Cover image for The stakes : America and the Middle East : the consequences of power and the choice for peace
The stakes : America and the Middle East : the consequences of power and the choice for peace
Telhami, Shibley.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiii, 204 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Format :


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DS63.2.U5 T459 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Could the United States defeat Al-Qaeda but still lose the broader war on terrorism? In The Stakes: America and the Middle East , Shibley Telhami, one of America's most in-demand commentators on the Middle East, provides a concise and penetrating analysis that explains Arab and Muslim attitudes toward the United States and shows why there is much reason for concern. In an insightful, passionate, yet balanced analysis, Telhami provides new perspectives on the collapse of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the attending escalation of violence. He shows why the Arab-Israeli conflict remains central to the war on terrorism and to international stability, and considers American policy toward Iraq and the Persian Gulf. He demonstrates the need for political change in the region's oil states and suggests how best to achieve it. The Stakes provides a well-reasoned, calm analysis that will be essential reading for anyone who wonders where America should go from here, amid the dangers and opportunities in the ever-volatile Middle East.

Author Notes

Shibley Telhami is Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. A frequent contributor to the nation's television, radio, and print media, he is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this thoughtful and thought-provoking book, the author explores not only the global social and political environment that existed before September 11, 2001, but the ramifications of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. He asks several important questions: What does the U.S. government mean when it talks about "terrorism" ? Is the U.S. using the word in a different way than it's used in other countries? Does U.S. foreign policy, as it applies to terrorism, give due weight to the varying ideologies and aims of terrorist groups around the world? And, perhaps most importantly, do the peoples of the world support the U.S.' retaliatory stance? Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, backs up his statements with clear thinking and sharp between-the-lines reasoning; although casual readers may find the author's prose a bit daunting, those who have a grasp of international politics and an interest in this much-discussed subject will find the book a rich source of information. --David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

Perception counts for a lot when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East-so Telhami argues in this slim but intellectually dense volume. A political scientist at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Telhami argues that the United States could defeat Osama bin Laden and even Iraq, but still not eliminate the Islamic terrorist threat. As long as the United States is perceived in the Arab and Muslim worlds as arrogant, pro-Israel and supportive of authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia's, the seeds of terror will sprout, he argues, quoting a Council on Foreign Relations study: "there is little doubt that stereotypes of the United States as arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical, inattentive, and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue are pervasive and deeply rooted." Telhami devotes much of the book to elaborating, in readable prose, how and why American policy over the past few years has been viewed negatively. Telhami's solutions are simple. Among his proposals: the United States should become more evenhanded in its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and pressure the region's authoritarian regimes to democratize. Strong defenders of American policy may find Telhami's argument a sophisticated form of "blame America," but as the world's focus narrows to Iraq, this volume provides a welcome look at how the Arab world views the broader picture. 3 maps. (Dec.) Forecast: There should be demand for this clearheaded discussion, and Westview plans a 40,000 first printing, ads in the New York Review of Books and elsewhere and a 30-market radio satellite tour for Telhami. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Understanding the Terrorist Threatp. 1
2 "Why Do They Hate Us So Much?"p. 37
3 Does Public Opinion in the Middle East Matter?p. 67
4 The Role of the Arab-Israeli Issuep. 95
5 The Role of the Persian Gulf Regionp. 131
6 The Prudence of Compassionp. 167
Notesp. 185
Indexp. 189