Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment? Hardcover – May 22, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
“Sensible recommendations are woven through every chapter of the book for the next US administration” ―YaleGlobal Online
“For students of the region, journalists, policy-makers, or others interested in developing a nuanced understanding of US foreign policy towards the Middle East today, at a time when the sun seems to be setting on the US' 'unipolar moment', Fawaz Gerges' Obama and the Middle East could not have come at a better time.” ―LSE Review of Books
“In a thorough and clear manner, Gerges takes the reader through each of the major challenges the Obama administration has had to face in the Middle East, highlighting where the man of 'hope' and 'change' failed, and where the president has simply been a prisoner of history.” ―Middle East Policy Council
About the Author
Fawaz A. Gerges is a professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he is chair of the Middle East Centre. He was a senior ABC television news analyst from 2000 until 2007 and has been a guest on Charlie Rose, Oprah, ABC Nightline, and other prominent shows. He has contributed pieces to The New York Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Middle East Journal, Al Mustaqbal al-Arabi, and many others. He lives in London.
Top customer reviews
In addition, I have a problem with his highly sanguine assessment of Islamism. While I agree that the war on terror has been overly funded, and somewhat exaggerated, Gerges again is highly optimistic that the pragmatism he sees in the behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood is indicative of a resounding ideological shift in position. Is this a sound premise? Why, instead of it being a change in ideological perspective, can't it be something else? He seems to believe that Islamists will perpetually subordinate the tenets of Islam to the necessities of political reality. Is this a sound theory? First, Gerges doesn't go into such a philosophical conversation of his premises as it would probably derail his book. Nevertheless, these premises need to be clarified to see whether they are justified. According to historical Islamic jurisprudence, a hudna, or "Truce" does not mean "perpetual peace", but rather, a conditional peace. If all hudnas throughout history were seen through Gerges "realist" eyes, than he'd always imagine that his political paradigm is prevailing, while the Islamic one is faltering. However, can we ever really trust Islamist intentions? Could they not - as their own support for Hamas suggests - be manipulating political processes until they reach a point of sufficient strength to dictate the rules of the game? This is the inherent conflict, as explored in books like Robert R. Reilly's "Closing of the Muslim Mind", that needs to be worked out. Fawaz Gerges talks as if there isn't any risk to his political strategy. As if allowing Islamists to grow, unperturbed, over many years over many middle eastern countries, won't result in a situation in which, not only would Israel's existence be threatened, but the whole non-Muslim world might find itself at the end of a grisly situation that could have been avoided.
I'm not an alarmist by saying so, but merely exploring a probable outcome of the political policy advocated by Fawaz Gerges. This does not make me "Islamaphobic". As Frederich Hayek explored in his "road to serfdom", my concern is how the state will be used by Islamists. To be sure, my gut feeling is not to trust them. Although they work slowly and methodically, I believe it to be highly probable that they plan to accrue political power over many years, possibly decades, whether this be done through little shifts at home or changes in the education system, I believe Islamists are still confined by the boundaries set by their fundamentalist Islamic beliefs.
The print for this publication was very small which made difficult reading for an older person such as myself.
A larger font would be appreciated by future readers.
In addition, Gerges demonstrates how Obama has failed the entire Middle East Region using the flawed strategies that have been produced from his inept Foreign Policy staff.
In Chapter 3 he specifically raises the question as to whether United States Policies during the 2011 Arab Spring significantly changed the status quo in the Middle East thereby presently irreversible challenges for the World.
Here, Fawaz Gerges, a top Middle East scholar, delivers a broad picture of US relations within the region. He reaches back more than 50 years to clearly explain the issues that have challenged the Obama administration and examines the president's failures; from his failed negotiations with Israel and Palestine to his drawdown from Afghanistan and withdrawal from Iraq.
Gerges highlights the changes that an American President must make to improve the US position in the Middle East in light of his do nothing policy in Egypt and as his failed relations with Iran and Libya.
The conclusion is frightening in that United States Foreign Policy has failed miserably during the past three years resulting in the end of its influence in the area unless things are changed radically by a new occupant in the White House.