Rashid Khalidi, Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East (Boston: Beacon Press, 2009)
Patrick Tyler, A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East (London: Portobello Books, 2009)
The first decade of the twenty-first century may well be remembered as the biggest boom time ever for Middle East studies. Jobs in the field were abundant, and publishers, after fretting for much of the 1990s about the future of the monograph, were suddenly in the midst of unanticipated demand for things Arab and Muslim. Hanging over these developments, however, were both a tragedy and a debacle. The tragedy, of course, was the attacks of September 11, 2001. The debacle was the presidency of George W. Bush, which claimed to have found its purpose in the attacks’ aftermath. The results spoke for themselves: two foreign countries occupied; countless innocents dead; torture embraced; American credibility at historic lows; and, for the first time in living memory, a Middle East policy openly bleeding American taxpayers. A Manichean view of the world appeared to have overcome America: Good was said to be ranged against evil; crusades were needed to defeat jihads; and despite the platitudes emanating from the White House about how Islam as a religion was not the enemy, there was a very clear sense that “the West” was besieged by dangerously fanatical Muslims.
As a corollary to this view, or rather as one of its many expressions, was the recrimination lurking at the heart of the plethora of accounts that vied with each other to explain the nature of America’s relationship to the Middle East. The contest of narratives is unresolved. Who is to blame for the Arab-Israeli conflict, and for the blight of Islamic fundamentalism? Who is to blame for the illiberality that holds the Arab world in a vise-like grip? And who, ultimately, is to blame for the scourge of terrorism that culminated in the September 11, 2001 hijackings? Pundits, novelists, journalists, comedians and bloggers — from Salman Rushdie to Glenn Beck — hold forth constantly on the problems of Islam, the Middle East and the Arabs. They have offered a variety of prescriptions for what America should do next in this “troubled” region of the world, from bombing it to reforming Islam. The vast majority of these commentators do not seriously engage with Middle Eastern perspectives.
In this landscape of apparently universal expertise, scholars working on the modern Middle East face a conundrum. On the one hand, they perceive that the general public is eager for information about the region they cover — something that cannot necessarily be said about their colleagues who teach about Europe or many other parts of the world. On the other hand, they are confronted with a prejudice against Arabs and Muslims that pervades contemporary American political culture. There is an urgent need for their knowledge, but theirs is certainly not the most accessible form of knowledge about the Middle East. For every scholar who ventures forth to interpret this or that part of the region, there is a Thomas Friedman or an Irshad Manji to provide a shallow, but invariably more widely circulating alternative explanation focusing on the region’s ills.
There is no unanimity among scholars of the Middle East about America’s relationship with the region they study. But discomfort with representations of the region has been widespread among scholars at least since the publication of Edward Said’s enormously influential book Orientalism in 1978. Said attacked what he described as the Orientalist dogma that perpetuated notions of the rational, advanced West and the backward, inferior East, grotesque generalizations about the timeless, monolithic nature of Islam or “the Muslim,” and, above all, reliance on “classical” texts rather than modern realities to make arguments about contemporary Arab or Muslim societies.  Said’s pillorying of the Orientalists, chief among them the Princeton historian Bernard Lewis, signaled a revolution in the manner in which many, if not most, academics viewed and studied the Middle East. The influence of Lewis endures, to be sure, but Said’s insistence on self-awareness and self-criticism in place of Orientalist omniscience has had a deep academic impact. Following Said, scholars in American studies, literature, history, art history and, most clearly, Middle East studies, have so systematically deconstructed Western assumptions about the East that criticism of Orientalist bias has long since ceased to be original. Despite continuous, posthumous sniping at Said, despite even the many serious and substantive criticisms of Orientalism, his intervention has become academic common sense.  Representations of all cultures must be interrogated, and not taken at face value. Even the most conservative type of history — US diplomatic history, which has traditionally eschewed serious cultural analysis — has belatedly embraced facets of Said’s thesis. The best historical work on the US and the Middle East clearly acknowledges that both American and Middle Eastern understandings of self and other fluctuate, rather than adhering to basic, unchanging civilizational tropes. Rather than assuming American benevolence toward the East, or accepting nationalist assumptions about what America is or who Americans are, these new studies underscore complexity and contingency. 
