I am making my way through this terrific book, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East. It's a journalist's account, one by the great British journalist Robert Fisk. He's put himself in harm's way repeatedly to bring to us armchair diplomats and current event analyzers first hand accounts of history in the making. The man has covered the Middle East since the mid 1970s; he was there during the Iranian Revolution of 1980, the Lebanese Civil War, the Israeli invasions of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, the bloody Iran-Iraq War, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the US coalition to oust him under President Bush, Sr., and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Robert Fisk has interviewed America's archenemy Osama bin Laden, and heard his threats on the West a few years before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the US. This particular book is a fascinating travel documentary and war journal of these monumental events that have led America and her allies to the current predicament it now finds itself.
His prose is sometimes elegant, sometimes difficult, but the scenes he evokes are exactly what Americans need if they truly want to fathom the lives of the major players in the region. We can't make decisions in a vacuum without requisite background, and Mr. Fisk provides that all important background, and often it isn't easy to digest. He has heaps of criticism to throw on American, British, German, French and other rouge players who have worked to destabilize the region through amoral alliances with despots and dictators. Read this book; it's monumental.
Some links for you.
- Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988 - from the Iran Chamber Society - not a bad overview of the war.
- Iran-Iraq War - from the Columbia Encyclopedia
- Map of the Iran Iraq War
- Iran-Iraq War and Waterway Claims
- Robert Fisk - Wikipedia Entry
- Articles by Robert Fisk from his current Newspaper, The Independent
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