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After Iraq: Anarchy and Renewal in the Middle East by Gwynne Dyer (2008-02-19)


After Iraq: Anarchy and Renewal in the Middle East by Gwynne Dyer (2008-02-19)

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Review Text

  • By William Podmore on 24 July 2008

    Gwynne Dyer used to be a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. In this useful book, he outlines the changes coming to the Middle East, changes unleashed by the US/British invasion of Iraq and the destruction of the Iraqi state.He points out that the attack on Iraq made Britain a target for terrorism. As the head of MI5 said, "The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by perceived worldwide and longstanding injustices against Muslims ... and their interpretation as anti-Muslim of U.K. foreign policy, in particular the U.K.'s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan."Dyer predicts that the Middle East's countries will soon be ruling themselves. He argues that outside governments and peoples should let this happen, because "foreign intervention generally makes things worse - but also because it's none of their business."There are no outside solutions and outsiders have neither the right nor the power to interfere. Even the US military cannot dictate outcomes in the Middle East. As he notes, "The West will stop meddling in the region's affairs, because the United States is going home hurt."The Middle East of course has half the world's oil, but it's no good to its rulers unless they sell it, so, as Dyer asserts, "it doesn't matter to us who runs these countries." And he writes of Afghanistan, "the current intervention was probably always destined to end in failure." So he urges the US and British states to cut their losses and go home.Yet there is a danger that the USA will lash out before it goes, as it did in South-East Asia. In 1995, the usual `senior CIA official' told the New York Times that Iran would have nuclear bombs by 2000. We have heard warmongering like this ever since. More truthfully, the IAEA's director general Mohamed El-Baradei said last year, "the intelligence, the British intelligence, the American intelligence, is that Iran is still years, five to ten years, away from developing a weapon." Any US attack on Iran would be insanely dangerous.

  • By D. Kenny on 15 March 2008

    This is a retitled, and slightly updated, version of Dr Gwynne Dyers book 'The Mess They Made: The Middle East After Iraq (2007)'. The book looks critically at the causes of conflicts in the Middle East and looks ahead to what will happen once US and UK troops leave Iraq.

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