Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs

Renewed bombing of Iraq by the US – with Britain obediently in tow – makes this book chillingly topical.

In this latest addition to his extraordinarily prolific canon, Noam Chomsky develops the concept of the United States as the world’s pre-eminent ‘rogue state’. He scrutinizes the bombing of Kosovo and Iraq, Western complicity in the devastation of East Timor and the criminal blockade of Cuba, showing how the US, with military strikes and economic sanctions, erodes and traduces the rule of international law. In case after case, the US shows contempt for UN resolutions and World Court decisions and, beneath the cloak of human-rights rhetoric, pursues a mendacious and self-serving strategy of military and economic imperialism.

In a scathing examination of US Latin American policy, Chomsky anatomizes the looking-glass world of the ‘Colombia Plan’. This $7.5-billion scheme is ostensibly a ‘war on drugs’ but behind the window-dressing are the familiar foreign-policy objectives of neoliberalism, structural adjustment and brutal repression of the rural poor. That its entirely foreseeable consequence is a massive drug problem among urban minorities in the US is, Chomsky argues, not accidental.

*Rogue States* is a typically trenchant work and the author’s caustic wit is as sharp as ever. He ends by surveying the alternatives to the prevailing world order and reminding us that the system can be challenged and changed, ‘just as honest and courageous people have been doing throughout the course of history’.

New Internationalist issue 333 magazine cover This article is from the April 2001 issue of New Internationalist.
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