Cole provides a sweeping perspective on the Middle East, a stinging critique of the Bush administration’s policies, and a warning to and advice for the Obama administration, especially in regard to Pakistan and Afghanistan. U.S. policies have been driven by what Cole calls “Islam anxiety,” and because of heavy-handedness in the region it has elicited “America anxiety” on the part of Arabs and Muslims, even among more moderate ones. Our own leaders’ anxiety often blinds them to what really is happening on the ground, leading to actions that are counterproductive. Cole maintains that a change in the way America engages the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “would resolve 90 percent of American’s problems with the Muslim world.”


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