The Chaos In The Middle East


The Chaos In The Middle East – 20014-2016
By Neville Teller
Matador – £11.99

The chaos can perhaps be traced back to the Tunisian spark in 2010 that kindled the so-called Arab Spring, which then, as uncontrollable as a forest fire, leaped from state to state. At the start it was a rejection by the Arab masses of the repression, human rights abuses, state censorship and other trammels of the dictatorships or absolute monarchies under which most existed […]. Elsewhere, if popular discontent did not result in the overthrow of governments, it certainly produced civil uprisings across the region from Algeria to Saudi Arabia.

Whether or not this book will provide for a more cohesive understanding of what’s currently happening in the Middle East will ultimately remain to be seen; simply because events in that particular region of the world appear to change by the hour.

If it’s not the cold and callous, murderous barbarity currently talking place in Aleppo, it’s yet another onslaught on the Islamic State. The most recent being the Battle for Mosul by both Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

To be sure, the never-ending calamity of pillage and murder, torture and execution that (unfortunately) continues to remain rife throughout so much of the Middle East, is, if nothing else, a shocking and most shameful stain upon the face of what’s left of humanity.

Plain and shockingly simple – yet it has to be said, The Chaos In The Middle East – 20014-2016 is an altogether brave and succinct attempt at deciphering the whole chaotic, ghastly mess.

The book’s eight chapters, the final of which, traverses a rather too wide, political canvas (‘Saudi Arabia’s New Broom’ to ‘Libya and the anti-Islamist Struggle,’ ‘The non-Arab Middle East’ to ‘Arab-Israeli Peace – A New Approach’) are an admittedly grim assimilation of today’s Middle-East.

A conundrum, which, it has to be said, doesn’t make for particularly uplifting reading.

This is by no means a reflection of Neville Teller’s fine writing, but rather, a reminder of the impossibility of the inexorably fraught and terrible, terrible situation.

Indeed, a veritable endless quagmire of which we are once again reminded a mere four pages from the book’s end: ”What is the point of flogging a dead horse? The Israeli-Palestinian peace carriage has advanced not an inch in the 68 years since the founding of the state of Israel. Its horse had no life in it from the very beginning.”

Cheerful it isn’t, although honest it most certainly is.

David Marx


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