Cauldron of Turmoil: America in the Middle East by Barry M. Rubin

By Barry M. Rubin

A historical past of America's tangled position within the center East lines the roots of the Persian Gulf struggle again to the oil growth days of the Nineteen Seventies. through the writer of Islamic Fundamentalism in Egyptian Politics.

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Ironically, the American myths on the Middle East promoted by those claiming to be proArab actually depreciated that people. The majority of Arab leaders acted not as blind fanatics but as rather typical politicians who weighed their rational self-interest. They knew that the regional situation put certain constraints on their actions and forced them to give lip-service to certain ideas; they wanted to see which superpower or local state would win before committing themselves. S. power to being taken over by Iran or Iraq.

Relations with Israel and the Arabs was no zero-sum game in which one side's gain was the other's automatic defeat. S. ties to the other. We are the only superpower 32 trusted by both Israel and the Arabs. By establishing friendship and confidence on both sides, we have made it possible to move Arabs and Israelis toward greater peace and security. We have brokered six peace agreements serving Israeli, Arab, and Western interests. S. interests was to make concessions in order to get along better with its enemies, endeavoring to convince them that the United States was not their enemy.

At the beginning of his career, Saddam the revolutionary would command a half-dozen guns in an ambush. Twenty years afterward, he would make himself president of Iraq and within a few months order his nation's army to invade Iran, setting off the largest war in Middle East history. Precisely a decade later, he would attack Kuwait, shaking the region and precipitating a full-scale war of Iraq versus the world. Even the briefest summary of his career shows Saddam's impressive talent and equally remarkable capacity for political iniquity, ruthlessness learned in a political system where such behavior was a necessity to rise and survive.

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