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Our Deputy Sheriffs in the Middle East

Malise Ruthven, 16 October 1997

A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite 
by Said Aburish.
Gollancz, 414 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 575 06275 4
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... of connivance, if not complicity, by the security forces in some of the worst atrocities. Said Aburish is a persistent and informed critic of virtually all of today’s Arab governments and the events of September should provide plenty of grist to his mill. His previous book was entitled The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of ...

If not in 1997, soon after

Keith Kyle, 21 July 1994

The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud 
by Said Aburish.
Bloomsbury, 326 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 7475 1468 2
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... of its founding father, King Abdul Aziz, better known in the West as Ibn Saud. Saudi Arabia was said in the Senate to be ‘scorning basic American interests’, which meant both human rights and Israel. Americans then and since have been obliged to explain that the weapons they were supplying to the Saudis would not work against, for example, Israel yet ...

Return to Nowhere

Charles Glass: Yasser Arafat, 18 March 1999

Arafat: From Defender to Dictato 
by Said Aburish.
Bloomsbury, 352 pp., £20, September 1998, 0 7475 3629 5
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... terrorist Abu Nidal, then in the pay of Syria (his other benefactors were Iraq and Libya). It was said that Arafat had withdrawn his ‘protection’ after Sartawi criticised him. The ‘victory’ of Beirut in 1982 changed everything: Palestinian bravery, though more impressive than that of the Arab states’ armies, amounted to little in strategic ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: France’s foreign policy, 3 April 2003

... Arab world, topped by ingratitude for Allied sacrifice in the two world wars. The Americans have said as much and so has the Blair entourage. Chirac is not an ‘ethical’ person. Nor was Giscard. Both enjoyed the dividend of de Gaulle’s 1960s policy make-over – an Arab dividend above all. This is what David Styan, in an unpublished thesis on ...


Tom Carver: Philby in Beirut, 11 October 2012

... of agents to be tortured and executed, Philby was remarkably sentimental about animals. Eleanor said that after Jackie’s death he embarked on a drinking binge that lasted several days. He even wrote a mawkish article for Country Life called ‘The Fox That Came to Stay’. Following the route that Philby had taken many times, I walked down the hill to the ...

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