By Robert Dreyfuss
The first entire account of America's most
dangerous overseas coverage miscalculation: sixty years of help for Islamic fundamentalism
Devil's online game is the gripping tale of America's erroneous efforts, stretching throughout many years, to dominate the strategically important heart East by means of dating and cultivating Islamic fundamentalism. between all of the books approximately Islam, this can be the 1st entire inquiry into the touchiest factor: How and why did the USA motivate and finance the unfold of radical political Islam?
Backed by means of huge archival examine and interviews with dozens of coverage makers and CIA, Pentagon, and international carrier officers, Robert Dreyfuss argues that this mostly hidden courting is drastically responsible for the worldwide explosion of terrorism. He follows the path of yank collusion from help for the Muslim Brotherhood in Nineteen Fifties Egypt to hyperlinks with Khomeini and Afghani jihadists to cooperation with Hamas and Saudi Wahhabism. Dreyfuss additionally uncovers long-standing ties among radical Islamists and the prime banks of the West. the result's as tragic because it is paradoxical: initially deployed as pawns to foil nationalism and communism, extremist mullahs and ayatollahs now dominate the sector, thundering opposed to freedom of suggestion, technological know-how, women's rights, secularism--and their former buyer.
Wide-ranging and deeply expert, Devil's video game unearths a background of double-dealing, cynical exploitation, and humiliating embarrassment. What emerges is a development that, faraway from furthering democracy or safety, guarantees a way forward for error and blowback.
Publishers Weekly -
One of the CIA's first nice moments of institutional mirrored image happened in 1953, after American covert operatives helped overthrow Iran's left-leaning govt and restored the Shah to strength. The supplier, then in simple terms six years outdated, had funded ayatollahs, mobilized the non secular correct and engineered a cosmopolitan propaganda crusade to effectively additional its goals, and it desired to know the way it may well reapply such tradecraft in other places, so it commissioned an inner file. part a century later, the main prescient line from that file is one in all warning, no longer optimism. "Possibilities of blowback opposed to the U.S. must always be at the back of the minds of all CIA officers," the rfile warned. on account that this primary identified use of the time period "blowback," numerous newshounds and students have chronicled the best blowback of all: how the outstanding amounts of relief that the USA supplied to anti-Marxist Islamic extremists throughout the chilly conflict inadvertently located these exact same extremists to turn into America's subsequent nice enemy. (Indeed, Iran's non secular leaders have been one of the first to show opposed to the United States.) Dreyfuss's quantity reaches farther and deeper into the topic than such a lot. He convincingly situates America's try to construct an Islamic bulwark opposed to Soviet growth into Britain's historical past of imperialism within the area. And the place different authors limit their concentration to the Afghan mujahideen, Dreyfuss information a historical past of yankee support-sometimes carried out with startling blindness, occasionally, tacitly via proxies-for Islamic radicals in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Syria. every now and then, the help happened brazenly during the American deepest zone, as Dreyfuss describes in a desirable digression on Islamic banking. yet finally, too few executive officers have been being attentive to the expansion and hazards of political Islam. A CIA officer summarizes Dreyfuss's case whilst he says, "We observed all of it in a momentary perspective"-the long term results are what we're dealing with now.
Foreign Affairs -
The usa, Dreyfuss argues, has supported radical Islamic activism over the last six a long time, "sometimes brazenly, occasionally covertly," and is hence "partly in charge for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." To flesh out this interpretation, he writes of U.S. aid for the Muslim Brotherhood opposed to Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, the U.S. function in lining up spiritual radicals within the coup ousting best Minister Muhammad Mosaddeq in Iran, the decades-long ties among Washington and the home of Saud, the U.S. backing of the mujahideen in Afghanistan, or even the Reagan administration's tentative ties with Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic Republic, illuminated by way of the Iran-contra affair. (Dreyfuss even criticizes the Bush management for operating with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in post-Saddam Iraq.) The situations stated during this very varied tackle U.S. international relations within the center East because the Nineteen Forties look, even though, a bit askew whilst set in a broader context. the USA has usually supported these against the Islamists (such as Hosni Mubarak and Saddam Hussein) and has taken forceful positions in lots of different circumstances during which Islam or Islamism used to be now not a significant factor. The Islamic Revolution in Iran is better defined by means of U.S. ties to the shah's regime. Dreyfuss might have a extra cogent case if he had easily faulted U.S. international relations for its excessively intrusive, regime-changing method of the center East. mockingly, that's the thrust of his feedback on pages 15-17 of the introduction.
