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The author explains why the undifferentiating which accompanies such a loaded term as "terrorism" has caused costly delays in solving the paramount problem in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. It has also caused confusion in the public's mind concerning the patriotic aspirations and motives of distinctly separate groups in the Third World who are fighting against great odds, and ferociously at times, to survive economically and physically under extreme conditions of occupation, persecution, usurpation, or even genocide.
Dr. Hunter believes that al-Qaida, with its pernicious aims and methods, is quite different from the other groups which are inappropriately lumped with it. He feels that Al-Qaida itself must be confronted and eradicated from all its areas of operation. The book includes sections on Iran, South America and Africa, areas that are in turmoil, yet having problems that would be amenable to a change of direction in our foreign policy. The book is a primer for the uninformed, with its easy-to-read story-like descriptive style. Yet it contains a wealth of rarely presented information for the reader who is better acquainted with the subject.
Posted July 28, 2007
A Primer on Understanding Conflict in the Middle East: This newly published work is astounding for its ability to enlighten considering its brevity. It places before the reader in very clear language everything he ever wanted to know about terrorism, patriotism and the manifold problems of the Middle East: the Israeli-Palestinian question, the Iranian dilemma, Moslem fundamentalism, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, as well as the foreign policy of both Britain and the U.S. in reaction to all this. The book has fifteen short chapters, each to the point in its presentation of one or more aspects of this serious present-day problem. By the time the reader finishes reading this book he will find himself less beclouded, deeply enlightened, and freed from all the spin, slogans and sophistries that have attached themselves to the subject in the past several decades, 'like barnacles on a ship,' as the author points out. The first chapter treats of the 'abuse of terminology by spin and slogans,' methods used deliberately by interested parties to color or obfuscate rather than to clarify the news one hears daily on television or in the press. used.' Concerning the profusion of present day spin and slogans about the situation in the Middle east, the author writes: 'We are reminded of Plato's description of the Sophists of his time, using Socrates as his mouthpiece in the Dialogues. He accuses the Sophists of making 'the better appear the worse, and the worse appear the better,' depending on which side they represented. The Sophists were the advocates of social and political correctness, the opinion molders during that Periclean era of Greek history. They were used by various parties to solve their disputes, just as our dozens of emissaries sent to the Middle East to solve its problems over the past five decades.' Then follows a chapter on the 'Machiavellian Way of Politics and Governance,' as it pertains to our Mid-East foreign policy, where part of the spin and slogans consist in the demonizing of one¿s enemies before invading them the Orwellian double-talk used to move the public at large and the endless rationalizations and sophistries used in the ruling or misruling of nations. The author explains how all this has contributed more to the beclouding of international issues rather than to the ability of solving them. For example, the author discourages 'the lumping together of all insurgent and liberation movements found in diverse areas of the globe into a catch-all label, 'terrorism'--a word or a phrase that is used as well to include Al-Qaida, that truly terrorist organization, advocating pure violence and anarchy, which must be eliminated.' The author explains why the undifferienting which accompanies the loaded term 'terrorism' has caused costly delays in solving the paramount problem in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. There follows a discussion of the betrayal by the Western Powers of the promises for independance they had given the Arab countries 'Palestine, being one'' for the help they gave the West in vanquishing the Ottoman Empire during World War I 'the Lawrence of Arabia story'. Then came the massive immigration of European Jews into Palestine, facilitated by Britain, before and after the Holocaust, and leading to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. It is a fascinationg story, yet full of violence and frequent terrorist acts performed in the 1930s and 1940s to achieve this purpose. That was how and when the virulent terrorism of our time started. It is Dr. Hunter's conviction that the general public's ignorance of that one-hundred-year history is what has allowed the persistence of the false slogans and misguided opinions about the Middle East to remain fixed in the American public's mind for so many years, and has limited our ability and will to find a solutuion to the problem. Further chapters discuss the conundrum facing us today and outline solutions to the varioWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.