• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A book

The Poisoned Well - empire and its legacy in the Middle East

I think it is worth reading this book. 

My questions to the author after reading the review:


“He also briskly dismisses the fashionable ISIS/Daesh-driven exaggeration of the significance of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement and other post-WW1 ‘lines in the sand’ to focus more sharply on the dismal shortcomings of the post-colonial era. Just one niggle: the ruling family of Saudi Arabia is (still) the Al (upper case, no hyphen) Saud, like the Al Thani in Qatar, and not to be confused with the more common Arabic definite article.”


Does that mean the authors dismiss two fundamental aspects of the historical process: the artificial nation states in the region and the economic factors, i.e. the uneven development of capitalism and the core’s interests for stability in the region, a stability which guarantees the status quo and thus economic and geo-political interests? 


Does the author also dimiss the West’s role in co-pting the latest uprisings through support of the groups and organisations which do not challenge its interests (see the example of Egypt)? In case of Tunisia socio-economic demands where confined to almost one bourgoies element: freedom of speech, and its weak parliament. 


Does the author ever mention a single instance where the Western regimes ever supported a progressive or a socialist movement or party in the Middle East and North Africa? Obviously, imperialist regimes are by its nature reactionary and cannot support a progressive movement.


Does the author mention the role of the so-called NGOs in maintaining stability of the regimes in the region?

Does the author mention how likely an organisation like "Daesh" would have emerged if there had been no invasion and occupation of Iraq and the destruction of the Iraqi state? How likely was it? 1%? 10%? 50% 90%?


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Part 3 follows an international solidarity caravan to the third stop of the trip:  Oum Laarayes,  another   polluted and marginalised town...