I. the middle east: new nations and old societies

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A. The Reshaping of the Middle East

1. In the twenty years after World War II, nationalist governments replaced the remaining colonial regimes in Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, and Algeria.

2. Decolonization often led to fragile states and the rise of dictatorial regimes in the Middle East.

3. Turkey, which had never been colonized, sought an influential regional role and built formidable military forces but abused human rights, arresting dissidents and restricting ethnic minorities, only shifting from military leadership to democratically elected governments in the 1980s.

4. Lebanon and Iran became semi-democratic countries, and in recent years both men and women in the small Persian Gulf kingdoms of Bahrain and Kuwait could vote for elected parliaments.

5. Pan-Arab nationalism, based more on shared cultural and linguistic background than political interests, could not overcome political rivalries and superpower meddling.

6. During the “Arab Spring,” which began in Tunisia in 2011, when a dictatorial regime was forced out, unrest spread to other nations, unleashing unpredictable forces that brought turmoil and instability to many nations, including Libya, Yemen, Egypt, and Syria.

7. Spread by social media, these "facebook revolutions" linked people all over the region, perhaps setting a foundation for more open societies.

B. Arab Nationalism and Egypt

1. In 1952, the nationalist General Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970) came to power following a military coup.

2. Nasser was a modernist who called for socialism and Arab unity in the Middle East; Nasser used Soviet aid to build the massive Aswan High Dam along the Nile, completed in 1970, to generate electric power and improve flood control.

3. The nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt led to the Suez War in 1956, but pressure from the United States and the USSR forced the British, French, and Israeli governments to withdraw from Egypt.

4. In the 1967 War, Israel’s defeat of Egypt and its allies humiliated Nasser and the Egyptian army.

5. Nasser’s successors followed pragmatic, pro-U.S. policies; Anwar Sadat (g.1970-1981) and his successor, Hosni Mubarak, dismantled Nasser's socialist economy so that a few well-connected capitalists became fabulously rich while the poor became even poorer.

6. In 2011 massive protests against Mubarak were met with violence; eventually Mubarak was arrested, and after a transition, the army introduced a more participatory system including freer elections in 2012.

7. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood won the elections and control of Parliament, and Mohammed Morsi became president; however, the Morsi government was unable to revive the economy and began imposing a more Islamic agenda, disillusioning many Egyptians.

8. In 2013, when massive protests erupted, the military removed Morsi, brutally repressed the Muslim Brotherhood, and instituted military rule, dashing hopes for democracy.

C. Israel in Middle Eastern Politics

1. The most difficult issue since the end of World War II has been the Arab-Israeli conflict.

2. Zionism was a strong nationalistic ideology among the Jews of the Diaspora; Zionist Jews had emigrated from Europe to Palestine since the late 1800s, building cities and forming productive socialist farming settlements but triggering conflicts with the Palestinian Arab majority.

3. The Nazis’ murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust spurred a stronger desire for a homeland free of oppression; in the later 1940s Jewish refugees poured into Palestine.

4. Zionist extremists practiced “gun diplomacy,” using bombings and assassinations against the British, Arabs, and moderate Jews; opposing an Israeli state at their expense, Arabs attacked Jews.

5. Israel was born in 1948 after the British withdrawal from Palestine.

6. The birth of Israel led to immediate wars 1948-1949 with its Arab neighbors, to whom Israel was a white settler state symbolizing Western colonialism.

7. The victorious Jews expelled 85 percent of the Palestinian Arabs from Israel and occupied their farms and houses.

8. Many Palestinian refugees (5 million by 2012) settled in overcrowded, squalid refugee camps in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, nursing their hatred of Israel; the main group representing the Palestinians was the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

9. Western nations and Israel refused official recognition of the PLO until the 1990s, prompting it to employ terrorism, such as attacking public buses and rural settlements.

10. The 1967 Arab-Israeli War resulted in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River, eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip, which had a large Palestinian population; in 1973 another Israeli war with Egypt and Syria proved costly to all sides.

11. Ultranationalist and religiously conservative Israelis, with government support, began settling on Arab land, creating another problem: thousands of Jewish settlers living among hostile Arabs.

12. In 1987, desperate Palestinians began a resistance, the Intifada (“Uprising”), against the Israeli occupation; negotiations led in 1993 to limited self-government under the PLO in some of the occupied territories, the basis for a possible Palestinian state, and a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan.

13. Violence erupted again in 2000, and in 2006, Palestinians gave the militant Islamic Hamas movement, which sponsored terrorist attacks and refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament.

