Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice

Book Info

  • Length: 288 pages
  • Trim size: 6" x 9"
  • Rights: World

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  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-313-8
  • Publish date: October 2008
  • List Price: $25.95
  • Your Price: $22.06

Lib Ebook

  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-339-4
  • Publish date: January 2013
  • List Price: $56.95
  • Your Price: $48.41


This expanded paperback edition includes many new pages on topics that will deeply affect the Middle East and the course of a new American presidential administration. The new coverage offers fresh analysis of the U.S. troop surge, intensifying divisions among Palestinian factions, the deepening crisis in Lebanon, the National Intelligence Estimate’s report on weapons in Iran, and the effect of a new U.S. presidency on the Middle East.

When first published in 2006, this book became the most complete and up-to-date statement on Middle East politics from these two influential analysts. In this new paperback edition Chomsky and Achcar help us understand the latest developments in historical perspective. They take up all the key questions of interest to concerned citizens, including terrorism, fundamentalism, conspiracies, oil, democracy, self-determination, anti-Semitism, and anti-Arab racism, as well as the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the sources of U.S. foreign policy.

This book provides the best readable introduction for all who wish to understand the complex issues related to the Middle East from a perspective dedicated to peace and justice.

  • Expert analysis based on many facts not widely reported in U.S. media
  • How the continued U.S. occupation undermines democracy and fuels civil strife in Iraq
  • Why U.S. ally Saudi Arabia is more oppressive than Iran
  • How the worldwide growth of Islamic fundamentalism can be explained
  • How U.S. policy actually promotes the proliferation of nuclear weapons
  • Constructively looks ahead
  • What could a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict look like?
  • How can democracy be promoted in the Middle East?
  • How can the United States better address terrorism and end the "war on terror"?

Author Info

Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author recently of Hopes and Prospects (2010) and Power and Terror (Paradigm 2011). His articles and books revolutionized the contemporary study of linguistics and his political writings are widely read and translated throughout the world. In 2003 a profile of Chomsky in the New Yorker described his influence as one of the most cited scholars in history.

Gilbert Achcar, who lived in Lebanon for many years before moving to France, now teaches politics and international relations at the University of Paris. He is the author of several books on contemporary politics and is a frequent contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique.

Stephen R. Shalom, author of the Preface, is a professor at William Paterson University.


“During their in-depth and riveting discussion, Chomsky and Achcar review the modern history of the U.S. involvement in the Middle East and discuss many of the nuances that are left out of the sound-bite loving news cycle."



Chapter 1: Terrorism and Conspiracies
Defining Terrorism
The Terrorist Threat
Responding to Terrorism
9/11 Conspiracies
Saddam Hussein's Invasion of Kuwait

Chapter 2: Fundamentalism and Democracy
The Saudi Kingdom
Democracy in the Middle East
Fundamentalism and Democracy
Democracy Since the Iraq Invasion

Chapter 3: Sources of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
Israel, the Israel Lobby, and U.S. Policy
Israel and U.S. Interests

Chapter 4: Wars in the "Greater Middle East"
Responding to 9/11
Afghanistan Today
The United States and Iraq, 2003
Other Major Powers and Iraq
The Current Situation in Iraq
The Iraqi Insurgency
U.S. Policy in Iraq Today
What Should the Antiwar Movement Be Calling For?
Will Withdrawal Lead to Civil War?
The Kurds in Iraq
The Kurds in Turkey
Secession, Self-Determination, and Justice

Chapter 5: The Israel-Palestine Conflict
The Legitimacy of Israel
Palestinian Say in Any Settlement
Going from a Settlement to Lasting Peace
Palestinians Within Israel
The Palestinian Refugees
Efforts to Achieve Peace
The Palestinian View of a Settlement
Zionism and the Palestinians
Israeli Politics
Palestinian Politics
How Can We Support Justice in Israel/Palestine?
Boycotts, Divestment, and Other Tactics
Anti-Semitism in Western Europe
Anti-Arab Racism and Islamophobia

Gilbert Achcar:
The Situation in Iraq
Hamas in Power
Noam Chomsky:
The Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon Conflict
The Israel Lobby
The United States and Iran
Confrontation with Hamas and Hezbollah

Postscript: Two More Years of Crisis
Gilbert Achcar:
The Iraq "Surge"
Lebanon and Israel
Palestinian Developments
Noam Chomsky:
The U.S. Elections and Iraq
Israel-Palestine and the United States

About the Authors

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