Controlling the Uncontrollable?
Edited by: Tore T. Petersen
This collection of essays by a distinguished group of scholars - based on lectures presented at a conference on the Anglo-American Middle East in Trondheim, Norway during May 2005 - discusses how the different great powers have, not always successfully, tried to control the Middle East. Contributor Edward Ingram compares with a grand sweep the British and the American imperial experience in the Middle East. He notes that too many scholars exaggerate the power of 19th-century Great Britain in order to compare it with the present day 'US paramountcy.' Alan Milward is on a different tack, explaining how the oil crisis and oil embargo forced the European Common Market to take a new approach towards the Arabs, and in the process cutting loose from the American embrace and laying the foundation for a common EU foreign policy. Douglas Little deepens our understanding of his concept American Orientalism - "the tendency to dismiss Muslims as backward, decadent and evil" - ending his essay with a withering criticism of George W. Bush who has rejected the doctrine of containment in favor of preventive war when invading Iraq, needlessly creating the current imbroglio there. Peter Hahn discusses American-Israeli relations in the period 1945-1961, showing that Israeli and American officials were often at loggerheads on the future of the Jewish state. Rounding off the essays is Mary Ann Heiss' account of key episodes of American oil policy since 1945. Even with the importance of oil, as Heiss explains, the balance of power had by 1974 shifted in favor of the oil producers that had "shrewdly divided the Atlantic Alliance, pitting the Western Europeans against both the Americans and each other."
Publication Date: 12/31/2006