The commencement of war in Iraq in 2003 was met with a variety
of reactions around the globe. In Architects of Delusion,
Simon Serfaty presents a historical analysis of how and why the
decision to wage war was endorsed by some of America's main
European allies, especially Britain, and opposed by others,
especially France and Germany.
Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Jacques Chirac, and Gerhard Schroeder
were, Serfaty argues, the architects of one of the most serious
crises in postwar transatlantic relations. These four heads of
state were the victims not only of their personal delusions but
also of those of the nations they led. They all played the hand
that their countries had dealt them-the forceful hand of a
righteous America, the principled acquiescence of a faithful
Britain, the determined intransigence of a quarrelsome France, and
the ambiguous "new way" of a recast Germany.
Serfaty's deft interweaving of the political histories and cultures
of the four countries and the personalities of their leaders
transcends the Europe-bashing debate sparked by the Iraq invasion.
He contends that not one of these four leaders was entirely right
or entirely wrong in his approach to the others or to the issues,
before and during the war. For the resulting wounds to heal,
though, and for the continuity of transatlantic relations, he
reminds us that the United States and France must end their
estrangement, France and Britain must resolve their differences,
Germany must carry its weight relative to both France and Britain,
and the United States must exert the same visionary leadership for
the twenty-first century that it showed during its rise to
preeminence in the twentieth century.
Subjects: Political Science
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