Journal: 1979 to 1988 to 1998 to Now–History Matters


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The Radical Legacy Of 1979

By Edward. P. Djerejian

If ever one year in recent times was a catalyst for change in the broader Middle East and Muslim world, it was 1979. One ray of bright light in that year of darkness was the signing of the historic Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Conversely, three events had dire consequences with which we live today.

First, there was the overthrow of the shah of Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Second, there was the takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by a group of Islamic extremists. And third, there was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Each event fostered the forces of radicalization with implications far beyond the region's borders.

Iran becomes a theocracy.

Saudi Arabia embraces the Wahhabis.

The Soviets invade Afghanistan.

Phi Beta Iota: Suggested by MILNET, highly recommended.  In 1988 we missed the start of neighborhood-level madrasses around the world because the secret world does not do religion, neighborhoods, culture, or schools.  Only Al Gray, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, “got it.”   In 1998 we missed our own internal alerts on the importance of creating capabilities to deal with asymmetric threats, but back then we did not realize Whole of Government mattered.  Now we are at a turning point where our Industrial-Era stovepipe and partisan form of governance has clearly failed, but there is a reluctance to consider the obvious alternative, in part because the gap between those in power and those with knowledge had grown catastrophically wide.

See also:

Review: The Lessons of History

Review: The Landscape of History–How Historians Map the Past (Paperback)

Review: Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush

Review: A Peace to End All Peace–The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East

Review: Wars of Blood and Faith–The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century

Review: Ghost Wars–The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Paperback)

Review: Devil’s Game–How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (American Empire Project)

Review: The Road to 9/11–Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

Review: The Looming Tower–Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

Review: The Hidden History of 9-11

Review: The War On Truth–9/11, Disinformation And The Anatomy Of Terrorism (Paperback)

Review: 1491–New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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