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Compelling and insightful,
This review is from: Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism (Hardcover)O'Rourke opens this engaging sojourn through various realms of conflict with a reminiscence of Berlin in 1989 when the Wall came down. He takes a wry look at American foreign policy during the Cold War, under Clinton and under the first President Bush.
Next stop is Kosovo 1989 where the author shares his conversations with refugees, peacekeepers and veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army. From there he takes us to Israel where he shares his impressions of the land and of Z, his witty tour guide. The author observes that Zionism was ultimately right and the only utopian "ism" to become a success.
The chapter 9/11 Diary records the reactions of ordinary Americans to that infamous day and considers overseas reactions while also presenting a picture of the kooks in a Washington "peace" rally.
He visited Egypt in Dec 2000 and regales the reader with reflections on Egypt's present and past. His thoughts on why the Arab World has fallen so far behind the West and the Far East are noteworthy as well as his descriptions of Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian media.
In Nobel Sentiments, O'Rourke skewers a group of Nobel prize winners (including Jose Saramago and Nadine Gordimer) who issued a banal and empty statement in 2001, pointing out their imbecilic notions on the political and social future. As he so accurately observes, nothing in their fatuous statement indicates that the opinions of ordinary people are more foolish than those of Nobel laureates.
In April 2002 the author attended a Palestinian Solidarity March in Washington DC. Commenting on the demonstration's lack of intelligible demands, he nails down the core issue of the Middle East conflict: Israel's stubborn insistence on existing and the stubborn refusal of the Arab dictatorships to accept the fact. The demonstrators consisted of a wide spectrum of moonbats, from Environmental Nuts to Black Panthers, a crazy bunch of nihilists with only one thing in common: they're all losers.
Thoughts On The Eve of War reflects his experiences in Iraq before and after Operation Iraqi Freedom, plus reminiscences of the situation in Kuwait after the First Gulf War. The book concludes with a visit to Iwo Jima and reflections on the nature of modern warfare.
Peace Kills may not provide as many side-splittingly funny moments as some of O'Rourke's earlier masterpieces, but it remains compelling and thought provoking throughout. He still has the great gift of making associations that at first appear improbable but then reveals meaningful sets of correspondences.