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Before & After
US Foreign Policy and the War on Terrorism
Phyllis Bennis; foreword by Noam Chomsky

5 7/8 x 9 • 256 pages
ISBN 9781566564625 • paperback • $17.95

Americans were uniformly shocked by the lethal ferocity of the September 11 attacks. Around the world, people and governments were appalled at the human carnage and extended unstinting sympathy—but many made it clear that their sympathy for the victims did not equal support for Washington’s response to the terror attacks.

Before & After examines the role of US foreign policy in the terrorism/anti-terrorism crisis that began—publicly—with the attack on the World Trade Center, but which in fact has roots that began long before that September day. It dissects not only the specific Middle East policies long identified with public opposition in the region (for example: support for Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, economic sanctions responsible for widespread deaths of Iraqi civilians, and support for repressive monarchies and dictatorships throughout the Arab world), but also provides context to these issues and the legacy of US unilateralism.

Washington’s contempt for international law as well as its disdain for the United Nations are seen internationally as evidence of the US upholding a law of empire from which the rest of the world is excluded. Paramount is the creation of a US-forced “coalition” to wage a brutal war against an already impoverished and disempowered people, instead of a truly international cooperative effort to find and bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime against humanity.

In light of this attitude, Before & After traces the decisions made by the Bush administration in the wake of the September 11 attacks, analyzes the choices ignored, the options discarded, and the international laws violated—and the likely consequences.

Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Director of its New Internationalism Program on UN and Middle East Affairs. Her books include Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN and Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader. Bennis’ work on the new Afghanistan crisis, on Israel/Palestine and US–Middle East policy, on Iraq sanctions, and on US–UN relations has been published in books, magazines, and newspapers across the US and around the world.

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Of Related Interest:
Understanding the US-Iran Crisis
The Great Terror War
The World Tribunal on Iraq
Beyond the Storm
Calling the Shots
Ending the Iraq War
Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Selling US Wars
Challenging Empire