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House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynastie
by Craig Unger | Nonfiction
Registered by Cwarncke of Houston, Texas USA on Thursday, December 16, 2004
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by kizmiaz): permanent collection


10 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by Cwarncke from Houston, Texas USA on Thursday, December 16, 2004

10 out of 10

A must read for all US citizens 


Journal Entry 2 by Cwarncke from Houston, Texas USA on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I am releasing to another Bookcrosser - Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 3 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Sunday, July 17, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Caught the book at the post office on Friday...Can't wait to read it. Thanks, Cwarncke! 


Journal Entry 4 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Reserved for fellow BookCrosser, dospescados! 


Journal Entry 5 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Saturday, February 18, 2006

This book has not been rated.

With dospecado's agreement, I decided to send this book around as a ring to those who are particularly interested in reading it. I have sent invitations to Bookcrossers who have the book on their Cliff1976 wish lists, and may open the ring to others through the forum. 


Journal Entry 6 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Friday, February 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Off to the post office in the morning: First reader in the ring: perfect-circle.

Note added for book ray participants: I maintain the updated readers’ lists on my bookshelf profile. Please check there to find the name of the next reader, and PM him/her as soon as you receive the book so that when it’s time to pass it forward you will be ready. I hope you all enjoy this ray! 


Journal Entry 7 by perfect-circle from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning, very speedy post. I'm in the middle of a couple of books but will definitely get round to this quickly as I've wanted to read it for ages.

Thanks FeralReader. 


Journal Entry 8 by perfect-circle from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 14, 2006

9 out of 10

I took a little longer with this than I usually do with ring books because it was a read that required my full concentration. There's a lot of information contained within these pages and although I knew bits and pieces beforehand, this book helped flesh out what I did know and place it context.

There were moments were I thought/hoped that what I was reading was exagerated, fabricated in some way, cos there are times when I can't quite believe what has happened. This book gave me a number of things to think about and look in to further myself and a number of books to add to my wish list.

Thank you for offering this as a ring, I agree it is a must-read, especially for US citizens. I will be posting this on to Daemonwolf in the next few days. 


Journal Entry 9 by AlexInLeeds from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, March 19, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in the post yesterday and had to be squished into the post cubby hole by a very creative postie. :) 


Journal Entry 10 by AlexInLeeds from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 10, 2006

This book has not been rated.

It took me ages to get into this book - I kept picking it up and putting it down again... IT was in the end full of interesting facts but it wasn't really that well written... This is a book I'd wanted to read for ages though to see the US viewpoint on what is happening - here in the UK we obviously see it all through a different lens. Many thanks for including me on the bookring. :) 


Journal Entry 11 by AlexInLeeds at book ring in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, June 10, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (6/10/2006 UTC) at book ring in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Posted today. :) 


Journal Entry 12 by shpriz1 from Clifton, New Jersey USA on Friday, June 16, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Got it. Will start right away. 


Journal Entry 13 by DrPangloss on Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received on Bastille Day (July 14)! Thanks.

Karl: The peasants are revolting!
Junior: Yeah, and they smell bad, too!
Dick: Yeah, big time! 


Journal Entry 14 by DrPangloss on Friday, August 18, 2006

9 out of 10

Craig Unger unwinds a very tangled web connecting BushCo to the Saudi royal family. He then shows the connections between the Saudi royal family and terrorist organizations. It certainly helps explain mysterious events such as this:

7/5/06 :(CBS/AP) The first head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Osama bin Laden-hunting unit tells CBS News that closing the unit was "a mistake" and "a questionable decision."

"Bin laden remains the single most important threat to the United States, and there's no way around that fact," Michael Scheuer a CBS News terrorism analyst said on The Early Show.

It was reported by the New York Times Tuesday that the CIA has closed the unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the CIA Counterterrorist Center, the paper reported officials said.

Also why a non-partisan group such as Judicial Watch called for former President Bush to resign from the Carlyle Group in April 2002:

Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today pointed out that the recent spate of terror attacks on Israel has lent new urgency to the need for former President Bush to resign from the Carlyle Group, an international investment firm with close ties to the government of Saudi Arabia.

The former president, the father of President Bush, worked for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, meeting with them at least twice. The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had supposedly been “disowned” by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar business in Saudi Arabia and was a major investor in the senior Bush’s firm. Other reports have stated his Saudi family have not truly cut off Osama bin Laden.

