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Book review: The Exception to the Rulers
an article by Janet Hudgins

I recommend this book, The Exception to the Rulers, by Amy Goodman with David Goodman, New York, 2004, Hyperion Books.

The subtitle is Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them; it's about the use and abuse of power.

Goodman talks about corporations making a killing off of killing; one-sided studies and interviews; prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan; and "blowback."

She says, "If we learn anything from September 11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it should be that there will be a price to pay every time our government backs thugs and torturers abroad or becomes one of them."

Goodman is a journalist, the host of Democracy Now, broadcasting out of New York on radio and television and not to be taken lightly. She has the courage to do what the mainstream media, for all its bluster, cannot, or will not, do. She goes behind the propaganda, finds the truth and blurts it out for her substantial and growing audiences.

But there's a lot more about the Pinochet forces that were backed by the then President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and had financial support from two major multinational corps operating in Chile, Anaconda Copper and ITT.

About Osama bin Laden who was financed and trained by the US and was the answer to Washingtonıs prayers in the 1980s as the US government tried to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan.

And about the Shah of Iran and "October Surprise." The secret arms-for-hostages deal that Kissinger and Ronald Reaganıs 1980 campaign directors struck with the Iranians to ensure that they keep fifty-two American hostages until after the elections to humiliate and defeat Jimmy Carter.

It's a good read; Goodman's style is fast and furious. Of course, there have been other such writers in other eras that exposed administrations. But it didn't do much to stop the propaganda or the abuse of power. One wonders what would.


Question(s) related to this article:

What can be done to stop the abuse of power?,

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Latest reader comment:

It's great that this information is out there. Now more people need to be made aware of it and how it affects their everyday lives.

You ask: 'What can be done to stop the abuse of power'?

But, in my opinion, this question misses the point. People around the country are already fighting this kind of abuse. It's a day-to-day struggle on a grassroots level for a real change in local communities and neighborhoods. See, for example, this recent CPNN article on youth activism.

I think a better question would be 'What more can be done'?

What more can be done to increase the scope of democratic movements and ideas and to eject undemocratic governments?

This report was posted on July 2, 2004.