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Posted: 4/5/2006 10:50:50 AM EDT
I am trying to get as much info as I can about the middle east. Trying to educate myself.

I need good books explaining why the middle east is the way it is.

Need books on every country in the Middle East. Egypt, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabi etc. etc. Books about the wars fought and the people.

Any suggestion would be appreciated
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 10:59:49 AM EDT
How about the koran, that will shed a lot of light on the subject....
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:01:45 AM EDT
Everything I wanted to know about the Middle East I learned on 9/11
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:02:01 AM EDT
Read the Holy Bible. Especially Genesis and then really study it. It all started there. Might for exapmle want to look at Ishmael (father of Arabs) and Isaac (father of Israelites). One born thru Satan's wiles, one of God.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:07:16 AM EDT
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Steve Coll)

The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (KEn Pollack)
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:17:01 AM EDT
How about: "How we turned Sand to Glass" by, Needs Dunn
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:18:35 AM EDT
Many may pooh pooh them but Leon Uris books Exodus and The Haj are pretty good starts. Just go to the liberry and find the history section and start checking stuff out. Kenneth Timmerman has a good one out about Iran's nuclear ambitions that has some good Iranian background stuff.

A lot of the current situation started back in the 20's and 30's when Arafat's uncle the Grand Mufti assasinated many moderate, educated muslims. It is a tradition that continues to this day. Any muslim leader that finally sees the futility and stupidity of fighting the jews and tries to move on gets zapped by radicals [ re. Sadat among others ].

Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:20:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 11:20:19 AM EDT by MauserMark]
I think it's called the Fig and the Olive Branch by Thomas Friedman(?)
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:35:17 AM EDT
"Durka-Durka Mohammed Jihad" by Mohammed Jihad Duka-Durka. I couldn't put it down!
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:41:46 AM EDT
The Multiple Identities of the Middle East, by Bernard Lewis

Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:55:04 AM EDT
Almost anything by Benny Morris will be very well researched but Righteous Victims is an essential on the Zionist-Palestinian and greater/pan-Arab issues.

For Mossad actions, read Morris' & ???'s book Secret Wars (my brother has it right now, and I can't remember the other author's name).

Lewis' Multiple Identities is good.

Gaddis' We Know Now is a decent look back at the Cold War and covers the Superpower activities in the MidEast to a degree.

Any history of the Nazi activities in the Mid East and North Africa should be considered mandatory if you want to understand some of the twists in tensions.

Those are good primers on the politics that I can see on my shelves right now. The problem is my family and friends have borrowed almost everything I have and about a dozen good books are out and I cannot think of the titles/authors. If I think of more I will edit them in here.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 12:00:53 PM EDT
Try "Sex and the Single Goat" by Habent bin Sober
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 12:06:13 PM EDT
"Sleeping with the devil" by Robert Baer= Ex-Spook Klinton tried to have prosecuted.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 1:17:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 7:48:49 AM EDT by dablues]
Whirlwind by James Clavell. Been out for a while.

New York, NY, U.S.A. Morrow/Avon. 1986, First Edition. (ISBN: 0688066631)

found it used on http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/kin/013459.shtml for $5.15

It's an historic novel about Iran during the time of the overthrow of the Shah. I couldn't put it down and at the same time it angered me so badly I didn't want to pick it up again. A story of willful stupidity of an entire people. (Which also sums up a lot of the mideast...)

Also, T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia) Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A primer on how the arabs flexed their muscles against the Turks for the first time in a meaningful way. http://www.lawrenceofarabia.info/ would get you started.

But then the western nations blew that opportunity ( see "willful stupidity" above)

His romantic account of the Bible-land victories was a huge success in a country which was numbed by the horrors of European trench warfare. Lawrence quickly became a popular hero, and found that this gave added weight to his political campaign. This was the only period in his life when he actively sought publicity, giving interviews willingly in order to advance the Arab case.

However, the idea of Arab independence was anathema to French imperialists, who were determined to rule Syria, while the British Government of India had similar ambitions in Iraq. Despite passionate lobbying Woodrow Wilson, the ailing American President, turned his back on the affair. Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq) were duly allocated to France and Britain as mandated territories - colonies in all but name.

I think "blowback" is the term the CIA uses. Matter of fact, although not a book, on Discovery Channel's program on the CIA -- Part III "Blowback," documents the U.S. connection in Afghanistan
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