In the wake of Judicial Watch and other criticism of its ties to the bin Laden family business, the Carlyle Group reportedly no longer does business with the bin Laden conglomerate. Yet the Group, among other conflicts of interest, reportedly has a major business relationship with the Saudi Arabian government, which many have criticized for its lack of cooperation in America’s war on terrorism and its financial and other support for terrorist attacks on Israel and U.S. interests.

“It stands to reason, as noted in the David Sanger piece in The New York Times today, that President Bush consults with his father on issues of the day. In a normal situation, this would be appropriate, but with President Bush’s father being effectively an agent of the Saudi Arabian government, it raises, in the least, a conflict of interest problem. Questions can be raised, for instance, if the ‘kid gloves’ treatment of Saudi Arabia by the Bush Administration has anything to do with his father’s financial ties to the Saudi regime. Former President Bush would be doing his son and his country a favor by immediately resigning from the Carlyle Group,” stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman

But, if it is appropriate for the elder Bush to resign from Carlyle, how is it somehow appropriate for his son, who has had several businesses bailed out by the same people, to continue in the top “elected” office in the country?

As bad as this all seems, it is only one franchise of this first family of crime.

"You have to look at the entire Bush Family in this context -- as if the family ran a corporation called ‘Frauds-R-Us,’
George Jr.’s specialty was insurance and security fraud.
Jeb’s specialty was oil and gas fraud.
Neil’s specialty was real estate fraud.
Prescott’s specialty was banking fraud.
And George Sr.’s specialty? All of the above." -- Lt. Cmdr. Al Martin, US Navy,(Ret)

The details of all of these frauds will amaze the most jaded. For instance, Prescott Bush who had the assets of his bank seized under the trading with the enemies act for literally fueling the Nazi death machine by selling fuel to the Third Reich.


Sent on to FeralReader, 8/18/2006 


Journal Entry 15 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Friday, August 25, 2006

This book has not been rated.

House of Bush, House of Saud arrived back in California today. Thanks, everyone, for participating in this ring/ray and for taking such good care of the book; wow! I'm planning to finish reading it now. 


Journal Entry 16 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Saturday, February 03, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Preparing this book for its next journey as an international book ray! 


Journal Entry 17 by FeralReader from Davis, California USA on Monday, February 05, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Finishing the last bit of reading I will do before sending this book along, I find it hard to rate or review it. It is a startling expose; chilling; disturbing; fascinating. Thanks to all who have shared this book and offered more articulate comments in your journal entries. I guess I am still mostly wishing it were fiction.

~Off to LeishaCamden in Norway~

Reading order for this ray:

1. LeishaCamden
2. Skyfire20 (Norway)
3. Okyrhoe (Greece/intl.)
4. kizmiaz (Portugal/Europe)




 


Journal Entry 18 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Friday, February 16, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This arrived in the mail today from FeralReader. Thanks! It looks eerily fascinating. I'll journal again once I've read the book. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sending it to me - and for all the fancy stamps on the package! :-) 


Journal Entry 19 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, March 11, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I started reading this book today. Sorry it's taken so long. :-) I've only read about 20 pages so far, but already I'm very intrigued ... 


Journal Entry 20 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I'm sorry that it's taken me this long to journal this book - it hasn't taken me this long to read it, I actually finished it a while ago. But as someone already said, it's a book that takes a while to process. Here are some comments and tomorrow I will pass the book on to its next reader.

First of all I have to say that I agree with FeralReader - I *so* wish this book was a work of fiction! As I know that it isn't, the book makes me very happy that I am not American. (I know, as if I wasn't already ... !)

There is an enormous amount of information and detail in this book, and so it takes some time and effort and concentration to get through it. But it's definitely worth it, as this is information that everyone ought to have. The most powerful nation on earth is being run by borderline criminals. How is that even possible?

Some of what should be said about this book has been said already, by other journallers here. I agree that it's scary and almost unbelievable; yet at the same time it is completely credible as it is obviously extremely well researched and documented. Unger basically tells the story of the Bush family's rise to power from the early days and until today, focusing mainly on George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, although there is also some info on Prescott Bush. He goes into quite a lot of detail about Bush senior's presidency, and his career before and after, especially before. This was almost the scariest part for me as I didn't know a lot about these goings-on before. There must be something wrong with that man - he seems to have no understanding of right and wrong as absolutes. Unfortunately he has passed this failing on to his son.

