intellectual curiosity or the ability to engage in an adult focus on almost anything.

Any one of these would have cut the prospects of success off at the knees for the average young American adult. And would surely have made the typical young minority American an odds on favorite for a long prison term. Yet for Bush Junior, these "youthful indiscretions," catapulted him into the highest office of the land. Fellow Texan Molly Ivins and ex-Texas Representative, Ann Richards, said GW was born with a "silver foot in his mouth." Others have said that he was born on third base, thinking he had just hit a triple. However he is described, the eight GW years spelled "colossal embarrassment" and untold years of disaster for the American Republic.

These authors attempt to capture this disaster, and put the eight-year Bush descent into the social and economic abyss into context. In other words, they seek here to try to explain how "the Junior phenomenon" happened in the first place and then what we are do to about the wreckage and debris left in his wake. As the first step in the "Junior Postmortem," they point stern fingers at the press as the first and most potent guilty party.

Due primarily to the 911 attack, our once vibrant media simply devolved into an impotent, fawning and obsequious "go-with-the-flow," "kid gloves" kind of media body throughout the Bush years. It became one that raised to the level of a professional norm, the very act of turning one's head away from Mr. Bush's deep level of incompetence. For that, and the general lack of vigilance on the part of the American people, we paid the price of trading our freedoms for security against a mostly trumped up and always exaggerated terrorist scare.

To avoid being guilty of "piling on to an intellectual weakling" the media thus adopted a false narrative of Bush as an acknowledged hero of 911. Even though at best he led off one disjointed megaphone rally in New York City. This disingenuous narrative consciously ignored Junior's many intellectual shortcomings, his many faux pas and policy missteps and even his and "girl Friday, Condoleeza Rice's failure to take proper heed of the August 6, 2001 CIA memo entitled: "Osama Determined to Strike Inside the U.S." As a result, the media collectively ignored Bush's greatest faults: of (1) failing to protect us against the 911 attack; and then (2) using his own failure as a patriotic shield to dismantle the basic protections of fundamental American rights, and (3) sending us into an undeclared "war of choice in Iraq" under the flimsy pretext that it was the proper response to 911?

The media did this apparently in exchange for the right to become "embedded reporters with insider access?" This way, they too could share vicariously in Bush's own brass-fronted, breast-beating, "missioned accomplished" demonstrations during a time of national peril. As a result of the press' self-imposed obsequiousness, Bush was allowed a free ride to "pick the nation's back pocket clean of all our rights. And even today, pundits and the opposition democratic party are hard pressed to blame Bush for being unprepared during 911 -- as well as for the financial mess that he left in his wake.

I was disappointed that the book did not stick to, or even address, the larger and in my view more important concern of explaining how it is that in a sophisticated technologically advanced nation, the American public arrived at such a low opinion of itself that it settled for the "village idiot," GW Bush, as its President?

It seems to me that unless we answer that question, we will continue to flip-flop between the two political Parties each election cycle. One cycle will be characterized by the self-described party of stupid, the Republicans, who will spend its term creating problems that are much too large to be solved by the incoming party -- the party of no recognizable principles whatsoever," the Democratic Party. And as we have seen with Mr. Obama, that Party in the next cycle, will not be able to solve any of the problems left by its predecessor. This then of course guarantees the party of stupid another automatic bite at the apple for the next eight-year election cycle to try to fix the very problems it leave during its previous tenure. In the mean time we Americans are caught in this unholy whipsaw with none of the people's business ever getting done. Three stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2008
Robert Parry shows that although Bush has the most responsibility for the Iraq War and other crimes of his administration he shares responsibility with the mainstream media which was unwilling to put Bush's claims about links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq and Iraq possessing WMD the proper scrutiny. The media's culpability is aggravated by the fact that they put much more scrutiny on the comparatively smaller scandals of the Clinton Administration. The alternative media such as the authors website and Air America Radio. The author also does a good job of exposing the myths behind Colin Powells reputation for integrity showing that he helped to cover up the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and that he was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal.
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