Said’s influence within the academy notwithstanding, his work has been unable to stem the tide of ignorant, caricature-like representations of the Arab world and Iran that swamps the non-academic discussion of the modern Middle East in the United States, even in highly educated circles. Academics publish at a glacial pace and tend to speak to a specialized audience of fellow practitioners. There is a serial disconnect between informed academic knowledge and public discourse on the subject. Every terrorist strike against Western targets widens the gap, and none more so than the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The spectacular nature of these attacks, and the subsequent invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, however, awakened Americans to their historical entanglement in the region. It alerted them to the intense anti-American sentiment abroad. There was a world out there that seemed to matter. There was also an opportunity for critical scholars of the modern Middle East to reclaim a public role. Their work became directly relevant to public affairs.
The failures of US policy in both Afghanistan and Iraq — indeed, the sheer cost of the occupation of both countries — opened, moreover, a significant breach in the wall of Orientalism in the Bush years. Although Edward Said himself passed away in September 2003, although the field of Middle East studies came under concerted assault by pro-Israel operatives such as Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer, and although the aging Bernard Lewis and the like-minded Fouad Ajami had the ear of Vice President Dick Cheney, the breach was real, and it was soon entered by critical scholars like Rashid Khalidi, Juan Cole and Mahmood Mamdani. Their collective foray into the public realm brought with it two fundamental questions. How were these scholars to balance academic work with the general public’s demand for accessible knowledge, and how were they to navigate the politics of patriotism so as to give their criticism a wide hearing?
Rashid Khalidi’s Sowing Crisis is an effort to do both. Khalidi is, appropriately enough, the Edward Said Chair of Arab Studies at Columbia University. Long before becoming the object of a smear campaign in the dying days of John McCain’s presidential run, Khalidi had established himself as a leading historian of the modern Middle East. The author of several scholarly monographs that delved into international diplomacy and the question of Palestine as well as the origins and nature of Palestinian national identity, Khalidi is a man at home in American academia. He has trained graduate students over a generation; he has worked in archives; he has been president of the Middle East Studies Association and, of course, he has a deep familiarity with the history of the region he covers, including its Ottoman past. And he has become, since the events of September 11, and especially since Said’s death, the leading Palestinian-American academic voice in the United States. His trilogy with Beacon Press — Resurrecting Empire, The Iron Cage and Sowing Crisis — has been published in less than a decade, and has been aimed squarely at a general readership.
It is instructive to read Sowing Crisis with A World of Trouble, a book covering similar ground but written by an author with a rather different professional background. Patrick Tyler is a journalist, not a historian; he was based in Cairo as the Washington Post’s Middle East bureau chief; he worked in Baghdad for the New York Times “up to the start” of the 1990 Gulf war, as the dust jacket puts it; then he covered China and Russia before returning to Baghdad in 2003. He exhibits familiarity with the Middle East’s major players and an engaging writing style; he knows his audience well, and unlike Khalidi, Tyler does not have to make the transition between a career in academic publishing and writing to meet the demands of the general public. And yet, to give his book a certain historiographical heft, Tyler has spent time at both the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the National Security Archive at George Washington University, and asserts that his book is a “comprehensive” history of US Middle East policy. Tyler wants his book to be taken seriously. He is what you might call a Washington insider — comfortable with the men of power (and it is men of power that he covers almost exclusively in this book) who make up the various presidential administrations that he investigates to the extent that he identifies with them.
Both Khalidi and Tyler offer damning assessments of US policy in the Middle East. The Americans, as Khalidi’s title aptly puts it, sow crisis in the region; Tyler’s account reinforces this conclusion with a narrative of American incompetence that culminates in the figure of President George W. Bush. It is hard, after all, to investigate any aspect of recent US-Arab or US-Iranian relations and not be struck by how dismal the overall picture appears. On this point, the two books fit together nicely, the historian and the journalist amplifying one another’s pleas that the new Obama administration take a hard, honest look at the less than edifying legacy of its predecessors.
