Synopses & Reviews
Senator John McCain turns a classic Beach Boys song into Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran and receives his party's nomination for president. What is it about relations between the United States and Iran that render such posturing acceptable? Is Iran a serious threat to the United States? Is it building nuclear weapons and funding terrorists? Phyllis Bennis's primer looks at international assessments of Iran's nuclear program and gives a brief history of relations between Iran and the United States, and between Iran and its neighbors in the Middle East. Bennis's analysis provides a counterweight to the Bush administration's aggressive stance on Iran, giving voice to diplomats and activists concerned with stopping the cycle of violence across the region.
"Bennis's book seeks to provide all 'information needed to answer the cries for war' with a concise summation (and point by point deconstruction) of how the Bush administration has beaten the drums for war with Iran. Bennis (Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict) also includes a brief history of American-Iranian relations, arguing that American attitudes have consistently been informed by economic considerations, particularly in regards to oil; referring to Iran's successful efforts to sell its oil for international currencies other than the dollar, the author writes that American anxiety over Iranian nuclear capabilities 'must be viewed in the context of far more longstanding U.S. concerns over Iran's decades-long efforts... to weaken its potential competitors... in the Middle East.' The writing is clear and convincing, but the author's argument is poorly organized and suffers from a surprising amount of repetition in a book so slim. The author seems unconcerned with winning over opponents, but her target audience those who fear an attack on Iran before the current administration leaves office will find this book helpful in marshaling their arguments against such action." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)