Unger meticulously contextualizes the Bush clan's rise to power, explaining in detail their relationship with Saudi-Arabia's royal family and ruling classes. This relationship is absolutely awful and should never have been allowed to develop, for so many reasons. Saudi-Arabia is one of the worst shithole countries on this planet, and nobody ought to have anything to do with them at all. It's unbelievable that such a relationship has developed. Something is clearly wrong with the US political system when such obfuscation of reality is not only possible, but practically easy. It makes me ask myself a lot of questions ... Why does the American public accept this? Why are people so ignorant, why don't they seek out information? How is it possible to pull this much wool over this many people's eyes?

Power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely. The division of power in the American political system obviously needs to be altered. One man, if that man is sufficiently unscrupulous, can do almost infinite damage. And that man, I'm afraid, is George Walker Bush. Now if only everyone would read this book, and more books like it ...

A few things I particularly remarked on in the book:

An Arab-American professor of something or other, talking about the Kaaba, says that this holy black rock (duh) would be the ‘Western equivalent of ... the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the Lincoln Memorial, multiplied by a factor of ten.’ I realize that this can’t be held against Unger, it’s a quote. But God, how American! Get over yourselves! I am a citizen of the Western world, as much as any American, but let me tell you, Mount Rushmore means jack shit to me. The Lincoln Memorial?? Please! I know what it looks like, I know where it is, but I don’t care about it. Why should I?? It is not the Western equivalent, it is the American equivalent. There is a significant difference. I would have appreciated Unger’s intelligence more if he had somehow managed to point that out.

Check out the first paragraph on page 141 (starts on page 140). Prophetic words ... ! Unbelievable. Makes me want to punch someone’s lights out when I think about it.

Speaking of wanting to hit people, the Visa Express program really takes the cake. It almost defies belief. I would really like someone to explain to me what kind of system it is where that is even legal.

Several places in the book Unger mentions a certain Palestinian residing in Florida, Sami al-Arian. Just for future reference, while Unger makes him out to be basically a proven criminal, this does not now seem to be quite correct. al-Arian’s case has come to trial and he has been found guilty on one unimportant count (which he in fact pled guilty to in some kind of deal, apparently) and acquitted on all the many dozen of others. Although the FBI have something like 10 000 hours of phone surveillance on this guy they could make absolutely none of it stick. A translator testified that many of the FBI transcripts of these surveillance tapes have been incorrectly translated; one suspicious sequence turned out to be dealing with the planned transport of a carpet. I’m not saying that al-Arian is innocent. I’m just saying that he has been aquitted. That, not least, the only thing it can be proven that he has done is talk. And last I checked, freedom of speech was supposed to be one of the great things about America.

Finally I would like to recommend a movie to all past and future readers of this book and to everyone they know and to everyone they’ll ever meet. ‘A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash’ deals with the soon-to-come Peak Oil and the ramifications of it. The US president is an oil man through and through and modern US society is founded on nothing but oil. That’s gonna turn out to be a big mistake, and it’s gonna happen soon. See this movie, it’ll scare you. We all need to be scared like that. 


Journal Entry 21 by LeishaCamden at -- Et ukjent sted i Oslo in -- wild release somewhere in Oslo, Oslo fylke Norway on Thursday, April 19, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (4/19/2007 UTC) at -- Et ukjent sted i Oslo in -- wild release somewhere in Oslo, Oslo fylke Norway

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

A good friend & currently coworker of mine really wants to read this book, and now she shall. :-) I'm trying to force her to register here but she's still 'thinking about it'. What's there to think about?? ;-) Now I'll leave this book on her desk or in her bag or something - another great reading experience courtesy of BookCrossing. ;-) 


Journal Entry 22 by Skyfire20 from Drammen, Buskerud fylke Norway on Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This book has not been rated.

So, the friend was forced to join bookcrossing - or actually, LeishaCamden joined me for me, so to speak... Got an e-mail from her with my username and password and everything. Am speechless, such an unselfish act! ;-)

Have just started reading this one; might take a little while to finish but will try not to take too long. I'm sure it'll be a frightening read.
 


Journal Entry 23 by Skyfire20 from Drammen, Buskerud fylke Norway on Tuesday, October 02, 2007

This book has not been rated.

... ok, this has taken me forever (!) to read. In fact, I haven't even quite finished it yet. Thanks to FeralReader for the reminder. ;-)

Have PM'd Okyrhoe and the book will be on its way as soon as I get the address to send it to. 


