- Taschenbuch: 454 Seiten
- Verlag: Simon + Schuster UK (26. April 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1847394574
- ISBN-13: 978-1847394576
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 3 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 252 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle That Shaped the Middle East (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. April 2012
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
James Barr has worked for the Daily Telegraph, in politics, and in the City, and has travelled widely in the Middle East. He is the author of Setting the Desert on Fire, a history of T.E. Lawrence and the secret war in Arabia. During the research for A Line in the Sand he was a visiting fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford.
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The struggle in the Middle East between the British and the French had no winners - both were to leave as their `empires' fell apart.
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1) Britain did no ‘seize’ Cyprus in 1878 (p9): it was leased to the British Empire following the Congress of Berlin.
2) Neither did Britain ‘seize’ the Suez Canal (p9): it took out a loan from Rothschild to buy the Egyptian Government’s stock.
3) In his account of the Fashoda Incident of 1898 Barr omits any reference to the Anglo-Egyptian victory under Kitchener at Omdurman earlier in that year when nearly 10,000 Sudanese were killed for the loss of 28 British and 20 Egyptians. It was hardly surprising therefore that the French force of 12 French officers and 150 Senegalese soldiers was ordered to withdraw after Kitchener arrived at Fashoda with 2,500 Sudanese soldiers and five gunboats with Maxim guns and field-guns.
4) The suggestion that Ronald Storrs was responsible for instigating the Hussein-McMahon correspondence (p23) is implausible, although the egotistical Storrs may have claimed this to have been so. Hussein’s son Abdullah had contacted Kitchener in February 1914 when the latter was British Agent and Consul-General in Egypt. Although Kitchener was non-committal, contacts had been maintained. Storrs, who was not fully fluent in Arabic, was more likely to have been responsible for the gaffs in the correspondence, such as the suggestion that Lebanese Christians were not Arabs.
5) Herbert Samuel is similarly credited for the work of others on p32. Samuel was certainly an ardent Zionist, but the real hard graft and intrigue to secure the Balfour Declaration was led by Chaim Weizmann, backed by Walter Rothschild.
6) Barr mentions on p51 that Allenby’s predecessor had twice failed to capture Gaza. In fact the town had been captured during the first Battle of Gaza but Dobell had feared a counter attack and had ordered a withdrawal. The exhausted troops were unable to recapture the town the following day. Barr does not mention that gas and tanks were used during the Second Battle although both were rendered ineffective by the heat and, in the case of the tanks, the sandy conditions. The town was razed by shelling from Australian artillery and the French Navy during the third battle.
7) The account of the riot at Haifa oil refinery is misleading. The Irgun had thrown grenades into a crowd of Arab workers killing six and wounding forty-two. This provoked the attack on Jewish workers in the refinery, for which Ilan Pappé gives different casualty figures (39 killed and 49 wounded). The Jewish Agency publically condemned the Irgun atrocity but secretly authorised the Hagannah to carry out retaliation. This took the form of raids on the villages of Balad al-Shaykh and Hawsha where houses were blown and set on fire and according to Zachary Lockman some 60 were killed, included women and children.
8) The death toll at Deir Yassin (p365) is generally reckoned to be much less than 250, even by scholars critical of the Zionist actions. Barr ought to have mentioned that the village had an agreement with the Hagannah that it would not allow Arab fighters to stay there and in return the Zionists had promised not to attack it. In consequence Haganah forces had not intended to take part in the attack. However Stern Gang and Irgun members had been unable to overcome resistance in the headman’s house (they were more familiar with caching bombs and ambushing soldiers and unarmed civilians) so a nearby Palmach unit was briefly called in to suppress the resistance.
9) The victims of the reprisal massacre on Mt Scopus in Jerusalem (p366) were not all non-combatants (Barr describes them as ‘doctors, nurses and students’). The dead included two members of the Irgun injured at Deir Yassin, and members of the armed escort from the Hagannah.
10) The Altalena which Barr describes on p364 as a 'landing craft' was actually a landing ship, tank (LST) of 4,800 tons.
The problem of this sloppy writing is that when Barr gets into original material from his own researches one is unable to to accept it at face value but is also unable to verify it from other sources. This considerably detracts from the value of the work as a source of reference.
This is an excellent but complex account of events that followed the Paris Peace Conference in the Hall of Mirrors, at which the creation of the various countries after WW1 was implemented following the break up of the Ottoman Empire.
The chapters covering the Sykes-Picot agreement are well drafted. The book gets more complicated after that and is heavy going. It is not the best book I have read on the politics of the middle east, but it is still worthwhile.
The USA, Britain, France and all the other countries who invaded the Middle East should read this book. It explains the background and outlines the reasons for all the current wars in Iraq, Israel and the Arab world.
Lawrence of Arabia promised the Arabs their own country after the break up of the Ottoman Empire. They now hate the west because of being betrayed by the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles. We need to address the perceived injustices that have created Al Queda.
Unfortunately, as with Northern Ireland and the Israeli-Palestine conflict the West has tried to enforce their solutions on the Arabs. I fear matters have gone too far with the cascading of conflict down the generations.
I think this may lead to WW 3 with Al Queda.