The Georgia Straight – Review of The Bush Agenda

By Derrick O’KeefeThe Georgia Straight – Canada’s Largest Urban Weekly
August 3rd, 2006

If you’re attempting to come to grips with the causes of the current Republican administration’s drive to war on Iraq and the subsequent occupation, it’s important to start with the elephants in the room: oil and corporate profits. U.S. writer Antonia Juhasz took the reporter’s classic maxim to heart and followed the money to deliver one of the crispest, most insightful books yet to expose the Bush regime.

The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time looks at the bottom line behind the war, from Halliburton’s sweet no-bid contracts to the seemingly underreported fact that in 2004 and 2005, ExxonMobil recorded the largest profits in history. Juhasz documents the extensive links between the current executive of the U.S. government and the oil-and-gas industry.

If the lucrative quest for hydrocarbons isn’t proof enough of imperial designs, the author also lays out the extensive paper trail the current hawks in office have left, a trail that explicitly advocates a pax Americana for the 21st century. Whereas in the not-too-distant past terms like empire were the pejorative descriptors used by the left, today’s U.S. elites have openly advocated—with the 1997 Project for a New American Century, among other manifestoes—that Washington act as the new Rome in the name of global “stability”.

Juhasz’s only blind spot might be underrating the continuities between the Bush Sr. and Jr. years and Clinton’s term in the White House, at least in terms of the larger foreign policy goal of U.S. dominance. The Democratic administration of 1992–2000 is given scant treatment. The early “anti-terror” legislation and the reintroduction of the “humanitarian” rationale for war in the case of Yugoslavia are not addressed.

In these difficult times, it’s encouraging that The Bu$h Agenda concludes with stubborn optimism about prospects for political progress in the United States: “Change is slow, but it does happen everywhere all the time.” It seems, however, that the world can hardly afford to wait.

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