From Publishers Weekly
One of the few proud neoconservatives remaining, Podhoretz offers an impassioned defense of President Bush's foreign policy, gleefully attacking those on the left and the right who harbor suspicions that Bush fils is less than infallible. Convinced that we are in the middle of the fourth world war (the Cold War was the third), he attempts to steel us for the years of conflict to come. But Podhoretz's argument falls flat because of his refusal to face difficult realities in Iraq. He insists that the media has resolutely tried to ignore any and all signs of progress and repeatedly asserts that those with whom he disagrees are committed to seeing the U.S. fail in Iraq in order to enhance their professional reputations. Even in describing how the events of September 11 drew America together, Podhoretz cannot resist partisan sniping: [E]ven on the old flag-burning Left, a few prominent personalities were painfully wrenching their unaccustomed arms into something vaguely resembling a salute. Podhoretz's take-no-prisoners writing style will delight his partisans while infuriating his ideological opponents, whom he brands as members of a domestic insurgency against the Bush Doctrine. (Sept.)
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Podhoretz has been an intellectual combatant in the neoconservative ranks for decades, and here he engages critics of America's current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Stoutly defending President George W. Bush, Podhoretz covers every avenue of attack on Bush's strategy of responding militarily to Islamic terrorists rather than continuing the law-enforcement approach that had been the tendency prior to 9/11. The so-called Bush Doctrine of regime change, preemptive war, and propagation of democracies in the Middle East, Podhoretz argues, is comparable to the Truman Doctrine at the start of the cold war and is strategically and morally sound in light of the aims and methods of radical Islamic terrorists. However, Podhoretz is pessimistic about the successful application of the Bush Doctrine. He asserts that a nearly unanimous anti-Bush phalanx in academia, in the Democratic Party, and in mass media has been successful in influencing public opinion toward an antiwar direction. Quoting and debating criticisms of Bush from such precincts, and from conservative corners as well, Podhoretz stands as a beleaguered but unwavering voice in the controversy over American foreign policy. Taylor, Gilbert
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