The modern Middle East was born in the late eighteenth century. For some historians, the signal event was the 1774 signing of the treaty that ended the war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia; a stronger case can be made for the importance of Napoleon's relatively easy entry into Egypt in 1798, which showed Europeans that the region was ripe for conquest and prompted Arab and Muslim intellectuals to ask -- as many continue to do today -- why their civilization had fallen so far behind that of Christian Europe. Ottoman decline combined with European penetration into the region gave rise to the "Eastern Question," regarding how to deal with the effects of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, which various parties have tried to answer to their own advantage ever since. The first era ended with World War I, the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of the Turkish republic, and the division of the spoils of war among the European victors. What ensued was an age of colonial rule, dominated by France and the United Kingdom. This second era ended some four decades later, after another world war had drained the Europeans of much of their strength, Arab nationalism had risen, and the two superpowers had begun to lock horns. "[He] who rules the Near East rules the world; and he who has interests in the world is bound to concern himself with the Near East," wrote the historian Albert Hourani, who correctly saw the 1956 Suez crisis as marking the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the Cold War era in the region.
During the Cold War, as had been the case previously, outside forces played a dominant role in the Middle East. But the very nature of U.S.-Soviet competition gave local states considerable room to maneuver. The high-water mark of the era was the October 1973 war, which the United States and the Soviet Union essentially stopped at a stalemate, paving the way for ambitious diplomacy, including the Egyptian-Israeli peace accord. Yet it would be a mistake to see this third era simply as a time of well-managed great-power competition. The June 1967 war forever changed the balance of power in the Middle East. The use of oil as an economic and political weapon in 1973 highlighted U.S. and international vulnerability to supply shortages and price hikes. And the Cold War's balancing act created a context in which local forces in the Middle East had significant autonomy to pursue their own agendas. The 1979 revolution in Iran, which brought down one of the pillars of U.S. policy in the region, showed that outsiders could not control local events. Arab states resisted U.S. attempts to persuade them to join anti-Soviet projects. Israel's 1982 occupation of Lebanon spawned Hezbollah. And the Iran-Iraq War consumed those two countries for a decade.
The end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union brought about a fourth era in the region's history, during which the United States enjoyed unprecedented influence and freedom to act. Dominant features of this American era were the U.S.-led liberation of Kuwait, the long-term stationing of U.S. ground and air forces on the Arabian Peninsula, and an active diplomatic interest in trying to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all (which culminated in the Clinton administration's intense but ultimately unsuccessful effort at Camp David). More than any other, this period exemplified what is now thought of as the "old Middle East." The region was defined by an aggressive but frustrated Iraq, a radical but divided and relatively weak Iran, Israel as the region's most powerful state and sole nuclear power, fluctuating oil prices, top-heavy Arab regimes that repressed their peoples, uneasy coexistence between Israel and both the Palestinians and the Arabs, and, more generally, American primacy. The end of an era in the middle east
Bush the idiot saying he's doing Gods work has put an end to the middle east that I thought would go on forever and it is in its death throes thanks to Bush as his breakdown resurges! The number of Iraqis killed by violence rose in February for the first time in several months, official figures show. At least 633 civilians died, according to data from several ministries - up from more than 460 deaths in January. with 8 deaths deaths yesterday the death and violence for Americans is also on the rise as expected. Iraq violence back on the upswing thanks to our success
A Palestinian official said Sunday that Israel's plan to expand settlements in the West Bank was "like putting a stick in the wheels of the peace process." Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved the construction of 330 housing units in Givat Zeev, near Jerusalem. Olmert spokesman Mark Regev said the decision was initially made nine years ago, and approved Sunday "for economic reasons that have to do with the developers." Israel will expand as Palestine vows to fight it.
Meanwhile Two suicide bombers exploded a car Tuesday at a building containing the offices of Pakistan's national investigative agency, destroying it and killing and wounding people inside. Police said 17 people died and 175 were wounded in the attack in Lahore, and three more were killed in a separate suicide bombing in an area of the city known as Model Town. All three bombers died. Lahore police describe the building, where about 1,000 people work, as destroyed.Pakistan's violence continues
Iran continues to do its share! Iranian students are offering rewards totaling a million dollars for the execution of three top Israeli military officers over the deadly strikes on Gaza, and they are encouraging fellow Iranians to donate their kidneys to raise the funds, the student news agency ISNA reported on Monday. "Israel must be wiped off the map," read a quote from Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini printed atop the banner. Iran raises bounty to kill Israeli officials
To further inflame the situation US President George W Bush says he is sending Vice-President Dick Cheney to the Middle East next week. Mr. Bush said one of the reasons for the visit was to impress upon the Israelis and Palestinians the need to keep firm promises made on the peace process. "His goal is to reassure people the US is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East," Mr. Bush said. Mr. Cheney's trip, which begins on Sunday, will take in Israel, the West Bank, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Cheney the war monger to visit and make everything worse
What drives me crazy is that any sane person can see none of this will be control, bush the idiot thinks there will be peace because he said so, and McCain is running for President calling this success and promises to continue this mess which most definitely will be the destruction of the middle east and any semblance of world order.