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April 26-May 2, 2006

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'Storm From the East'

Storm From the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West
REVIEW (By Milton Viorst; Modern Library; 195 pages; $21.95 cloth)
—Michael S. Gant

Let's see. The Rumsfeld is under fire from all corners for bungling Iraq, and who gets the boot? The press secretary. When in doubt, blame the media. Too bad no one in the administration listened to reporter Milton Viorst. Times reporter. In his new book, Viorst calmly but devastatingly explains the historical reasons that our adventure in Iraq was doomed from the start. In succinct terms, Viorst traces Arab resentment of Western meddling. The roots of the problem lie in the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the machinations of the victorious allied powers at the end of World War I. Britain and France carved up the Middle East to their own ends, breaking numerous deals and promises with Arab leaders. Sadly, Viorst concludes, "Three years of war [in Iraq] had demonstrated that America today is no more capable than was Britain a century ago of persuading the Arabs to accept the West's values."


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