The Liberal Defence of Murder, Richard Seymour (Verso Books, 2008)
A war that has killed over a million Iraqis was a 'humanitarian intervention', the US army is a force for liberation, and the main threat to world peace is posed by Islam. Those are the arguments of a host of liberal commentators, ranging from Christopher Hitchens to Kanan Makiya, Michael Ignatieff, Paul Berman, and Bernard-Henri Levy. In this critical intervention, Richard Seymour unearths the history of liberal justifications for empire, showing how savage policies of conquest - including genocide and slavery - have been retailed as charitable missions. From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Seymour argues that the colonial tropes of 'civilization' and 'progress' still shape liberal pro-war discourse and still conceal the same bloody realities.
Flat Earth News, Nick Davies (Chatto and Windus, 2008)
In Flat Earth News, award-winning journalist Nick Davies takes the lid off newspapers and broadcasters, exposing the mechanics of falsehood, distortion and propaganda; naming names and telling the stories behind stories. This website is intended to be a focal point for exposing past, current and future media abuse.
The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt (Allen Lane, 2007)
For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.
Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.
Why There Almost Certainly Is a God, Keith Ward (Lion Hudson, 2008)
Richard Dawkins recently claimed that 'no theologian has ever produced a satisfactory response to his arguments'. Well-known broadcaster and author Keith Ward is one of Britain's foremost philosopher- theologians. This is his response. Ward welcomes all comers into philosophy's world of clear definitions, sharp arguments, and diverse conclusions. But when Dawkins enters this world, his passion tends to get the better of him, and he descends into stereotyping, pastiche, and mockery. In this stimulating and thought-provoking philosophical challenge, Ward demonstrates not only how Dawkins' arguments are flawed, but that a perfectly rational case can be made that there, almost certainly, is a God.
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