- Paperback: 1136 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (February 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400075173
- ISBN-13: 978-1400075171
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 225 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East Reprint Edition
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"A magisterial report from the shifting front lines of the Middle East. It deserves to be read by all those concerned with what is happening in Iraq today." —The Boston Globe“A stimulating and absorbing book, by a man who . . . has met the leading players, from bin Laden to Ahmad Chalabi. . . . A formidable production.” —The New York Times Book Review“Vivid, graphic, intense. . . . A book of unquestionable importance. . . . [Fisk’s] experience of war is unmatched, [as is] his capacity to convey that experience in concrete, passionate language.” —The Washington Post Book World“Fisk’s magnum opus. . . . Seals [his] place as a venerable, indispensable contributor to informed debate in and about the Middle East.” —The Nation“Powerful . . . Mr. Fisk is a gifted writer and an accomplished storyteller . . . his love affair with the region and the glamorous profession of being a foreign correspondent finds expression on every page.” —The Economist
About the Author
Bestselling author and journalist Robert Fisk holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. Fisk is currently the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, based in Beirut. He has lived in the Arab world for more than 40 years, covering Lebanon, five Israeli invasions, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Algerian civil war, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, the American invasion and occupation of Iraq and the 2011 Arab revolutions. He has been awarded the British International Journalist of the Year Award seven times and has also received the Amnesty International UK Press Award twice. Robert Fisk received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Trinity College, Dublin and was The Times's (London) Belfast correspondent from 1971-1975 and its Middle East correspondent from 1976-1987. He is also the author of Pity the Nation, a history of the Lebanese war, and The Age of the Warrior, an anthology of his ‘Comment’ pieces from the Independent.
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Each chapter of the book reveals one or many "surprising" facts. "Surprising" to me because I didn't know about it, I didn't hear about it or I didn't explore it enough before, in large part because of my ignorance, but also because our traditional media outlets are incredibly deficient or subscribed to a particular view of the world. Fisk talks about the terrible consequences of the First World War, the history of aggression to the Afghan people by Brits, Russians and Americans, the conflict between the urban and rural sides of Afghanistan, the Western-sponsored coup d'etat that overthrew the only Iranian President ever elected in a fair democratic process, the world support to the invader and user of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war, the gruesome history of the Algerian civil war, the conversations between the Nazis and the Palestinians during World War II, the massacres at the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in the Lebanon, the contamination of water and soil and increased cancer rates in Iraq due to depleted uranium, just to name a few terrible facts. This is definitively not a "feel good" book, but rather a raw description of the events in an area of the world ravaged by war and vengeance. You will feel sad. You will feel frustrated. You will feel anger, especially at the intervention of the foreign powers in the region (UK, France, US, Russia, even Germany and Italy). But suddenly, you will realize that the marathon effort of going through more than 1,300 pages is one of your best investments of time. Very highly recommended.
Whilst reading the book I felt angry and at other times my eyes welled up. People’s lives were ripped apart by cruel self-serving dictators, megalomaniacs, half-wit imbeciles and murderous thugs whose fanatical displays of religious fanaticism and political ideology affected millions. There were very strict standards and little tolerance for contrary ideas or opinions and little or no regard for human life.
The western world is incapable of making reparation for war crimes against humanity and are not much better than the group I listed above. The countries that declare war lack all conviction to follow-through for a variety of reasons and justifications not to support the rebuilding of the region delusional in their thinking that Sunnis and the Shiites will work in harmony. Full of hate for each other which is deep rooted in their DNA the split goes back to events in the 7th century: After Mohammed's death in 632.
The only way to deal with the legacy of war is to keep looking forward. I see no hope for the Middle East until education is compulsory for all children, free from religious bondage, dictators removed without decent into chaos, and from that point forward it will take 100 years or more for peace to come to the region.
“There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man.”
' Alan Paton