Deterring Democracy

Noam Chomsky

Vintage 1992
A book review by Danny Yee © 1992
Deterring Democracy is a searing indictment of American imperialism by its foremost critic.

Bush made a big fuss about Iraq's violation of international law in invading Kuwait — but the US has more violations of international law to its name than any other nation on the planet. American leaders regularly claim to be fighting for democracy — but they back regimes that don't even pretend to be democratic (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait), they have directly overthrown democratically elected governments (Chile, Guatemala), and they regularly subvert the natural course of democracy (France and Italy after World War II, Nicaragua).

US presidents rail against minor acts of terrorism by arab nations — but the US spent millions of dollars arming terrorists to attack hospitals and schools in Nicaragua, attempted to assassinate Ghaddafi, and continues to turn a blind eye to Israeli and South African aggression in Mozambique and Lebanon. The US claims to be the leader of "the international community" — but the US has vetoed more UN security council resolutions than any other member and has several times been the only dissenting member in UN general assembly resolutions.

And so forth.

And the US media studiously refrains from giving these things more than fleeting mention. Those of us who can read between the lines in the media reports (and who live outside the US and get less biased reports anyway) probably knew most of this already, but having it all laid out in detail is enough to make one feel ill. Anyone who takes anything president Bush or his officials say on the subject of foreign policy at face value should read Chomsky's book.

June 1992

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Related reviews:
- Robert Barsky - Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent
- books about the United States + American history
- books about politics
%T Deterring Democracy
%A Chomsky, Noam
%I Vintage
%D 1992
%O paperback, references, index
%G ISBN 0099135019
%P 455pp