Khalidi’s book highlights some essential points necessary for an understanding of the US relationship to the Middle East. The first, and most obvious, is oil. The United States became interested in the region because of its strategic significance, which itself was largely a function of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves. During the Cold War, therefore, the US formed the basis of its domination of the region. It did not so much compete with the Soviets as it did exert extraordinary negative influence over the area. Here Khalidi reverses a theme of American diplomatic history that has taken for granted: US policymakers’ obsession with containing the spread of Soviet influence, as if US imperial interests in the region were themselves defensive or a reflection of the natural order of things. While Khalidi does not deny a Cold War US struggle against the Soviets, or Soviet designs on the Middle East, he does point out that American imperial designs shaped the modern Middle East. The Soviet Union was revealed as a “paper tiger” that played second fiddle. The Americans, moreover, took over the mantle of the leading great power from the British Empire, and nurtured, as the British had done, an approach to the region that promoted quiescent, undemocratic regimes as auxiliaries of their imperial hegemony.
In the process, Khalidi contends that the US not only laid the foundations upon which George W. Bush built his neo-conservative enterprise to reshape the map of the Middle East; it also laid the foundations of the crises the region witnesses today, including its lack of democracy, the growth of Iranian influence and the emergence of non-state organizations such as Hizballah and Hamas, all of which are inimical to US interests and to a secular vision of the Middle East. According to Khalidi, the US sowed crisis on several levels: Its Cold War confrontation with the Soviets subverted political development in the region because of America’s opposition to secular Iranian and Arab nationalism (most infamously exemplified in the US overthrow of Iran’s elected Mossadeq government in 1953) and its promotion of the autocracy of the Saudis and the Shah; and, with the exception of failed attempts of the Carter and first Bush administrations, its quest for Cold War dominance relegated the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict to secondary importance. US rivalry with the Soviets exacerbated not only the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also the civil war in Lebanon and the Iran-Iraq war. The US bypassed and weakened the UN when it came to Israel; and it engendered the emergence of radical movements without appreciating the degree to which these movements responded to local conditions and to US Cold War machinations, as opposed to Soviet troublemaking. According to Khalidi, the United States, is a Machiavellian, yet often a shortsighted, great power.
“There was, of course,” Khalidi writes, “a price attached to this Cold War-drive approach, not least in terms of the ideals and principles that Americans like to believe their foreign policy is based on.” Khalidi takes aim not only at actual American policies that have been instrumental in shaping an illiberal Middle East, but also at American popular passivity regarding those policies: the support for the Shah’s dictatorship that led to the Islamic Revolution in Iran and for the mujahideen in Afghanistan, whose war against the Soviets galvanized extremist Islamist movements.
For Khalidi’s intended audience of general readers, the evaluation of US policies in the region will be informative. For instance, he sketches out the history of Zionist colonization of Palestine, which is largely unknown in the United States; he also points out the “deep flaws” of Palestinian leadership of the time, as he did in his previous book The Iron Cage. His concern in Sowing Crisis, however, is what he sees as a consistent failure of US leadership during and after the Cold War. Despite the anemic attempt of President Jimmy Carter to resolve the Palestinian question, successive US administrations have exacerbated the Arab-Israeli conflict by tilting heavily toward Israel. Since at least the Reagan era, administrations have adopted what Khalidi calls an Israeli view of the Palestinians, centered on the “mindless shibboleth of terrorism,” rather than seeking a comprehensive and genuine understanding of the region. This “poisoned legacy,” he insists, has made for “disastrously superficial approaches to a broad range of complex issues in the Middle East.” Khalidi is correct in his assessment. But what remains unclear is why an Israel-centric “peace process” — rather than a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — is not an American interest, especially given the fact that many, indeed most, Arab states have thrown in the towel and sued for peace with Israel despite Israel’s ongoing and flagrant oppression of the Palestinians.
