The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East

by Martin Sieff

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596980518
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Publication date: 01/28/2008
Series: Politically Incorrect Guides Series
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

MARTIN SIEFF is the chief news analyst for United Press International, and he reported from the Middle East for thirty years. In addition, he has been State Department bureau chief for the Washington Times and reported for National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and the American Conservative.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Revealing the Truth about the World's Most Politically Incorrect Region     1
Bring Back the Ottoman Empire     5
The Middle East a century ago
Ottomans exit, instability and strife enter
The secrets of Ottoman success
World War I could have skipped the Middle East
Gallipoli: Underestimating the Turks
Europe's "sick man" has some teeth
The Arab-Israeli Conflict: It's Not Israel's Fault     25
The creation of Israel: An anti-Muslim U.S. conspiracy?
How it all began
The rise of Haj Amin al-Husseini
Churchill in Cairo: 1921
Emir Abdullah of Transjordan
Herbert Dowbiggin: Unlikely prophet
How British imperialist weakness sparked the Arab-Israeli conflict
The Hebrew Bible: A book of war
The true story of Israel's creation
The Mess in Mesopotamia     49
Just like today: A bad beginning
Democracy in Iraq: 1925-1958
A Jewish base for the Allies
Where America went wrong
After Saddam: "Better Tiberius"
Banking on a bank swindler
Birth of the Iraqi insurrection
The insurgents: Not just a few troublemakers
Bombing the Golden Mosque: The point of no return
It isn't a civil war; it's a splinter war
Why the surge couldn't tame Baghdad
The Truth about Islam: Radical Islam Isn't Ancient (Which Makes It More Dangerous)     77
The wisdom of Prince Turki
The cycles of Arab history
The Middle East gets religion: 1977-1980
Iran     89
The Persian Empire: When Iran was good
Clash of empires: U.S. vs. Britain
Liberal busybodies spark theIslamic Revolution
Ayatollah Khomeini: The fruit of American meddling
Carter and the hostage crisis
Post-revolution Iran
Moderation (relatively speaking) in Iran
Democracy's bitter gift: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran on borrowed time
The Israeli-Arab Wars: 1947-1973     103
Death almost at birth
The tide turns
Who's a Palestinian?
The real Yasser Arafat
Egypt's fight to destroy Israel
The Soviet Union vs. Israel
The miraculous victory
Results of the Six-Day War
Nixon: Israel's best friend
1973: The Israelis mess up big
Results of the 1973 war
The Saudis Are Part of the Solution, Not the Problem     135
The enemy of my enemy is my friend
Michael Moore's mania: The Saudis were behind September 11
Why separation of mosque and state is folly
How to fight Muslim terrorists: Build walls and monitor the mosques
The Saudis and Arafat: From appeasement to realism
Understanding the Saudis
The Arab revolt that worked
The founding father
King Faisal and the oil weapon
Saudi Arabia's three threats
Middle East Wars and Peace: 1975-2007     157
Arabs can fight
The Ba'ath Party's socialist roots
Arab tyrants: Assad and Saddam
Ford's Middle East successes
Yitzhak Rabin: The dove who armed Israel
Did Jimmy Carter really bring peace to the Middle East?
Clinton: Carter all over again
The History of September 11     185
Clinton's team missed the al Qaeda threat
Bush drops the ball on al Qaeda too
Heroes and lessons
The Saudis weren't complicit in the attacks
Why did it happen?
Peace in the Middle East: What Works, and What Doesn't     195
Hope at the end of the millennium
They are here to stay
Arab democracy = extremist rule
Why solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict won't solve the problems
The American pipe dream: A world without oil
Good fences make good neighbors
The Saudi solution
A safer Middle East
Acknowledgments     215
Index     217

