2.11.05

AMERICA ALONE - An evaluation by Ron Hilton


Loneliness , by MArc Chagall

Stephen Halper & Jonathan Clarke, AMERICA ALONE, The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 369) is an interesting case of trans-Atlantic cooperation. Stephen Halper, an American and a Stanford graduate with doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge, is a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and director of the Donner Atlantic Studies Programme in the university's Centre of International Studies. He served in the White House and the State Department under Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. The book is therefore not written by Democrats with a visceral hatred of Republicans. Jonathan Clarke, an Oxford graduate, served in the British foreign service and is now a Foreign Affairs Scholar at the CATO Institute in Washington, D.C. Their timely book has been well received because it expresses the annoyance of US conservatives that power has been seized by a group of secretive neo-conservatives who have their own agenda for the new global order. There is a list of leading figures (p. 14) beginning with I. Lewis Libby, who has hit the headlines. Among those listed is WAISer James Woolsey. He is described (p. 29) as "like Gingrich, more an ideological fellow-traveler than a founding member". Wolfowitz said the campaign against al-Qaeda would involve "removing or ending states·" (p 204). "James Woolsey was even quicker off trhe mark, saying that Iraq should be the target". . Does he have any comment about the book? The financial network is described, with the Hoover Institution enjoying the patronage of the John M.Olin Foundation. Both Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice are "Hoover alumni".
For WAIS, chapter 8, "America: Perception and Counterperception", has a special importance, since it documents the disparity between the US vision of itself anc the perception of it in other countries. Harsh criticism of America is nothing new, as is evident rom Frances Trollope, The Domestic Manners of Americans (1832). The excellent bibliography includes Paul Hollander, Anti-Americanism:Critiques at Home and Abroad, 1965-1990. The detailed index facilitates consultation,
This important book has created quite a stir. Its ultimate assessment will
depend on the turn of events. It discusses talk of a fourth world war, but
what that would involves is not quite clear. If the US succeeds in establishing solid governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, the neo-conservatives will boast that their policy was the right one. If not, this book will be regarded as prophetic. The danger is that, even though Afghanistan and Iraq may be stabilized, Iran will be there with its neo-conservatives and its president who wants to "remove a state". Then what will our neo-conservatives do, if they are still in power?

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