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House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties Hardcover – March 16, 2004
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The perilous ramifications of the September 11 attacks on the United States are only now beginning to unfold. They will undoubtedly be felt for generations to come. This is one of many sad conclusions readers will draw from Craig Unger's exceptional book House of Bush House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties. As Unger claims in this incisive study, the seeds for the "Age of Terrorism" and September 11 were planted nearly 30 years ago in what, at the time, appeared to be savvy business transactions that subsequently translated into political currency and the union between the Saudi royal family and the extended political family of George H. W. Bush. On the surface, the claim may appear to be politically driven, but as Unger (a respected investigative journalist and editor) probes--with scores of documents and sources--the political tenor of the U.S. over the last 30 years, the Iran-Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan, the birth of Al Qaeda, the dubious connection between members of the Saudi Royal family and the exportation of terror, and the personal fortunes amassed by the Bush family from companies such as Harken Energy and the Carlyle Group, he exposes the "brilliantly hidden agendas and purposefully murky corporate relationships" between these astonishingly powerful families. His evidence is persuasive and reveals a devastating story of Orwellian proportions, replete with political deception, shifting allegiances, and lethal global consequences. Unger begins his book with the remarkable story of the repatriation of 140 Saudis directly following the September 11 attacks. He ends where Richard A. Clarke begins, questioning the efficacy of the war in Iraq in the battle against terrorism. We are unquestionably facing a global security crisis unlike any before. President Bush insists that we will prevail, yet as Unger so effectively concludes, "Never before has an American president been so closely tied to a foreign power that harbors and supports our country's mortal enemies." --Silvana Tropea
From Publishers Weekly
In this potentially explosive book, investigative journalist Unger, who has written for the New Yorker, Esquire and Vanity Fair, pieces together the highly unusual and close personal and financial relationships between the Bush family and the ruling family of Saudi Arabiaand questions the implications for Bush's preparedness, or possible lack thereof, for September 11. What could forge such an unlikely alliance between the leader of the free world and the leaders of a stifling Islamic theocracy? First and foremost, according to Unger, is money. He compiles figures in an appendix indicating over $1.4 billion worth of business between the Saudi royal family and businesses tied (sometimes loosely) to the House of Bush, ranging from donations to the Bush presidential library to investments with the Carlyle Group ("a well-known player in global commerce" for which George H.W. Bush has been a senior advisor and his secretary of state, James Baker, is a partner), to deals with Halliburton, of which Dick Cheney was CEO. James Bakers law firm even defended the House of Saud in a lawsuit brought by relatives of victims of September 11. Unger also questions whether the Bush grew so complacent about the Saudis that his administration ignored then White House terrorism czar Richard Clarkes repeated warnings and recommendations about the Saudis and al-Qaeda. Another question raised by Ungers research is whether millions in Saudi money given to U.S. Muslim groups may have delivered a crucial block of Muslim votes to George W. Bush in 2000and its questions like that will make some readers wonder whether Unger is applying a chainsaw to issues that should be dissected with a scalpel. But whether one buys Ungers arguments or not, theres little doubt that with this intensely researched, well-written book he has poured more flame onto the political fires of 2004.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
The crony capitalism and government-by-secrecy practiced by the Bush administration are laid bare here - the inside deals, the lucrative favors given and received, the about-faces in policy which have occurred when convenient, the end-justifying-the-means mentality that seems to govern everything they do. The facts laid out by Unger cannot be simply explained away as `coincidence' - and the actions of the administration to cover up their actions and their relationship with the Saudis merely demonstrate that they have something to hide. This book does a great service to America by exposing what has gone on `under the radar' - hopefully it will cause a lot of people to ask some vital questions. Who knows, maybe if enough people ask firmly enough, the questions will actually get answered - wouldn't that be refreshing?
Why were dozens of Saudi citizens - including members of the bin Laden family - allowed to fly out of the US soon after the attacks on 9/11, when US air traffic was pretty much completely shut down? Why were the people on board these planes not at least interviewed by the FBI or other federal agencies who made such a show about protecting the `homeland'? Why did Bush suddenly change his position on the Middle East peace process - from a stated policy of non-involvement to one espousing a `road map for peace'? Why were so many of the high-rolling, high-contributing supporters of the Bush family given such powerful positions in his administration? Why is his administration being run with the highest level of secrecy in the modern era? Why has the administration actually WEAKENED the fights against terror by switching their focus from Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda - the actual perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks - to Saddam Hussein and Iraq, whom no less of a key player than George W. Bush now admits had `no ties with Al-Qaeda'?
While Unger's opinion on these and other matters isn't hard to discern, his journalistic ethics and methods cannot be seriously questioned. He has garnered information from a variety of sources: Democrats, Republicans and Independents, dozens of present and past government officials both in the US and Saudi Arabia, friends and business associates of the Bush and Saud families, and others who are knowledgeable and expert in these matters. The result is eye-opening, and pretty scary - decisions that have affected the lives of thousands of people, military and civilian, in the US, Iraq and other countries, have been made as if they were business decisions, all the while being touted as acting the interests of `national security'. It's outrageous - and this well-written account is essential to understanding how this house of cards was built.
The book deals with many serious, complex issues, and the result is surprisingly readable - it's also a vital tool that every American who plans to vote in November should read.
This book really reveals how deep their relationship is. So deep that despite the fact that Osama Bin Laden and the majority of the 9/11 highjackers were Saudis, Bush still insisted that the FBI and CIA not delve into Saudi Arabia because they are our "allies". Although the great majority of them hate us profusely (which explains why the majority of Al Qaeda members are established there) Bush and the administration worked it out so that Saudi Arabia would not be investigated. What a shame. I've always said this, but I don't know how Bush sleeps at night.
This book also explains how after 9/11 he and his buddies were trying to find ways to link Iraq to 9/11 (and that was difficult at first). Of course they did this by deceiving Americans. Please educate yourselves, read this book and give it to your friends, and we should all mobilize to impeach this man.
This book also provides a great amount of references, in case you want to verify or check the facts.
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Craig Unger was deputy editor of the ‘New York Observer’ and editor-in-chief of ‘Boston Magazine’.Read more