In this provocative and timely book, Middle East expert Lee Smith overturns long-held Western myths and assumptions about the Arab world, offering advice for America’s future success in the region.
Seeking the motivation behind the September 11 attacks, Smith moved to Cairo, where he discovered that the standard explanation—a clash of East and West—was simply not the case. Middle East conflicts have little to do with Israel, the United States, or the West in general, but are endemic to the region. According to Smith’s “Strong Horse Doctrine,” the Arab world naturally aligns itself with strength, power, and violence. He argues that America must be the strong horse in order to reclaim its role there, and that only by understanding the nature of the region’s ancient conflicts can we succeed.
Smith details the three-decades-long relationship between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the United States, and gives a history of the Muslim Brotherhood, which would likely play an important role in the formation of a new government in Egypt. He also discusses Lebanon, where tipping the balance against Hezbollah in favor of pro-democracy, pro-US forces has become imperative, as a special tribunal investigates the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
Eye-opening and in-depth, The Strong Horse is much needed background and perspective on today’s headlines.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Strong Horse|
|Release Date: 01-12-2010|
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The Strong Horse
It was hard not to take 9/11 personally. I was raised in New York City, so when those planes ﬂew into the World Trade Center, it felt like a direct attack on my family and friends and myself, on the neighborhoods where I’d gone to school, played, and worked, and on the Brooklyn block where I was living that beautiful summer day when the sky darkened with the ashes of other New Yorkers. It occurred to me more than once during the time I spent living and traveling in the Middle East after 9/11 that had I lived most of my life in some other American city or village, had New York not been my hometown, I might not have moved to the region some few months after to try to ﬁgure out what had happened. This book is an account of my time in the Middle East since then, and my understanding of it. My conclusion, without racing too far ahead, is that we all took 9/11 too personally.
···The spectacular nature of the event was cause enough to see it as a declaration of war on America, so it is hardly surprising that Americans across the political spectrum came to think of it in the context of a “clash of civilizations.” Even those on the left who disdained the phrase nonetheless employed a version of the conceit when explaining that the death and destruction were by-products of the legitimate grievances that Arabs had with the United States, which was ﬁnally just a way of delivering a verdict for the other side in the same civilizational war.
···I see it a little differently. I believe that 9/11 was evidence of a clash all right, but the clash that led to 9/11 was le...