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The U.S. and the Middle East
August 15, 2008

In his conversation with Bill Moyers, Andrew J. Bacevich poses the question: "How did we come to be a nation in which we really thought that we could transform the greater Middle East with our army?" The answer, says Bacevich, lies in part with our long, yet little-acknowledged history in the Middle East." "The reason we are in Iraq today is because the Persian Gulf is at the center of the world's oil reserves. I don't mean that we invaded Iraq on behalf of big oil, but, the Persian Gulf region would have zero strategic significance, were it not for the fact that that's where the oil is."

Find out more about the U.S. and the Middle East from the slideshow and links below.

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Published on July 15, 2008.

References and Reading:
Campaign 2008
The Council on Foreign Relations' Web site provides a wealth of research information on global relations and history. For the 2008 campaign year CFR's analysts have created a special section on how foreign relations are playing in both campaigns.

Iraq

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: Iraq Timeline
Review the history of the are from ancient Mesopotamia through the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries.

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: Iraq in Transition
Breaking news coverage and background information from the PBS.

BBC Iraq
Breaking news coverage and background information from the BBC.

FRONTLINE: Iraq and the War on Terror
A collection of FRONTLINE's reports on Iraq from 9/11 to the present. All stories can be viewed in full online.

Iran

NEW YORK TIMES Special Report: The CIA in Iran
The NEW YORK TIMES James Risen narrates and annotated the Central Intelligence Agency's secret history of its covert operation to overthrow Iran's government in 1953. The document was obtained by the TIMES in 2002.

The National Security Archives: The Iran Documentation Project
George Washington University's National Security Project collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. It's Iran collection contains documents and briefing books on the 1953 Mossadegh Coup, the Iran hostage situation and the Iran Contra Affair.

FRONTLINE: Terror and Tehran
FRONTLINE's site for its 2002 report contains an extensive timeline of U.S./Iran relations in the wake of President Bush's labeling the country a member of "The Axis of Evil."

FRONTLINE: Showdown with Iran
FRONTLINE's 2007 show about increasing tensions between the United States and Iran offers unprecedented access to Iranian hard-liners shaping government policy, including parliament leader Hamid Reza Hajibabaei. View the entire show online.

Afghanistan

BBC Timeline: Afghanistan
Review the history of the strategic country from the time of the European "Great Game" over the area through the resurgence of the Taliban today.

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: Afghanistan and the War on Terror
Breaking news coverage and background information from the NEWSHOUR.

Saudi Arabia

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: Into the Kingdom
The ONLINE NEWSHOUR hosts an extensive exploration of one of the U.S.'s staunchest allies in the Middle East.

BBC Country Profile: Saudi Arabia
The BBC's country profiles contain leader profiles, timelines, links to national media and feeds of current news stories.

Also This Week:

ANDREW J. BACEVICH
Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers sits down with history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life.

THE LIMITS OF POWER
Read an excerpt from Bacevich's new book THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM.

ANDREW J. BACEVICH ON HISTORY, POLITICS AND REINHOLD NIEBHUR
Read a speech on the "Illusions of Managing History: The Enduring Relevance of Reinhold Niebuhr."

THE UNITED STATES AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Get a primer on the United States involvement with the Middle East.

MOYERS ON 2008
Add your voice or our election year map. Plus, get perspective on pressing election-year issues from JOURNAL guests.

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