14. After a hardline Israeli government took power in 2009, prospects for negotiations to resolve issues ebbed and flowed, and no consensus for peace has yet emerged.

D. Islamic Revolution in Iran

1. In 1951, a nationalistic prime minister upstaged the Iranian king by nationalizing the oil industry, which benefited the British far more than the Iranians.

2. The king fled the country and was only brought back after a CIA-sponsored coup replaced the democratically elected prime minister in 1953.

3. The Pahlavi reign was known for its corruption and repression of dissidents; Shah Mohammed Pahlavi (1919-1980), a ruthless, pleasure-loving man who lived extravagantly and dreamed of restoring Persia as a great power, allied himself with the U.S., allowing American companies to control the oil industry.

4. The shah’s decades of rule brought modernization, political repression, and a huge military force built with oil revenues.

5. A major group critical of the king and his modernization plans were the Shi’ite clerics who led a successful Islamic revolution in 1979, forcing the shah into exile.

6. The Revolution was headed by a charismatic leader named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902–1989), who took power, eliminated leftists and moderate nationalists, overturned the shah’s modernizations, and mandated Islamic Shari’a law codes.

7. The Islamic regime became even harsher than that of the king and imposed restrictions on women and all forms of personal freedoms.

8. The Islamic Revolution also fostered anxiety for the United States and Iran’s neighbors; Islamic militants, who hated America for its long support of the shah, seized the U.S. Embassy in 1979, holding it and U.S. diplomats for a year.

9. With the economy floundering, by 1997 moderate reformers seeking closer ties to the outside world challenged the hardline clerics who controlled the judicial and electoral systems

10. Hoping for better relations with the outside world, in 2013 Iranians elected a more moderate cleric, Hassan Rouhani.

E. Iraq and Regional Conflicts

1. Iraq was run by a monarchy until it was toppled by a military coup in 1958; forty years of ruthless dictatorships followed.

2. The Sunni Arab minority of 20 percent ruled a nation with a restless Arab Shi’ite majority (60%) and a disaffected Sunni Kurdish minority (20%); the ruling party of Iraq was the largely Sunni Ba’ath, which blended socialism with Arab nationalism.

3. In 1979, Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) came to power and began his brutal reign and started a costly war against Iran in 1980.

4. Saddam’s army invaded Iran in 1980, but the war ended in 1988 with no victor; in 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait; U.S. president George H.W. Bush (g.1989-1993), worried that oil-rich Saudi Arabia might be next, launched the Persian Gulf War (1991), which drove Iraqis from Kuwait.

5. The al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.in 2001 and the resulting Afghan War germinated a larger conflict in Iraq; charging that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to Al Qaeda, U.S. president George W. Bush ordered an invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

6. U.S. credibility suffered after claims about the Iraqi threat proved wrong, and inadequate planning for postwar reconstruction forced Bush to shift troops and resources from Afghanistan.

7. Although Saddam was captured and executed, American forces struggled to maintain order against a persistent, mostly Sunni, resistance movement and terrifying suicide bombings by foreign jihadis; a large U.S. military presence remained until the last U.S. troops were withdrawn in 2011.

F. Saudi Arabia, Oil, and the World

1. The Persian Gulf War reinforced Saudi Arabia's close connections with the U.S., which had military bases and strong economic stakes in the kingdom.

2. Containing the largest oil deposits in the world has given Saudi Arabia a special status.

3. The oil money was used to modernize society by creating shopping malls, providing good health care, and education.

4. The process of modernization was strongly opposed by the puritanical Wahhabi culture; Saudi and Western critics argue that the narrow Islam taught in Saudi schools promotes extremism and anti-Western feeling.

5. Because of its abundant oil, Saudi Arabia has been a major player in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a cartel designed to give producers more power over oil prices and leverage over consuming nations, founded in 1960.

6. In 1973 OPEC members, angry at Western support of Israel, reduced the world oil supply to raise prices, badly discomforting industrialized nations by causing long lines at gasoline stations.

7. In the 1980s, reduced oil consumption broke OPEC’s power and prices plummeted, damaging most OPEC members' economies; the economic downturn from the 1980s to 2000 led to the fall of Saudi income by two-thirds and a rise in popular discontent.

8. A number of Saudi youths have gravitated toward Islamic radicalism as symbolized by Al-Qaeda, including most of the young men who hijacked and crashed four U.S. airliners September 2001, killing thousands of Americans.


