Causes of Unrest in the Middle East Essay

1145 Words Aug 3rd, 2008 5 Pages
The Causes of Unrest in the Middle East

The causes of unrest in the Middle East are historical, religious, economic and geo-political. Ancient history and ancient civilizations can serve as a framework for understanding some of the existing enmity. For example, the Persians (Iranians) and the Babylonians (Iraqis) have been fighting for more than 3,000 years. However, the current unrest in the Middle East is the result of Western ethno-centrism and colonialism (covert and overt), combined with religious and sectarian conflicts. The impact of Western (Europe and the USA.) interference in the Middle East cannot be overstated. Indeed, the term “Middle East” is an artificial term that has no meaning except in the context of its
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Each time a country tried to become a democracy, the implied threat of the possibility of oil being withheld from the military machines of the Western powers led to the destruction of the democratic elements and to the installation of kings and dictators that served the interests of Great Britain, France and the USA.
Iran is an example of the destruction of democracy to preserve the supply of oil to the West. Iran, which was a functioning democracy during the early-1950s, attempted to nationalize their oil industry. The word “nationalization” has a negative connotation, but actually means using a nation’s resources for the nation rather than for the benefit of a colonial or external power. Great Britain, with the support of the US and other Western nations, embargoed Iranian oil exports causing great damage to the Iranian people and economy, but failed to break the will and spirit of the Iranians (Bostock). Eventually, the CIA engineered a coup which overthrew Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, and installed Shah Reza Pahlavi, one of the most vile, cruel and inhumane dictators of the modern era (Bostock). In 1978 the Shah was overthrown by Islamists, who are in power today as a result of the excesses of the Shah, and who are now attempting to develop nuclear weapons to prevent the USA from overthrowing them (Bostock). We call it terror; they call it self-preservation. Add-in the US support for
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