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John Le Carre

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  • John Le Carre

    Don't know how many Le Carre fans there are here, but this one looks as if it has some substance. Thanks from Dave Garnett for passing it on!

    'That war on Iraq was illegitimate... it was a criminal and immoral conspiracy. No provocation, no link with al-Qaeda, no weapons of Armageddon. Tales of complicity and Osama were self-serving bullshit. It was an old colonial war dressed up as a crusade for Western life and liberty, and it was launched by a clique of war-hungry Judaeo-Christian geopolitical fantasists who hijacked the media and exploited America's post-Nine Eleven psychopathy.'

    It's a paragraph from the new John le Carre novel. And this is from Friday's Guardian --

    Le Carrأ© describes Absolute Friends as "a piece of political science fiction" aimed at showing "what could happen if we allow present trends to continue to the point of absurdity where corporate media are absolutely at the beck and call in the United States of a neo-conservative group which is commanding the political high ground, calling the shots and appointing the state of Israel as the purpose of all Middle Eastern and practically all global policy".

    The novel's rage is muted compared with Le Carrأ©'s remarks during Radio 4's Today programme interview this week. Then he sounded more like Harold Pinter in full flow than the suave, meticulous creator of labyrinthine spy novels. He compared himself to the German-Jewish diarist, Victor Klemperer, who hid from the Nazis during the second world war in a cellar in Dresden, waiting for the good Germans to return, saying: "I'm waiting for the real Americans to come back."

    But he reserved his bitterest bile for Blair. "To me," he told James Naughtie, "there's no bigger sin that a politician can commit than allowing his country to go to war under false pretences."

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses


  • #2
    Re: John Le Carre

    Wow, that seems hard, but to the point.

    Sounds like those old topics going on in the Q&A, back in the days of the 2nd Iraqy war.
    I just hope the american people realize how stupid it was, and wont do the same mistakes again (this meening reelecting Bush, but thats just my personnal political opinion...).

    I ll try looking for it.

    alex

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    • #3
      Hi Mike,

      I'm not familiar with John LeCarre's fiction but I sympathise with his views as expressed in your extracts. His criticism of Blair is shared by Michael Moore who blames the attack on Iraq more on Blair than on Bush or Bush's advisors because Blair's support gave them the marginal credibility they needed to pursue their aims. Hopefully the ideas presented by LeCarrie will filter through his fan base to raise awareness of this kind of stuff.

      The Guardian website is very good. Highly recomended. Stacks of free material and good article retention. Here are a couple of direct links to the full articles mentioned by Mike:

      First here is the full Friday John LeCarrie article mentioned by Mike:
      http://books.guardian.co.uk/departme...100464,00.html
      And here is the Sunday Guardian review of Absolute Friends:
      http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/...101445,00.html

      'le Carrأ© brings the thriller face to face with contemporary politics'

      (ps - I've edited this post because I rambled a little off-topic first time)

      Comment


      • #4
        It looks like public opinion is turning against Bush and Blair. Pity I can't say the same about Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, who joined in with unseemly enthusiasm. But then, I shouldn't be surprised -- shit doesn't stick to Teflon John.

        Comment


        • #5
          The behaviour of Major, Berlusconi and the rest of the opportunists remind my of a a Kipling poem, or rather parts of it:
          Here we sit in a branchy row, ..... (Bush's Texas farm?)
          Thinking of beautiful things we know; ..... (CIA and MI intellgence reports?)
          Dreaming of deeds that we mean to do, ..... (bringing Democracy for Oil?)
          All complete, in a minute or two-- .... (by deception and Blitzkrieg)
          Something noble and wise and good, .... (without UN-aproval)
          Done by merely wishing we could. .... (and bombing children)
          We've forgotten, but--never mind,
          Brother, thy tail hangs down behind! .... (see this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/s...077364,00.html)

          L'Etranger
          Google ergo sum

          Comment


          • #6
            I read this book over the weekend. Very thought provoking. I did not care too much for LeCarre's writing style, however. Sasha is quite a character! There are some pretty good statement's made throughout the book. I won't spoil them for you, though. The book left me with a feeling of depression and helplessness.

            Richard Clarke, the White House former counterterrorism coordinator, is publishing a book today, "Against All Enimies," that has the current administration upset. It looks like it should be very interesting. Here's a link to a related article:

            http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...bush_critic_dc

            Also, has anyone read Hans Blix,' "Disarming Iraq?" I'm curious about this one as well.
            \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

            \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              The current situation regarding Richard Clarke is spookily similar to what happened with the character Nick Amory in the book, don't ya think?
              \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

              \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

              Comment


              • #8
                Extremely short summary of "Disarming Iraq": Blix states that the reason his team never found any WMD:s was that there simply were none to find, that the war was thus waged on a false premise and that the war was a worse evil to the Iraqi people than continued rule of Saddam Hussein would have been. He's very diplomatic about it, though. And according to reports (haven't read it myself) that goes for the whole book, which I gather means it's not what you'd call a riveting read. Very dry. Very precise. Very careful to get the facts right. Not polemic. Absolutely not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm going to be reading the spy who came in from the cold ver soon

                  any opinions?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A very good book, as I recall it. Don't recall the details with any precision though... Me, I'll soon be sinking my teeth into "A small town in Germany". Is that a good idea?
                    (I already bought the damn thing, so I'll be reading it regardless... just curious.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've read Spy who came in from the Cold - excellent - and intend to read more.

                      I'm surprised by his views - to my shame I would have assumed he was in the Fred Forsyth tory camp.

                      Blair should go. In my opinion....

                      1. Either he's a lying, deceptive machiavellian who thought siding with George Bush and the Neocons was the best thing to so and truth.ethics be damned; or

                      2. His judgement is severly suspect.

                      either way, he should not saty in office.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I found "A Small Town ..." not very exciting, but that was years ago. I remember more vividly the thrill and enjoyment reading "The Looking-Gals War" and "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold". The latter, I think was made into a movie with Richard Burton and Peter van Eick.
                        Google ergo sum

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