A. Ethnic and Religious Conflict

1. Ethnic conflicts have played a major role in several parts of the Middle East.

2. Lebanon went through a nasty civil war in the 1970s and 1980s.

3. The U.S. intervention in the Lebanese civil war enraged many Muslims.

4. U.S. and Israeli interventions energized radical Shi’ites who formed a militant group, Hezbollah; Israelis responded by invading Lebanon in 2006 to weaken Hezbollah, but the incursion was costly in lives on all sides, and Hezbollah remained a strong force in the deeply polarized Lebanon politics.

5. Syria's ethnic configuration also helped generate a violent civil war in 2011 as an offshoot of the "Arab Spring”; by 2013 some 100,000 Syrians were dead, and 7 million were refugees.

6. In the Sudan, the Arab-Muslim-dominated government, which imposed an Islamic state, used military force to control rebellious black African Christians and animists in the south, a conflict that resulted in 2 million.

7. In 2011 South Sudan became independent but tensions with Sudan persist over control of oil wealth.

8. The Kurds, who live in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, have long sought either their own nation or self-government within their countries of residence, generating constant conflict with central governments.

9. Violence, foreign interventions, and militant Islamic movements generated instability in Afghanistan for over three decades; the largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, loosely governed Afghanistan’s diverse Sunni and Shia ethnic groups, subdivided into rival tribes, from the early 1800s to 1978.

10. When conservative Islamic rebels, known as mujahidin (“holy warriors”), rebelled against the pro-Soviet regime, the USSR invaded in 1979, launching decades of turbulence.

11. Pashtun militants known as the Taliban (“Students”) conquered much of the Pashtun south, then seized the capital, Kabul, in 1996, eventually extending their influence into the north, mostly inhabited by anti-Taliban Tajiks and Uzbeks; the puritanical Taliban introduced an especially harsh Islamic rule.

12. Americans, enjoying widespread world support, sent military forces into Afghanistan, with local allies soon displacing the Taliban from the main cities, destroying Al Qaeda bases, and installing a fragile pro-Western government.

13. As the Obama administration prepared to withdraw the remaining combat forces in 2014, the Afghan regime and the Taliban competed to win popular support and secure territory.

B. Social Change

1. Tradition still shapes gender relations and family life; although four predominantly Muslim nations, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Turkey, have elected women prime ministers, no Arab or Iranian women have reached this goal.

2. Several nations, including Turkey, have adopted Western-influenced family laws allowing women divorce and child custody rights, but conservative Muslims have stymied the passage of liberal laws in most Middle Eastern societies.

3. To liberals, the veil symbolizes female subjugation, so many urban middle- and upper-class women adopted Western dress; traditionalists praise the veil as essential to female modesty.

C. Religion and Culture

1. The clash between tradition and modernity in the Islamic world has fostered creativity in religion, music, and literature.

2. After World War I the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood spread around the region; French -educated Iranian Shi'ite Ali Shariati (1933–1977) castigated Western democracy as subverted by the power of money, and Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb (1906–1966) redefined jihad (“struggle”) as violent opposition to the West.

3. Resentment of repressive and corrupt governments, lack of material improvement, and Western world power prompted a growing turn to Islam.

4. In religiously dogmatic or ethnically divided states, popular music sometimes stirred controversy.

5. Hard-line Islamists reject music and other sorts of entertainments, while the majority of people enjoy music and support their favorite musicians.

6. In some countries music serves as a means of political expression against clerical or repressive governments; some popular styles blend Arab and foreign forms while addressing social problems.

7. Algerian rai music combines numerous influences, such as Bedouin chants, Spanish flamenco, French café songs, and Egyptian pop; despised by puritanical Islamic militants, rai musicians often move their bases to Paris.

8. A number of Muslim authors, such as the Egyptian Naguib Mahfuz (b.1911-2006), addressed social problems, such as poverty, and questioned conservative religious values and blind faith.

D. The Middle East in the Global System

1. In many respects the Middle East has lagged behind other modernizing Asian and Latin American societies.

2. Most oil-rich Middle Eastern countries such as Algeria, Iran, and Libya, have been heavily dependent on oil for their economic prosperity; oil wealth often fosters political corruption, spurs autocratic leaders to oppose democracy, and sometimes funds Islamist and terrorist groups.

3. The tension between modernity and tradition is a hallmark of Islamic societies.

4. The Iranian Revolution was the first successful attempt by an Islamic country to become totally independent of Western political, economic, social, and cultural influence.

5. Militancy challenges capitalism, secularism, failed governments, and Western-style democracy.

6. Until cost-effective alternative power sources become common, all industrial economies need access to Middle Eastern oil; the world community will not tolerate any threats to the movement of oil tankers through the Persian Gulf.


