I probably should have put this at the beginning of my blog but I have a number of purposes for constructing this blog, other than the normal digital self indulgence.
Number one is that this will eventually be integrated into a family history for my grandkids. They need to know their origins and how much the world has changed in a scant half-century. They need to know about this part of the world which has always fascinated their grandfather.
Number two. I am writing a very politically incorrect image of the Middle East. One that I saw and know to be true, not as distorted by the neo-Arabists of today who in the centers of Middle East studies are taught more what to think than how to think. They know only the history of the region as depicted in the mostly politically correct versions taught in the seminars and endlessly regurgitated by the “experts” that abound in the academic and journalistic world. It is pack and group thinking in which an academic gate of credibility has been erected through which no one may pass without demonstrating a”correct” view of events and trends. There are exceptions of course, but too few and often ignored as ” not scholarly enough.”
I am writing about events and trends as I remember them and in some cases that was over 40 years ago but where my memory is fuzzy I will admit it. In some cases I will omit names because I have no desire to embarrass anyone.
If folks have a different opinion or an observation well thought out I happily will put it on the blog. And I am happy to get corrections. However, If it is just some left-wing Edward Said/Juan Cole bullshit, Islamist hate rhetoric, or Ba’athist rant about how Saddam was the new Saladin, my response will be boos teezie.