Library magazine -
During the chilly struggle the overseas coverage execs within the usa have been involved essentially with combating the unfold of communism. They considered all teams calling themselves nationalists as most likely applicants to espouse communism quickly. within the heart East, competition to such nationalist teams led the us to aid conservative, fundamentalist Islamic teams, corresponding to those that fought the Soviets in locations corresponding to Afghanistan. based on journalist and media commentator Dreyfuss (The Hostage to Khomeini), that U.S. aid resulted in the advance of al Qaeda and others that now dominate the inside track. Few policymakers feared that fundamentalists may well turn into a danger, and those that did voice any such worry have been completely missed. Dreyfess's thorough examine at the topic consists of broad interviews with former officers in addition to the learn of released works. the result's a gorgeous precis of ignored possibilities and signs missed. whereas Stephen Coll's Ghost Wars is in a similar way thorough yet focuses merely on Afghanistan, this one levels extra generally around the center East. hugely recommended.-Marcia L. Sprules, Council on overseas family Lib.
Kirkus stories -
The usa executive underwrote the increase of radical Islam, argues a common contributor to The kingdom and the yankee Prospect. Any American who watches the scoop knows the photo of a more youthful Donald Rumsfeld taking a look chummy with Saddam Hussein. omit that photograph, Dreyfuss tells us. The extra vital photo indicates President Eisenhower taking a look chummy with stated Ramadan, bigwig within the Muslim Brotherhood. (If you've by no means heard of the Muslim Brotherhood, a militant team that between different issues morphed into Hamas, all of the extra cause to learn this book.) That photo, states the writer, indicates in miniature the historical past of yankee center East overseas coverage considering the fact that WWII. interested by proscribing the unfold of communism and arresting the improvement of leftist Arab nationalist political events, the U.S. has again and again allied with and supported radical Islamic teams in the course of the heart East. The CIA, in fact, backed the 1953 coup in Iran and financed an ayatollah who had based an intensive pan-Islamic political workforce; American taxpayers funded an Israeli executive that funneled cash to fanatical Islamic Palestinian activists who, the Israeli govt believed, may eventually weaken the secular PLO; and so on. The U.S. didn't dream up this method, really. The British did a similar factor, partnering within the late-19th century with the great-granddaddy of ideological Islamism, Jamal Eddine al-Afghani. Dreyfuss insists that today's geopolitics isn't the inevitable results of a "clash of civilizations," yet no less than partially the fruit of shortsighted, ill-conceived U.S. overseas coverage. His account isn't really a disinterested historical past, yet fairly astinging indictment of the Bush management for, between different issues, replicating an identical procedure in Iraq: toppling a decidedly secular regime and inspiring Islamists to snatch energy (to wit, the administration's alliance with Ali al-Sisatani). A helpful addition to Metropolitan's American Empire undertaking: a devastating account that policymakers-not to say American citizens-ignore at their peril.
From the writer -
“Eye-opening, unique, and important.”—Chalmers Johnson, writer of The Sorrows of Empire
“Crisp, energetic . . . offers a concise and readable account of the evolution of America’s partnerships with radical Islamic teams and regimes.”—The American Conservative
Meet the Author:
Based in Washington, D.C., Robert Dreyfuss has written commonly on Iraq, the struggle on terrorism, and nationwide safeguard for The country, the yank Prospect, and Rolling Stone, and is a widespread commentator on NPR, MSNBC, and CNBC.