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Understanding the US-Iran Crisis

Monday, July 12, 2010

Author: Phyllis Bennis

Active ImagePublisher: Olive Branch Press, 2008

This primer provides an essential history and analysis of US-Iranian relations. Bennis's illuminating discussion responds to calls for aggression toward Iran with alternative strategies for defusing the crisis.

The Bush administration spent years threatening Iran – for its alleged nuclear ambitions, support for terrorism, and ambitions in the middle East – and war has often seemed only a step away. How did relations between the US and Iran come to be in this state? Are these dire claims even true? Is Iran in fact a serious threat? This primer provides an essential history and analysis of US-Iranian relations. Bennis's illuminating discussion responds to calls for aggression toward Iran with alternative strategies for defusing the crisis. This book is invaluable for anyone trying to prevent a new war in the Middle East.

Widening opposition to the illegal Iraq War, growing recognition that the war in Afghanistan has failed to bring stability or democracy to that beleaguered country, new tensions rising in Pakistan, escalating violence and humanitarian crisis in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, all have brought new fears but also heightened interest in the wider Middle East region, especially interest in Iran. This book aims to address this new and renewed interest in Iran, to answer questions, and propose some ideas to prevent another looming disaster of a U.S. military attack.

Bennis's book seeks to provide all information needed to answer the cries for war with a concise summation (and point by point deconstruction) of how the Bush administration has beaten the drums for war with Iran. Bennis (Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict) also includes a brief history of American-Iranian relations, arguing that American attitudes have consistently been informed by economic considerations, particularly in regards to oil; referring to Iran's successful efforts to sell its oil for international currencies other than the dollar, the author writes that American anxiety over Iranian nuclear capabilities must be viewed in the context of far more longstanding U.S. concerns over Iran's decades-long efforts... to weaken its potential competitors... in the Middle East.

"This important analysis deals with the facts -- and not deception and fear-mongering -- of the Bush Administration's verbal, thus far, war against Iran.  Its format is understated but direct -- we are told what the President has said about Iran and then we are told what the reality is.  Can anyone read this book and still support an attack on Iran?  Only in the Bush White House..."

-- Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker

Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of both TNI and the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC where she directs IPS's New Internationalism Project. Phyllis specializes in U.S. foreign policy issues, particularly involving the Middle East and United Nations. She worked as a journalist at the UN for ten years and currently serves as a special adviser to several top-level UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues. A frequent contributor to U.S. and global media, Phyllis is also the author of numerous articles and books, particularly on Palestine, Iraq, the UN, and U.S. foreign policy.
 
Some books by Phyllis Bennis:

Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer

Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader (Foreword by Edward Said, edited by Phyllis Bennis & Michel Moushabeck)

Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis (Foreword by Noam Chomsky)

Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's UN (Foreword by Erskine Childers)

Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy US Power (Foreword by Danny Glover)

Related Link: http://www.antiwar.com/orig/bennis.php?articleid=13591

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