Thursday, 9 August 2007

Book Review: The Mess They Made, by Gwynne Dyer (2007)

So what will happen in the Middle East when the US withdraws from Iraq?

Canadian-born author Gwynne Dyer presents a galloping view of the likely regional consequences once the US army leaves Iraq behind. This event, which Dyer predicts will happpen soon after the next US President is sworn-in, will mark the dramatic reduction of US military influence in the world's toughest neighbourhood, thereby unleashing dramatic and turbulent events within many countries.

The book includes a laser-sharp and highly plausible assessment of the likely real reasons behind the US invasion of Iraq, from the perspective of a modern day Empire protecting its long term interests. This part of the book alone is worth the price of admission.

Dyer writes in an uncompromising, humourous and refreshingly impartial style, and has clear insight into the various countries, incuding the political factions, national interests and religious tides that push and pull events in Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Israel.

He presents several possible post-withdrawal outcomes for the region, from doomsday scenarios to more cool-headed results. Although Dyer does not clearly state what are the more likely outcomes, he implies that leaving local populations to determine their futures with less foreign interference will likely be a very good thing for long-term stability, although short-term results may initially appear to be grim.

Paperback published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, 267 pages.

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