Journal Entry 24 by Skyfire20 from Drammen, Buskerud fylke Norway on Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Book is on its way to Greece. Happy reading, Okyrhoe!

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I didn't get around to finishing this one. It was too much of 'preaching to the choir' anyway, in my case. Dubya isn't my favourite politician... and I'm a little sick of reading about him & his croonies by now. Hey, it's 2009 soon! =) 


Journal Entry 25 by okyrhoe from Athens, Attica Greece on Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in my p.o.box yesterday. Thanks FeralReader for including me in the ray, and Skyfire20 for posting it to me!

Nov. 21: I need 10-14 more days with this if it is OK, I've been swamped by ring & ray books this month! 


Journal Entry 26 by okyrhoe from Athens, Attica Greece on Thursday, December 13, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Maybe I had higher expectations from this book. Craig Unger's work is adequate; he has researched his subject well. But he is mainly compiling information from previously published material. I was hoping that maybe he could present additional information, based on his own investigative research. Proof of his limitations is when he remarks, on at least one occasion, that a search on Nexis-Lexis did not provide any relevant information he was looking for. Well, maybe he needs to actually travel to KSA, or any where else beyond the US that the story might take him, conduct a few interviews, speak with a few more people, etc. In the few instances where he has actually contacted the principals involved, I believe it was either over the telephone or via email. In the cases of the Carlyle Group and the S.A. business families, he only has the carefully worded statements of their legal representatives to offer us.

There is nothing 'startlingly unbelievable' in the material presented in HofB, HofS; anyone up-to-date on international &/or financial affairs knows that what transpires between the HofB and the HofS is business as usual. I would also say that none of the allegations Unger puts forth in the book are particularly reprehensible, except for the unusual circumstances of the evacuations of Saudi nationals during the air travel ban in the US following 9/11. It does seem that the emergency measures & protocols set up hastily may have been violated. But then again the persons who were spirited away apparently were not 'suspects', legally speaking. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that whenever there's an unforeseen crisis in a foreign country, US agencies (as well as other 'Western' nations) use exactly the same behind-the-scenes negotiations to evacuate their own citizens who may be at risk by remaining in the crisis zone, while the hoi polloi remain stranded until the situation clears. Why be suspicious when the Saudis want the same done to protect their own citizens? To me it is a naive accusation, on Unger's part, when he starts and ends his narrative with the detailed hour-by-hour account of the airlifting of the Saudi nationals. I'm not saying I agree with what transpired; I'm saying that it's nothing out of the ordinary. This is what diplomats are required to do in these kinds of situations, even if it means resorting to extraordinary means to protect their fellow countrymen in a foreign land. For the US authorities (whoever gave the green light) to refuse to comply could possibly endanger the safety of US citizens in KSA, if the same 'service' was requested in a future crisis there. Putting undue emphasis on these events, in my opinion, weakens rather than strengthens, Unger's thesis overall.

After a while I also began to be bothered by certain generalizations. Unger refers to a "global network of terror" & the "global network of Islamic warriors" funded by Wahhabi fundamentalism. Unger states that OBL's network is the US's "mortal enemy" -- right at the beginning of Chapter 1, and in the last sentence of the book. Sure, OBL's particular terrorist network is spread out all over the globe, but the support the network receives, or even the scope of the network's aims, is not on a global scale.

Furthermore, he ridicules the efforts of the Justice Dept. under Ashcroft for putting the war on drugs on a higher priority than counterterrorism. OBL & Co.s activities may be deadly and uncontained, but there are other examples of 'global' networks that function with similar ruthlessness. The drug trade involves/d the leadership of criminal figures in many continents, as well as the collusion of various rebel and or terrorist groups sprinkled through S. America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, etc.

I also have a problem with his use of the term "the Age of Terror." To a European like me, the real terror came during the Nazi occupation of my country. Nothing OBL & Co. can do will ever equate that. If Unger merely means 'the Age of Terror' as the being the asymmetric attack of 9/11 bringing about a change in world history, then I would counter with other past examples where an event triggers a geopolitical crisis (the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand ushering WWI, for example, or the terror of the atomic bomb bringing Japan to a surrender in the 1940's).

