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Devil's Game: How the United States Helped…

Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

by Robert Dreyfuss

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Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam documents in all-inclusive detail how Washington spent decades nurturing ties with the anti-Communist Islamic right, a strategy that was supposed to impede Soviet expansion and curb the development of Arab nationalism. That strategy, author Robert Dreyfuss argues, came back to haunt the United States in the 1990s, most notably on Sept. 11, 2001. To back his case, Dreyfuss scoured archives and conducted countless interviews with Washington insiders: policy-makers, CIA officers, defense officials and foreign-service leaders. He taps details to fuel his argument that our well-funded – at times overt and at times covert – drive to create an Islamic bloc via alliances with radicals in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan was a most grave miscalculation with a worst-nightmare outcome: the emergence of the brand of Islamic terrorism we see today. His meticulous research includes a recurring examination of the relationship between Western banks and the Islamic right. While the level of detail and the number of names, relationships and events in Devil's Game can overwhelm, this book is a must-read for those hoping to understand the geopolitics of our times. -- Jeanie Straub
  jeaniestraub | Dec 18, 2007 |
An ambitious book that attempts to describe the contradictions of American policies towards far right islamist groups over the last 60 or so years. It is useful and at times insightful, but I found it limited, mostly because there were many points where the author seemed to overgeneralize or even misrepresent nuances and details in his attempt to present a coherent bigger picture. Perhaps this is because the author is not a specialist in many of the areas and topics which the book covers. Its well worth a read, but I get the feeling the world still awaits a definitive account of the attempts by the United States to cultivate and harness the Islamist far right to further its foreign policy objectives. ( )
  iftyzaidi | Nov 2, 2007 |
This helped me to understand a lot of the current situation. A depressing sequence of interventions leading to disaster upon disaster. ( )
  rakerman | Jul 23, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805081372, Paperback)

"The most clear and engaging history of the deadly, historic partnership between Western powers and political Islam."--Salon.com

Devil's Game is the first comprehensive account of America's misguided efforts, stretching across decades, to dominate the strategically vital Middle East by courting and cultivating Islamic fundamentalism.

Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews with dozens of policy makers and CIA, Pentagon, and foreign service officials, Robert Dreyfuss follows the trail of American collusion from support for the Muslim Brotherhood in 1950s Egypt, to links with Khomeini and Afghani jihadists, to longstanding ties between radical Islamists and the leading banks of the West. The result is as tragic as it is paradoxical: originally deployed as pawns to foil nationalism and communism, extremist mullahs and ayatollahs now dominate the landscape, thundering against freedom of thought, science, women's rights, secularism--and their former patron.
Chronicling a history of double-dealing, cynical exploitation, and humiliating embarrassment that continues to this day, Devil's Game reveals a pattern that, far from furthering democracy or security, ensures a future of blunders and blowback.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Devil's Game is the previously untold account of America's misguided efforts, stretching across six decades, to cultivate the Islamic right in an effort to dominate the economically and strategically vital Middle East. Drawing on archival research and interviews with policy makers and CIA, defense, and foreign-service officials, Robert Dreyfuss argues that America's historic alliance with the Islamic right is greatly to blame for the emergence of Islamist terrorism in the 1990s." "Among the hidden stories of U.S. collusion with radical Islam that Dreyfuss reveals here are President Eisenhower's 1953 Oval Office meeting with a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the United States' later secret alliance with that group and their Saudi patrons against Egypt's President Nasser. Dreyfuss meticulously documents the CIA's funding of the Iranian ayatollahs in the coup d'etat that restored Iran's shah to power, the United States' support for Saudi Arabia's efforts to create a worldwide Islamic bloc as an antidote to Arab nationalism, and the longstanding ties between Islamic fundamentalists and the leading banks of the West. With clarity and rigor, Dreyfuss also chronicles how the United States looked the other way when Israel's secret service supported the creation of the radical Palestinian-group Hamas and how a secretive clique of American strategists in the 1970s exploited political Islam to conduct a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan - leading directly to the rise of the Taliban."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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