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Mad Cowboy Disease? John le Carre thinks so.(7 posts)

Mad Cowboy Disease? John le Carre thinks so.velocity
Jan 23, 2003 11:30 AM
"The United States of America has gone mad." So began one of the bluntest critiques of U.S. actions at home and abroad to have appeared anywhere in the international press since George W. Bush took control of the White House two years ago. The author of the powerful commentary: English novelist John le Carré, whose books ("A Perfect Spy" and "The Tailor of Panama" among them) documented the paranoid geopolitics and ambitions of governments during both the Cold War era and its U.S.-dominated aftermath.

"America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War," le Carré wrote in London's Times. He noted that, under Bush, civil liberties "that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded" and that a "combination of compliant U.S. media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square" is really only taking place in a few East Coast newspaper columns. Thus, the reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams.

"How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public-relations conjuring tricks of history," le Carré said. Now, he concluded, "What is at stake is not an imminent military or terrorist threat, but the economic imperative of U.S. growth. What is at stake is America's need to demonstrate its military power, to show who rules America at home and who is to be ruled by America abroad."

Still, as much of the world is asking, what if Saddam Hussein does not disappear into exile but instead fights back -- and holds his ground? Of a thwarted Bush plan, le Carré asked, "What happens when the world's greatest cowboy rides back into town without a tyrant's head to wave at the boys?"
Oh, a foreign novelist, there's a real authority (nm)TJeanloz
Jan 23, 2003 12:06 PM
You should listen Ted. After all, he IS famous. nmSintesi
Jan 23, 2003 3:52 PM
Yet morecyclopath
Jan 28, 2003 5:48 AM
of your "add value" insight and illumination.

As bigots go, you are doing enough work for the whole nation.
I'd like to see more detailscarnageasada
Jan 23, 2003 12:22 PM
I know a lot of mystery readers who are smarter than myself who think le Carre's a great writer but I always found him a bit tedious and a little overblown. THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD wouldn't even be interesting if I was a spy and it was cold out in my opinion.

But that's not to say what he's saying now is innaccurate. I think I partly agree with some of the above opinions but I wish we had some meat or at least tofu to go along with the sauce.

I'd like to know EXACTLY why le Carre thinks our present period is worse than Mccarthyism, the bay of Pigs and potentially more disastorous than Vietnam. It's one thing to say it, I love saying controversial statements too, but it's another thing to show it.
Dickens said it best....ClydeTri
Jan 23, 2003 12:28 PM
always been true, always will be....
It was the best of times, it was the worse of times...
At least this wasn't from The Guardian.... (nm)The Walrus
Jan 23, 2003 1:26 PM