On p. 80, Unger mentions Saddam Hussein's record of "human rights violations, use of chemical weapons, and continued support of terrorism." It is unclear, within the contents of Unger's book, what terrorist groups S.H. is known/alleged to have funded or supported. Another generalizing statement that remains unsupported by evidence is this one: "For all their anti-Americanism, even the most militant Islamists agreed that something had to be done about Saddam Hussein, a secular ruler who was seen as bent on destroying Islam." This sounds as if there is some sort of unity of action amongst all the militant Islamists worldwide, which is not the case, or that some sort of common statement or plan of action was taken to counter S.H., which again is not true. What Unger is referring to here is beyond me. Futhermore, the militant Islamists referred to throughout the book are Wahhabi (Sunni). S.H. was also Sunni, and was responsible for the suppression of the Shiite population in Iraq. It's the (Shiite) Iranians and the non-Sunni Iraqis (Kurds & Shiites) who have reasons to contend with S.H.

In conclusion, I feel that Unger's book is limited in scope. I shall grant him that he remains true to the evidence before him and doesn't veer off into exaggerated claims or conclusions. But he provides no substantial new/underreported data; the greater part of his facts have been uncovered, compiled, or reported by others before him. Also, it seems odd that he doesn't once mention other important players in the wider story - Russian president Putin's moves to control the Asian energy fields, and the other European nations who have their own vested interests in the energy resources of the Middle East or, alternatively, something to gain from facilitating the alliance of the two 'Houses'.

---
On its way to kizmiaz 


Journal Entry 27 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Wednesday, January 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Got it, still have a couple to finish before I start on this one but then I'll find a way to keep it travelling. 


Journal Entry 28 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Friday, February 01, 2008

9 out of 10

This is a well researched book about a shameful relationship, and I don’t specifically mean the relationship between the Saud and the Bush families but the one between corporate business and political power, that is the one we should watch out for.
The fact that the Bush dynasty and the Saud dynasty have benefited from their close relation is pretty much undeniable, never mind that both these dynasties should have been defending and protecting their own people and not planning new ways to make more money, or that they both turned a blind eye to what really was happening with the funding of terrorist groups by some of their friends, and sometimes themselves, because they had their eye on the big prize (modernization for the Saud and the black gold for Uncle Sam), or even the fact about both of them supporting, financing and encouraging Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden and the Ayatollah Khomeini, at one time or another.
If this isn’t enough to convince you that there has been a lot of foul play between these leaders and their people, you probably still believe that Bush actually won the 2000 election, that there was a reason (other than that famous, and unmentioned in the book, pipeline) to go bomb Afghanistan (where is Osama anyway?), that there are no human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and the US (does anyone really know what’s going on in Guantanamo prison?), that the whole attack on Iraq was justified and not based on a previous plan which had as its sole purpose get to the Iraqi oil fields, and you probably believed the “Mission Accomplished” speech that Bush Jr. made on that aircraft carrier so long ago. By the way I hate to be the one to break it to you but Santa does not exist either.
The author brings into perspective the way the agendas of both the Bush and Saud dynasties went hand in hand, and especially how these private goals rose above each nation’s own interests, and does that with a clear headed language that’s very easy to grasp, even though some important aspects are missing from the narrative (like the full uncovering of the scam that led Bush Jr. to the White House in 2000, the situation of the prisoners that were taken in the Afghan war and placed in Guantanamo without any kind of accusation and even though captured in a war they aren’t being treated according to the Geneva convention, the full reach of that absurdly arrogant and criminal plan for the new American century or “How Can America Do What it Pleases and Get Away With It” like someone died made the USA an heir to Augustus, Napoleon or Hitler, but the thing that I felt was missing and was of extreme importance in the light of what went on in the world in 2002, is the big question and its full answer: Is the world safer after 9/11 and the measures taken by the USA? The answer is, obviously, no. Unless you’re an unenlightened American who voted for Bush the second time around, in which case you don’t know what you’re doing anyway, so shut it!
And one last thing the author doesn’t contest the fact that the US decided to fight terrorism not with a police force or one of their numerous government agencies, like it’s always been done, successfully I might add, in Europe but decided instead to do it with bombs and a regular army as if the terrorists were in a specific country and were themselves a regular army, which they’re not, of course.
This was a enlightening read because it gave me knowledge of situations I had no idea of and refreshed others that I already knew about, there’s a lot of food for thought here and even more if you care to read between the lines, for Americans and for everybody else (since US foreign policies disrupts the stability of the rest of the world) and it also brings a disturbing new definition to the old concept of “the American Way”.
Another book that can complement this one is The Bush Dyslexicon by Mark Crispin Miller.
 




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