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While reading another thread criticizing British and French actions in the Middle East, something else occurred to me. Post-war US policy towards the Middle East has often been far more insipid than the events describes in the book.Two specific examples come to mind. A CIA-sponsored coup overthrew Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh, leading to the subsequent rule by the Shah and the ayatollahs. There's also the current US-Iraq war.In both of those cases, the US should have been better informed and capable of seeing the negative consequences of their decisions. Also, in each case there was a clear alternative: maintaining the status quo.British and French policies in the Middle East seem almost inspired in comparison.
- The Pope of Literature
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What makes it even worse in the modern context is that our historical information about the Middle East is so much more competant. Even where contemporary intelligence was lacking, better knowing the pattern of Middle Eastern history could have shed a great deal of light on current events and the directions they were likely to take.
- Dissident Heart
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JtA: Post-war US policy towards the Middle East has often been far more insipid than the events describes in the book.I think a crucial component in this regard is the introduction of oil into the equation. Considering oil is the life blood of our economy and the military industrial complex that enforces and protects it...it is clear that control of Oil is of absolute importance. This importance exceeds any stated moral, legal or ideological values and becomes a justifier of the terrific injustice and, as you state, insipid behavior.Actually, it has intensified the stupidity of the players: blinding them to options and alternatives that might serve them better, if they were willing to lessen their dependecy upon Crude.A useful guide to this ugly and dangerous history of US foreign policy in the Middle East is Stephen Shalom's Middle East Timeline.JtA: In both of those cases, the US should have been better informed and capable of seeing the negative consequences of their decisions.I think an important part of this involves the goal (US Hegemony of Energy Resources) in the region; thus even if the intelligence was spot-on, the goal would blind policy makers to some pieces, overaccentuate others, and outright fabricate information when needed.It seems as though as long as control of energy resources was maintained, any decision was/is appropriate.