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The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
O-B-Jective More than 1 year ago
This book is no Idiot's Guide or Dummies book. It is not nearly as well organized and reader friendly as those series are. I expected a much more refined chronological or topical discussion of the issues and events. As one reviewer stated, the book is "uneven", I would add "sloppily organized." Now to substance. Three main themes fall far short of reality: One, the Arab-Jewish conflict predates the creation of Israel (1948). This is true. But regretably, this line if thought is not carried far enough. I expected Sieff to go back to 2000 BC, not merely to 1917. The earlier history of the of Jewish/Arab strife is significant in the larger context. Yes, there have been more recent periods of passivity of Arabs toward Jews (during Ottoman rule), but this is obviously the exception given 4000 years of history. Two, the author claims "Radical Islam Isn't Ancient." I guess this results from his ignoring Islamic history prior to the Ottoman Empire. He cites no credible Islamic experts such as Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Michael Rubin, and Habib Malik among many others who would provide volumes of evidence against his shallow claim. The Quran and countless Muslim leaders in text after text, speech after speech, exhort the obligation of the Muslim to destroy Jews, to destroy the infidel, to be intolerant of other religions, to fight for supremacy over other forms of government, and to mimic the latter portion of Muhammads life of violent Jihad. The passive periods of Islamic history are what modern Islamists correctly teach is NOT the true Islam. And third, the author suggests that Iraq and the middle east ought to be handed over to Saudi Arabia because that Wahabbi/Islamic nation will be as successful at maintaining law and order as the Ottomans were. If that's the case, we ought to have left Hussein in power. He maintained law and order as well. Seiff is ignorant of the role of Saudi Arabia's sponsorhip of Islamic schools worldwide, many in the US. In the US, these schools teach children and young adults Islamic supremacy and ways to subvert our culture and government toward Islamic sharia law and wahabbist intolerance. Many are centers for stealth, if not violent jihad. This book is dangerously inaccurate becasue it reaches erroneous conclusions without considering many obvious facts about the nature of Islam and Saudi Arabia. Much better choices would be any be any book by Robert Spencer, or Mark Steyn's "America Alone".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never have I read a more biased account of the history of the modern middle east, and I'm a classic conservative. The thesis is poverty, despair, and despotism is the historic fate of the muslim world and since the saudi's are really good at it, get over it. They screw us and Israel when they want...but hey..get over it. Syria.."effective governance", Saddam? The monster we should have left in power for stabilities sake. Hey..you want the oil..pay the toll..the "guide" this provides is HEY! Those wacky Wahabbi's have our best interests at heart..so pay the freight and get your mind straight.:
yeremenko on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is a an informative book but Sieff¿s political loyalties stop it short of greatness. He adeptly destroys many of the myths about the middle east. The history alone is worth the cover price.His main contentions are well supported:·Liberal Democracy is not going to wok in the near future in most nations in the region·That Saudi Arabia is a great Ally of the USA not an enemy·That peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not going to cure the problems of the region.·The USA may have to pick able monarchs and dictators as allies even though they would prefer otherwise. He is not scared to point out that things were better for the West when Saddam and the Shah were in powerHis realism should be applauded, but Seiff can¿t hide his republican loyalties and, I fear, it will make many ignore the valid points of the book. At times he digresses into bitter little tirades about the popular media and their unfair treatment of republicans. This issue and this book deserve better. You can feel the hate with each time he mentions Bill Clinton and he uses insulting personal attacks on those he disagrees with. By the time he explains (convincingly I may add) why Jimmy Carter failed in the Middle East he has called Carter names (idiot is one of his favorites) for 150 pages. He would have served his purpose better to disguise his personal feelings. Even if the personal emotions were taken out the republican bias is obvious. The best Presidents were Nixon, Reagan and Ford was the best of them all. Carter and Clinton are, of course, the worst. Bush the first is discussed briefly and blandly, and W is deemed a failure, but his failures are curiously explained as following Carter¿s example. Carter did (and does) believe in democracy for the region but it is unfair to equate the invasion of Iraq with his efforts. Seiff also ignores that Reagan¿s withdrawal from Lebanon after the terrorist attack on US forces has been cited by Bin Laden as proof Americans are week. He gives Iran Contra a scant paragraph. He also discusses the rise of Bin Laden during the Afgan war with ¿US support¿ but does not mention that it was Reagan that sent Bin Laden the weapons. He also incorrectly states Clinton did ¿nothing¿ (remember the rocket attacks Rush called ¿wag the dog¿?) about Bin Laden.His support for the ruling Saudi royalty is pragmatic and sensible, but he ignores the influence Saudi oil money in private hands has played in spreading extreme Islam. Yes the house of Saud, is on our side but many rich people in the Kingdom are not. Though he ignores this fact, he makes it clear there are no better alternatives for allies in the region.If you are interested in these issues at all, this book is a must. I was able to get over the bitter delivery, and axes the author needed to grind. He lists ¿Books you¿re not supposed to read¿ and there are great recommendations included. The fact is this book claims to be honest and pull no punches and that is what it does. The fact Bill Seiff did not blindly defend the invasion of Iraq shows he is far more than another conservative blow hard. (Note: Just read this book before you read what he said about Sarah Palin!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A real eye opener and by far one of the best of the P.I.G. series. A must read for anyone interested in the Middle East.