A. Nationalism and Decolonization

1. Rising nationalism in Africa sparked decolonization; the political independence of most sub-Saharan nations was achieved between 1957 and1975.

2. Most colonial governments did little to prepare Africans for true political and economic independence.

3. The first wave of nationalism came in the British Gold Coast (later Ghana) under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972) in 1948; Nkrumah became the nation’s first prime minister.

4. Nkrumah also preached Pan-Africanism, a vision of united African nations.

5. In the 1960s, all British colonies in West Africa gained their independence; eventually all the French colonies became fully independent, though they usually maintained close political and economic ties to France.

6. In Kenya in 1952, an eight-year uprising against the British erupted and was later known as the Mau Mau Rebellion.

7. In 1963, Jomo Kenyatta (ca. 1889-1978) became the first freely elected prime minister of independent Kenya.

8. The Belgian Congo (later Zaire) gained its independence through violent means; Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961) was the first democratically elected president of the country in 1959.

9. Lumumba was abducted and murdered, and with the complicity of Belgium and the United States, he was replaced by a corrupt dictator named General Joseph Mobutu (g.1965-1997), who called himself Mobuto Sese Seko, “Mobuto the All Powerful.”

10. The Portuguese possessions, Angola and Mozambique, won their independence through revolutionary violence in the 1960s and 1970s.

11. All British colonies in south and southeast Africa became independent by 1980.

B. Political Change and Conflict

1. Ethnic divisions have plagued most African nations since their independence.

2. Military governments have been the most effective forms of government in Africa.

3. Because of ethnic divisions, democratic governments have not been common in Africa; Western-style democracy faced tremendous odds in these artificial countries with tiny middle classes and numerous poor people.

4. The political leaders of Africa have ranged from democratic ones to brutal dictators.

5. Corruption has intensified the unequal income distribution in sub-Saharan Africa.

6. In some exceptional cases, such as Kenya and Liberia, demands for political participation have led to greater freedom for all, particularly for women.

7. The presence of numerous ethnic groups and its oil wealth has been a blessing and a curse for Nigeria; oil produced 80 percent of Nigeria's total revenues but also corrupted politics and increased social inequality.

8. After gaining independence, Nigeria experienced a bloody civil war 1967-1970, which was followed by a series of military coups until 2007, since which time civilian regimes have held power.

9. The unequal distribution of income has been a major destabilizing factor in Nigeria; impoverished people in oil-producing districts, watching as pipelines through their villages move oil to coastal ports for shipment to European and North American consumers, protest and sometimes sabotage oil pipelines, prompting military reprisals or execution of protest leaders.

10. During the early 1990s, drought-plagued Somalia’s military rule collapsed and the country was divided into regions by feuding clans.

11. Drought and economic disaster created a famine where thousands of Somali citizens died of starvation; Somalia remained a country in name only, controlled by warlords and, more recently, engulfed in civil war involving al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militias, a weak central government, and the Ethiopian army.

12. Ethnic violence in Rwanda led to the genocide of the minority Tutsi group by the majority Hutus during the 1990s; over 500,000 people were murdered.

C. The New South Africa

1. South Africa, the last bastion of institutionalized white racism, was ruled by a white minority government until the early 1990s.

2. Based upon coercive measures, the policy known as apartheid (“separate development”) ensured the persistence of racial separation in South Africa under the enforcement of a ruthless police state.

3. Apartheid expanded segregation to include designated residential areas, schools, recreational facilities, and public accommodations.

4. Apartheid created what white leaders called tribal homelands, known as bantustans, rural reservations where black Africans had to live if not needed in the modern economy.

5. Rich in strategic minerals, including gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, and chrome, South Africa became Africa's most industrialized nation, with the largest economy, but had the world’s most inequitable income distribution, since the white minority monopolized the wealth.

6. Black South Africans resisted apartheid policies and often formed political organizations, paying a price for their defiance; Stephen Biko (1946–1977), a former medical student whose organization encouraged black pride and self-reliance, was beaten to death in police custody.

7. The most famous anti-apartheid organization was the multiracial African National Congress, which was headed by Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), who spent almost thirty years in prison for his political activities.

8. The end of the Cold War, along with political realism, brought apartheid to an end in the 1990s; in 1994, white supremacy ended in the nation's first all-race elections, installing Mandela as president and giving the ANC two-thirds of Parliamentary seats

9. Mandela was the first president of free South Africa, seeking both racial reconciliation and major changes benefitting the disadvantaged black majority; he left office in 1999.