At his best, Khalidi is able to synthesize a vast historiography on the US in the Cold War in order to elucidate larger themes of a conservative anti-Soviet, anti-nationalist and anti-democratic US stance in the Middle East. The role of Arab and Iranian actors in the unfolding of US policy is, however, barely treated at all. There are moments in the book, moreover, that need elaboration as information pushed into endnotes might have helped a general reader make sense of what Khalidi describes as the “many flaws in the Madrid process,” or what he calls “the myth of Israel’s ‘humane occupation,’” or the “ubiquitous” presence in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations of Dennis Ross. Ross is an alumnus of the pro-Israel Washington Institute on Near East Policy (WINEP) who served in the first Bush and Clinton administrations and now works in the Obama White House. At its moment of greatest leverage in the Middle East in the aftermath of the successful (from a US standpoint) Gulf war, with Arab nationalism effectively crushed, and UN resolutions aggressively enforced with regard to Iraq, the United States failed (yet again) to enforce UN resolutions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict despite paying lip service to them at Madrid in 1991. The opportunity to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict was there, Khalidi contends, but it was not grasped.
This same history of missed opportunities is evident in Patrick Tyler’s A World of Trouble. Unlike the scholarly Khalidi, Tyler offers an account studded with vignettes to carry the reader through several hundred pages of text. One of the major thrusts of the book comes across clearly: that the Palestinian question is at the heart of America’s problems in the region and that US policy in the Middle East has been hijacked by a pro-Israel orientation. “Somewhere,” Tyler writes, “a line had been crossed in America’s relationship with Israel.” As with Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer’s The Israel Lobby, Tyler’s book gives evidence that the taboo on open and critical discussion of Israel in the mainstream may finally be lifting.
Tyler’s depiction of Israel as a belligerent power that has chosen colonization of Arab lands over peace with the Palestinians is at times incisive; he portrays, for example, the dilemmas of Yasser Arafat during the years after the 1993 Oslo accords empathetically. Arafat was a flawed leader, Tyler declares, but he was stymied by Israeli arrogance and settlement building and by American complicity in both. Tyler’s portrayal of the Palestinian leader is quite different from that in the mainstream US media, where he was vilified as the man who rejected peace. This is Tyler at his most readable, a journalist able to draw on his experience in the Middle East, and willing to pierce the armor of the formidable Israeli propaganda apparatus that has repeatedly demonized the Palestinians and their leaders.
To his credit, Tyler incorporates primary materials from the declassified National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas and the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. But his promise to tell a fuller story of America in the Middle East is seriously undermined by his resort to Orientalist themes and phrases. In Tyler’s case, this tendency comes not from reliance upon “classical” texts in Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish, but from near exclusive reliance on sources in English. Tyler employed an Israeli research assistant to examine material in Hebrew, but did not ask an Arab to sift through the many Arabic sources he could have consulted, such as memoirs or newspapers. Perhaps this is why Tyler describes Zionism as an outgrowth of “Hebrew nationalism” dating back to biblical times; the Arabs don’t seem to have a significant history in his account.
In the crucial chapters laying out the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, for instance, Tyler generally portrays Zionist leaders positively. The clichés in his description of Golda Meir — a tough lady with “grandmotherly looks” — contrast with those in his description of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser as the son of a postal clerk from Upper Egypt, “known for producing male offspring who were generally taller, darker and intellectually fiercer than the more languid Egyptians of the Nile Delta.” Tyler admits that Arabs have legitimate grievances against Israel and the US, but he gives the impression that these grievances are driven by negative and reactionary impulses — one of which, of course, is “hate.” Arabs seem, in Tyler’s hands, unable to articulate a positive view of themselves, their rights or their history. And Westerners, including apparently Tyler himself, come face to face with a civilizational chasm that separates them from the Arabs. He writes that Egypt, for example, was in the grip of a “somnolent decrepitude” before Napoleon invaded “carrying the Age of Reason.” The chasm has not been bridged to this day. The “Arab mind,” Tyler claims, as if there were such a thing, “still seemed like terra incognita for American leaders, perhaps because the Judeo-Christian experience was a boundary of history that had rendered the Islamic experience remote.” He provides no evidence for this assertion or for others that emanate from his understanding of the Middle East as “a region of Oriental complexity whose leaders felt a deep nostalgia for a triumphal Islamic past.”
