Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Bush Critic

Best-selling spy novelist John Le Carre (whose real name is David Cornwell) has published a new novel, Absolute Friends, which is very critical of George W. Bush and the American invasion of Iraq.

Le Carre is probably best known in the U.S. for The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He worked for British intelligence and was stationed in Berlin when the Berlin wall went up.

His concern about America's new policy of "preemptive war" led to an antiwar editorial published in The Times of London last January, titled "The United States of America Has Gone Mad."

In a recent interview, Le Carre said of George W. Bush: "I don't think there's anything worse that a leader can do than take us to war on the strength of lies. There were not reasons to go to war, there were excuses. So while the United States was wrapping itself in the flag ... many of us felt here [in England] that he was wrong...."

In the new novel, Absolute Friends, one of the characters calls the Iraq war "a colonial oil war dressed up as a crusade for Western life and liberty ... [that] exploited America's post-9/11 psychopathy."

Entertainment Weekly said in its review of the new novel that it is "a stunningly timely spy novel" but that Le Carre's mostly male readership in America was going to be mightily peeved about its content. So we're adding it to our must-buy list, along with non-fiction by Al Franken, David Corn, Molly Ivins, Michael Moore, Paul Krugman, etc.

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