Could the United States defeat Al-Qaeda but still lose the broader war on terrorism? In The Stakes: America and the Middle East, Shibley Telhami, one of America’s most in-demand commentators on the Middle East, provides a concise and penetrating analysis that explains Arab and Muslim attitudes toward the United States and shows why there is much reason for concern. In an insightful, passionate, yet balanced analysis, Telhami provides new perspectives on the collapse of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the attending escalation of violence. He shows why the Arab-Israeli conflict remains central to the war on terrorism and to international stability, and considers American policy toward Iraq and the Persian Gulf. He demonstrates the need for political change in the region’s oil states and suggests how best to achieve it. The Stakes provides a well-reasoned, calm analysis that will be essential reading for anyone who wonders where America should go from here, amid the dangers and opportunities in the ever-volatile Middle East.
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Shibley Telhami is Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. A frequent contributor to the nation's television, radio, and print media, he is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch.From Publishers Weekly:
Perception counts for a lot when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East-so Telhami argues in this slim but intellectually dense volume. A political scientist at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Telhami argues that the United States could defeat Osama bin Laden and even Iraq, but still not eliminate the Islamic terrorist threat. As long as the United States is perceived in the Arab and Muslim worlds as arrogant, pro-Israel and supportive of authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia's, the seeds of terror will sprout, he argues, quoting a Council on Foreign Relations study: "there is little doubt that stereotypes of the United States as arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical, inattentive, and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue are pervasive and deeply rooted." Telhami devotes much of the book to elaborating, in readable prose, how and why American policy over the past few years has been viewed negatively. Telhami's solutions are simple. Among his proposals: the United States should become more evenhanded in its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and pressure the region's authoritarian regimes to democratize. Strong defenders of American policy may find Telhami's argument a sophisticated form of "blame America," but as the world's focus narrows to Iraq, this volume provides a welcome look at how the Arab world views the broader picture. 3 maps.
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