10. Since the end of apartheid, the standards of living have risen among blacks, but the country still faces numerous obstacles, and whites still earn six times more income.

11. In 2009 the election of a more radical ANC leader, Jacob Zuma (b. 1942), prompted some blacks to form or join opposition parties; Zuma faced widespread discontent and strikes, and in 2013, the police violently crushed a strike by 80,000 miners over low wages and poor living conditions.


A. Economic Change and Underdevelopment

1. Africans mostly supplied agricultural and mineral resources, such as cocoa and copper, to the global economy, but this did not foster widespread wealth.

2. Africa also has the highest poverty rate in the world; with a billion people by 2012, Africans produce only 1% of the world's goods and services, about the same as Belgium, with 11 million people.

3. The rapid rise of the population has also created more problems for their economies; infant mortality is high, and millions of Africans are chronically malnourished.

4. The most common model adopted by African leaders is called “neocolonial capitalism,” which involves close ties to Western nations and adopting the free market system.

5. Tourism and coffee export were the two industries on which Kenya and Ivory Coast built a short-lived period of prosperity from the 1960s to the 1980s; by the 1990s, collapsing coffee and cocoa prices stressed their economies, protesters demanded more democracy, delicate ecologies became dangerously unbalanced, and crime rates soared, so that economic development became a fading memory.

6. The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), which was run by the dictator Mobutu until 1997, has been the worst case of neocolonial capitalism; the U.S. and Belgium poured in billions of investment and aid to support President Mobuto, who looted the treasury and to amass a huge personal fortune while repressing his opponents.

7. In 1997 a long-festering rebellion gained strength, forcing Mobuto into exile; rebels took over but have done little to foster democracy or development.

8. Radicals argued that political institutions, businesses, and plantations inherited from colonialism, geared to transfer wealth and resources to the West, could not foster economic development; after independence more wealth still flowed out of Africa than into it.

9. The two current success stories among African nations are Ghana and Botswana, which have adopted certain policies of the Asian Little Dragons, such as Taiwan and South Korea, blending capitalism and socialism; in the past decades rapid economic growth rates have raised incomes in several poor other nations, among them Angola, Mozambique, and Rwanda .

B. Social Change

1. Urbanization and the problems associated with political changes have plagued most African cities; cities grow so fast that services such as transportation, utilities, police, schools, and health centers cannot meet peoples’ needs.

2. One result of urbanization has been the mixing of different ethnic groups and the formation of voluntary associations in each neighborhood.

3. Another development has been the rise of individualism at the expense of traditional communalism.

4. Women have become more independent and occupy many high positions in the government and society; Nigerian midwife's daughter Eka Esu-Williams (b. 1950) who earned a Ph.D. in immunology and became an academic, formed Women Against AIDS in 1988 to educate and empower women through workshops, schools, and support groups.

C. African Culture and Religion

1. The blending of different groups in burgeoning cities, aided by the mass media, has led to the birth of new forms of artistic expression in Africa.

2. The new music of African societies reflects the presence of distinct cultures of the continent while writers have often combined tradition and outside influences in their works.

3. Writers and artists sought authentic African perspectives, among them Negritude, a literary and philosophical movement first developed in the 1930s.

3. The main religions of Africa have been animism/polytheism, Islam, and Christianity.

4. The dominant religion in Africa has been Christianity, attracting over 60 percent of Africans by 2012, propagated by missionaries who also educated many future African leaders.

5. In spite of some clashes between Muslims (30 percent of black Africans) and Christians, moderation has been the norm among the African followers of the two religions.

D. Africa in the Global System

1. During the Cold War, some African countries took advantage of the superpowers’ rivalry but became pawns as superpowers helped to support or remove leaders.

2. Since the 1970s, African economies have suffered, because of drops in the prices of their exports.

3. Western experts encouraged a policy of “structural adjustment;” international lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, loan nations money but require opening their economies to private investment and, to balance national budgets, reduce government spending for health, education, and farmers.

4. In the past decade China, now Africa's largest trading partner, made huge investments in African oil, refining, mining, timber, agriculture, and banking as well as constructing railroads, dams, bridges and other infrastructure projects.

5. By relying on monoculture and single export of minerals African economies are vulnerable to the fluctuations in the world market.

6. African nations worked together to resolve problems; the African Union, formed in 2000 with fifty-four members, sent peacekeeping troops into violence-torn countries.

7. Colonial ambitions brought Africa into the global politics, and it has yet to exert its influence on the world fully.

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