The problem with such descriptions is not simply that they are journalistic shorthand that mystifies the history of the Middle East; they reflect Tyler’s view of a monolithic Islam that supposedly rages against a modernizing West. A World of Trouble recalls the approach of ex-CIA man Michael Scheuer, whose own rebuke of American failures in the Middle East, Imperial Hubris, similarly depends on an ahistorical and deeply Orientalist understanding derived explicitly from Bernard Lewis’ idea of Islam as a primordial loyalty “that transcends all others.”  Tyler acknowledges no debt to Lewis, but reproduces unhelpful and tired descriptions of Saddam Hussein as “a wounded and angry predator” and misleading labeling of Hizballah alongside al-Qaeda as a purveyor of “transnational extremism.” Not all Islamists are the same — Hizballah has a domestic Lebanese agenda, for the most part, not the “transnational” one that al-Qaeda aspires to — but these major differences are elided in A World of Trouble.
In place of serious work that attempts to understand a range of Arabs in their own terms, through their own writings and in their own language, Tyler offers warmed-over stereotypes: a triad consisting of Orientalized Arabs, brutal but somewhat more complex Israelis, and essentially good Americans (with notable exceptions such as Bill Clinton, whom Tyler describes as an opportunist overseeing serial derelictions of duty). The mediating figures for Tyler are Arabs such as Anwar al-Sadat, who embraced the US vision of the region and made a separate peace with Israel, and the Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, one of his main sources, whose notoriety and reactionary role in Middle Eastern politics he barely touches on.
Tyler does, however, point to the elephant in the room that few Americans will openly discuss for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. He highlights the saliency of Israel for several American Jews who have been in influential US government positions, from ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to Dennis Ross, and he criticizes what he sees as the conflation of Israeli and American interests that has alienated Arabs and Muslims from the US. Tyler’s description of Kissinger is startlingly blunt: “He was an American, ambitious to succeed in the Nixon administration. But he was also a Jew and one not indifferent to Israel.” Ross and Martin Indyk, another WINEP man in the Clinton administration, were “both scions of the Jewish political establishment in Washington,” Tyler continues, and because of their ardent Zionism, they were fundamentally unfit to promote an even-handed US approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Undoubtedly, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, and other Jewish lobbying groups wield enormous influence in Washington. Tyler deftly captures this reality when he describes how the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ran roughshod over President Bill Clinton and “swept through Washington like a bodybuilder, flexing the political muscle of the pro-Israeli bloc in Congress.” The problem is not in this statement of facts, but that Tyler does not comment similarly on the agenda, religion and business interests of men like Warren Christopher or George H. W. Bush — the latter “a decent man,” in Tyler’s opinion.
Tyler ends his account with reflections on the reign of George W. Bush. He recognizes that Bush was incompetent — albeit in the rather generous formulation, “He is not a detail man” — and that the former president exploited the terrible events of September 11 to further a radical agenda. Tyler’s treatment of the September 11 attacks, however, is framed by the same Orientalist conceit repeated at the time by the American media. The United States was targeted because it could be “credibly defamed” (notice the ambiguous diction) as an “offender of pious Muslims struggling against the intrusion of modernity.” Again, as per Lewis, Muslims (and not just the al-Qaeda extremists) are cast as being driven primarily by religion and as living in the past. And, though he allows that Arabs and Muslims’ “humiliations” are many, Tyler reassures his readers that America “was not really responsible” for the debacle that is the modern Middle East.
