- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Serpent's Tail; Main edition (22 Mar. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846687640
- ISBN-13: 978-1846687648
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
174,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #163 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Multicultural Studies > Islamic Studies
- #262 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Countries & Regions > Middle East
- #320 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Civil Liberties & Political Activism > Political Violence
Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam Paperback – 22 Mar 2012
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As much of history is appropriated by the media and we are beckoned into an era of endless war, this superb book could not be more timely. Sensational in the best sense, it examines the darkest corners of the imperial past to reveal the truth behind today's news (John Pilger)
Unearthing this largely hidden history is a contribution of the highest significance, and could hardly be more timely. (Noam Chomsky)
This valuable and important book by Mark Curtis, the result of painstaking and extensive research into declassified files on British policy towards the Islamic world over the last half century, presents a far more accurate and balanced picture than the shallow simplicities fed by Bush?s so-called war on terror.
It shows in extensive detail how Britain and the US have repeatedly sided with radical Islamic forces in the Middle East and elsewhere as counterweights to check the rise of nationalism, as shock troops to bring about pro-Western regime change, and as proxies to fight wars against the West?s enemies. There is no war between civilizations (Bush), no Manichaean struggle between the good and evil forces of Islam (Blair), rather the ever-present serpentine thread of shifting alliances to maintain British control of key energy resources and Britain?s place in a pro-Western global financial order centred on Saudi Arabia.
This is a fascinating account which can change outlooks and deepen comprehension of a hugely misunderstood drama, and it should be compelling reading before any further Middle East wars are set in train.(Michael Meacher, MP)
Secret Affairs deserves to become a key reference point in the debate over terrorism and Middle East policy (Metro)
a work of great importance and sobering conclusions (Tribune)
enthralling, encyclopedic and damning (Chartist)
Gripping stuff (Sunday Business Post)
A freshly updated and revelatory investigation into Britain's secret collaboration with radical IslamSee all Product description
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Curtis presents clear evidence that throughout its post-colonial history, beginning even as far back as the 1920s, British governments and Civil Service have exploited Islam and Islamic fundamentalism for its own (obscure) purposes - from the establishment of the Saudi kingdom; the division of India in 1948 to create the strategically useful Muslim state of Pakistan; to the support of the Muslim Brotherhood during Nasser's control over Egypt; to the backing of both sides during the Israeli-Palestinian wars; to the active support of terrorists (including Bin Laden) during the Afghan-Russian war; to the support of KLA and other terrorists during the Bosnian and Kosovan wars. Even after the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks, Britain continued to harbour known terrorists on its shores, giving them a safe-haven from American, French and other prosecutors.
The other consistency in the story is that like the US in its terror campaigns against democratically elected popularist and nationalistic governments in Central and South America, Britain has consistently given support to brutal dictatorships in the Middle East and Asia and actively suppressed nationalist parties and organizations, and undermined popularly elected governments, at the cost of many hundreds of thousand (or, more likely, millions) of innocent lives. Presumably Britain's elite continues to pursue such policies, but since the secret services who mastermind such activities, do not publicise what they are doing or planning, and since British governments of every ilk seem to acquiesce unquestioningly in whatever MI6 and MI5 do in the name of "public service", it is unlikely that we will ever know what has been going on until it is too late.
Curtis deserves the greatest credit for piecing together this immensely complex jigsaw of evidence. He also deserves credit for his bravery in publishing his findings. It's hard to imagine that there are not many people both within the British secret agencies and amongst the multitude of terrorist groups that he names, who would like to see him silenced. I urge everyone to read this book. It's not a pleasant read, but it's an essential one.
I must now go on to read his earlier book (Web Of Deceit: Britain's Real Foreign Policy: Britain's Real Role in the World) to which he makes reference at several critical junctures in this more recent book.
What would be interesting is to read the counter-arguments, if anyone is willing or able to articulate them, in a well researched and referenced study, arguing i.e. that this foreign policy has been successful and was the right approach at the time, and we are right to be continuing similar policy now, in light of the obvious consequences.
(Web of Deceit and Unpeople are similarly enlightening and required reads).
If half of what Mark Curtis has written is true then we are in real trouble. It least we can now understand why every Judeo-Christian value has been quenched from our society by those who, instead of representing us, have taken power over us and are using an ideological strategy that has been hidden for many years. Not any more. 911 and 7/7 are just the tip of an iceberg . . .
Buy one for your own study shelf and buy a second to give away . . .
Read this book to understand what our governments real policy is so we can start to hold them to account to stop this madness.
You think that's in the past just look at who they have funded trained and armed in Libya and Syria.
A very good eye opener.
Great Imperialist tradition of sitting round drawing up kill lists yet presenting themselves as impartial benevolent disinterested party.
Anybody familiar with the workings of British counter insurgency practices will be all too familiar with the Brits publicly fighting one side when in actual fact helping both warring factions to kill each other, sick degenerate no-neck chinless wonders.
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