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Posted on on July 23rd, 2005
by Pincas Jawetz (



A Phoenix Paperback, Orion Books Ltd. 2004 206 pp. first published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicholson 2004


first published in the US by Public Affairs, the Perseus Books Group Copyright by George Soros, 2004

This is a MUST READ, for Americans and for everyone who looks into the possibility for UN reform even though the book has a basic flaw. That flaw is presented by Mr. Soros in the books Preface when he says that if “President Bush gets reelected, we must ask ourselves the question: ‘What is wrong with us?'”.

Even though this book was clearly written in the heat of an election campaign, it has nevertheless so much valuable insight into American and global history and how we got where we are now – that it is indeed a MUST READ – and please forget the few excesses. I promise you that I think these are very few, and I find the informative material and the analysis extremely cognitive. If it were possible to convince Mr. Soros to ready a post election edition, where he takes out the references to the election, this should indeed be a MUST book for all libraries.

In Chapter 1 – “The Bush Doctrine”, Mr. Soros has unearthed the “Statement of Principles” of the Project for the New American Century”, June 3, 1997, signed by: Eliot Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Chenney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz. Are these the original “neocons”? For me it was quite enlightening finding there the name of Paula Dobriansky, the present Undersecretary for Global Affairs, at the Department of State who is in charge of the US position on Climate Change – the US “NYET” person. the list includes the present administration members: Cheney, Libby, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, but to my great surprise, also the current US Ambassador to Iraq and former Ambassador to Afghanistan – Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad; Is one allowed to read something here between the lines?

Actually there was already in 1992, under Bush the father, a similar memorandum, prepared for the Department of Defense, but it was rejected at the time, now Mr. Soros thinks it has become policy under President Bush the son. Further, Mr. Soros looks at American religious fundamentalism that in his opinion, when linked to the previous group, “provides both an antidote to and a cover for the amorality of the market.” Thus market fundamentalism and religious fundamentalism, though strange bedfellows, stick together because of their common success and express their venturing into foreign policy via a common ideology of geopolitical realism that basically maintains that states should – and do -pursue their national interests. This open the way for taking the only remaining superpower to the concept of American Supremacy – and full justification for unilateralism – in the American national interest. The latter turn, Mr. Soros contends, was made possible by the events of 9/11.

Mr. Soros looks at the “search for an enemy” and may be prescient by pointing out that whereas the Clinton team labeled China as a “strategic partner”, the Bush team turns it into a strategic rival.

Mr. Soros makes the argument that 9/11 was hijacked to serve policies that have been pre-determined, not being an oil man he can analyze rationally the Iraq quagmire, and having spent a fortune from his own money in “nation building”, Mr. Soros has no problem analyzing the administration’s democratization claims. Mr. Soros, with his phenomenal personal history that includes experiences in totalitarian states and great financial manipulations, has no difficulty reading into Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan’s impact and his avoiding an economic downturn at election time as this happened to Bush father.

Part II of the book: “A Constructive Vision” presents what can be done to make the US part of an improved world order with clear implications to UN reform. He has no problem in defining sovereignty as belonging to the people and using this as a means to penetrate into the nation-state to protect the rights of the people (WHAT ABOUT RUNNING Mr. SOROS FOR UN SECRETARY GENERAL? – this reviewer). He backs the “right to protect” and enlarges it so that it becomes the basis for a new UN. He calls on the United States to replace the Bush doctrine of preventive action of a military nature with a doctrine of preventive action of a constructive nature.

The Soros Foundations are spending fortunes to create “open societies” in countries that just escaped totalitarianism, but wants to give credit to the 2000 Warsaw Declaration signed by 107 states “a greater number than the number of democracies in the world”. This document proclaimed that it is in the interest of all democratic countries, taken as a group, to foster the development of democracy in all other countries”. The Community of Democracies established by the Warsaw Declaration 2000 could offer a source of legitimacy for intervening in the national affairs of nondemocratic states. This is just the beginning.

Mr. Soros digs into his own experience and looks into activities of the Bretton Woods Financial Institutions, the World Bank, the IMF, foreign aid, the Millennium Challenge and the place of NGOs in all of this. From here to the People’s Sovereignty on Natural Resources and questions of development and to sustainable development.

The last two chapters, Historical Perspective and The Bubble of American Supremacy are concise presentations that can then be filled in from the material in the first nine chapters.

The Appendix explains five of the Soros Conceptual Framework.

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