Who, then, is responsible? The Arabs and Israelis surely must shoulder their part of the blame for the militarism of the Middle East. So, too, must Britain and France, for their role in undermining what the historian Albert Hourani famously referred to as the Arab world’s “liberal age” in the first half of the twentieth century. But what of the United States that Rashid Khalidi criticizes in his Sowing Crisis? Tyler underlines the American arrogance, malfeasance, incompetence and outright aggression that has shaped the Middle East; he openly criticizes US presidents for their repeated failures of leadership and diplomacy; he bluntly condemns the “built-in bias” toward Israel that has distorted US policies; he indicts Reagan, excoriates Clinton and admonishes George W. Bush; and yet he concludes by writing that “America’s destiny in international relations is to play the role of a just, magnanimous and stabilizing power” and by hoping that “generations of young Muslims” will recognize the “fallacy of Islamic imperialism.” This conclusion is remarkable, if for no other reason than that Tyler’s book is not about “Islamic imperialism.” Rather, it is about US imperialism, though he does not use the term. A World of Trouble is about the long-standing determination of the US to control Middle Eastern oil, its hostility to secular Arab and Iranian nationalism, and its now almost axiomatic support for Israel despite the latter’s brutalization of the Palestinians.
The discordant note on which Tyler’s book ends displays the fundamental inadequacy of Orientalist criticism of US and Israeli policies in the Middle East. In a sense, Tyler wants to have it both ways. He evinces a basic sympathy with the Palestinian predicament, yet he also indulges in the most hackneyed descriptions of the Arab world. Above all, he criticizes the failures of American decision-making while remaining quaintly attached to the notion that such decisions are guided by “traditional American ideals.” In other words, he refrains from any serious examination of the nature and implications of US power.
At the Morass
Both authors raise profound questions about that power. Has the US long been an empire that operates through coercion to maintain its interests in the Middle East, or has it been seduced by supremacy, and thus lost sight of its ideals, only recently, and especially since September 11, 2001? Khalidi, and, to a lesser extent, Tyler, puncture the illusions of liberal Americans who would like to characterize George W. Bush’s policy as a monstrous deformation of American traditions by showing that Bush inherited, and did not invent, a belligerent and anti-democratic US approach to the Middle East. Yet Khalidi concludes by suggesting that the Bush administration was indeed extraordinary — for its manipulation of the public through the “war on terror” and for its aggrandizement of the executive and military-industrial complex. He approvingly quotes Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, George Washington and James Madison to make the latter point. But the US declared vast spheres of influence, launched invasions and carried out brutal pacification campaigns long before the Cold War began, in places such as Haiti and the Philippines. What, one wonders, is the relationship between this robust record of US imperialism and the actions recounted in Sowing Crisis and A World of Trouble?
Khalidi, even more than Tyler, is keen to anticipate the question that American readers will undoubtedly want to ask: Where do we go from here? Despite his reluctance as a historian to predict the future, he wants to end his story with a way out of the morass. In the face of systematic manipulation of public ignorance of the Middle East, Khalidi suggests that the American people might yet “wake fully from the nightmare illusions fostered by the George W. Bush administration, and begin to deal pragmatically with real-world problems instead of responding to exaggerated phantasms and false images that the US government and its allies in the media have projected on the region, from Afghanistan to Darfur, most of them keyed to terrorism.” This pragmatism, of course, is to be hoped for. Khalidi does not say that it will arise, just that it must before there can be substantial change in hitherto failed US Middle East policies. But is it at all to be expected? Khalidi is appealing to an audience that has been shaped by the very processes of simplification and obfuscation of the Middle East that he recounts and condemns.
Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979), pp. 300-301.
For the most cogent summary of the argument and criticisms of Orientalism, see Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
See Nathan Citino, From Arab Nationalism to OPEC (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 4-17; Melani McAlister, Epic Encounters: Culture, Media and US Interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001); Douglas Little, American Orientalism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Salim Yaqub, Containing Arab Nationalism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); and Brian T. Edwards, Morocco Bound: Disorienting America’s Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakesh Express (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005). See also Paul Chamberlain, “A World Restored: Religion, Counterrevolution, and the Search for Order in the Middle East,” Diplomatic History 32 (June 2008).
Bernard Lewis cited in Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2004), p. xviii. Scheuer, interestingly, both depends on Lewis and criticizes his failure to underscore the anti-Israel and anti-colonial dimension of radical Islamist ideas.