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Concerns about Oil Has Been Central to European and US Interests

in Mesopotamia and the Middle East Before, During and After WWI
Rumsfeld video- Shaking Hands with Saddam for Bechtel Oil Pipeline to Jordan

“But with Germany as an ally, the Ottoman Empire represented a serious threat to the British Empire, so in a pre-emptive strike, London immediately landed an Anglo-Indian force at Basra, near the estuary of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. This was done to protect the Anglo-Persian oil pipeline, which was vital to the British navy, and to show the Union Jack in this strategically important area in the Persian Gulf.”

The campaign 1914

Britain relied heavily on oil to keep its dominant navy at sea. It determined very quickly on the outbreak of the war with Germany to protect its interests by occupying the oilfields and pipeline near Basra. It then pushed out a force to seize the river junction at Qurna.

  • HM ships "Espiegle" and "Dalhousie" entered the Shatt-al-Arab and moved to Muhammerah (29 September 1914)

  • The convoy carrying Indian Expeditionary Force 'D' left Bombay (16 October 1914)

  • The capture of Basra (21 November 1914)

  • The capture of Qurna (3 - 19 December 1914)

  • Detail of the actions in 1914

The capture of Basra

In 1914, the Royal Navy’s new Super-Dreadnought battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth was powered by oil-fired turbines. Oil now had a strategic significance for the British Empire. But, unlike coal, Britain had no oil reserves of its own. Instead it had acquired a controlling interest in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in Persia (now Iran). The end of the company’s pipeline in the Persian Gulf was overlooked by Turkish Mesopotamia.

In the event of war against Turkey, Britain’s oil supply was vulnerable. To protect it, an Indian Army Expeditionary Force was moved to the Gulf to ward off any Turkish threat. Within hours of war being declared against the Turks on November 5, Indian troops landed near Fao and began to move the 60 miles towards Basra, covering the same ground captured by British forces in the 2003 Iraq War.”

From Wikipedia on Iraq Petroleum Company

“Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), which grew out of the growing belief, in the late 19th century, that Mesopotamia (now Iraq) contained substantial reservoirs of oil…

The first interest was shown by German Empire banks and companies, who were already involved in the building of the Berlin-Baghdad railway, followed by British interests. In 1911, in an attempt to bring together competing British and German interests in the region, a British company known as African and Eastern Concession Ltd was formed.[5][6][7]

In 1912, this company became the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), formed with the purpose of acquiring concessions from the Ottoman Empire to explore for oil in Mesopotamia. The owners were a group of large European companies—Deutsche Bank, the Anglo Saxon Oil Company (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell), the National Bank of Turkey (a British concern)—and Turkish-born Armenian businessman Calouste Gulbenkian.[8] The driving force behind its creation was Gulbenkian, and the largest single shareholder was the British Government-controlled Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which by 1914 held 50% of the shares. TPC received a promise of a concession from the Ottoman government but the outbreak of World War I in 1914 put a stop to all exploration plans.[9][10]

When the Ottoman Empire was broken up in the aftermath of the war, the question of shareholding in TPC became a major issue at the 1920 San Remo conference, where the future of all non-Turkish and Arab-majority areas of the former Ottoman Empire were substantially decided. A rising demand for petroleum during the war had demonstrated to the big powers the importance of having their own sources of oil. Since one of the original partners of TPC had been German oil interests (Deutsche Bank), the French demanded the German share in TPC as the spoils of war. This was agreed the by San Remo Oil Agreement, much to the annoyance of the Americans who felt excluded from Middle Eastern oil and demanded an "open door".[8] After prolonged and sometimes sharp diplomatic exchanges, US oil companies were permitted to buy into the TPC, but it would take several years until the negotiations were completed…

Oil Found in 1927

Kirkuk district: an oil gusher spouting with a stream of oil in foreground.

TPC obtained a concession to explore for oil in 1925, in return for a promise that the Iraqi government would receive a royalty for every ton of oil extracted, but linked to the oil companies' profits and not payable for the first 20 years… During the 1925/6 season, an international geological party, comprising representatives of the shareholding companies together with an American contingent, conducted a wide-ranging survey of Iraq. Two wells were selected for drilling at Pulkanah and one each at Khashm al Ahmar, Injanah and Qaiyarah. Kirkuk was included as the sixth location. The well at Baba Gurgur was located by geologist J.M. Muir just north of Kirkuk. Drilling started, and in the early hours of 14 October 1927 oil was struck. Many tons of oil were spilled before the gushing well was brought under control, and the oil field soon proved to be extensive.[11][12]

Red Line Agreement and the creation of IPC

The discovery hastened the negotiations over the composition of TPC, and on 31 July 1928 the shareholders signed a formal partnership agreement to include the Near East Development Corporation (NEDC), an American consortium of five large US oil companies that included Standard Oil of New Jersey (later Exxon, eventually ExxonMobil in 1999), Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) (later Mobil, which eventually amalgamated to ExxonMobil), Gulf Oil (which later merged with Chevron in 1984), the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, and Atlantic Richfield Co. (later ARCO; eventually acquired by BP in 1999). Shares were held in the following proportions: 23.75% each to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (which in 1935 became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and in 1954 the British Petroleum Company, later BP), Royal Dutch/Shell, the Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP, which in 1991 became Total), and the NEDC; and the remaining 5% to Calouste Gulbenkian.[8] TPC was to be organized as a nonprofit company, registered in Britain, that produced crude oil for a fee for its parent companies, based on their shares. The company itself was only allowed to refine and sell to Iraq's internal market, in order to prevent any competition with the parent companies.[10]The Agreement lasted until 1948 when two of the American partners broke free. During the period, IPC monopolized oil exploration inside the Red Line; excluding Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where ARAMCO ( formed in 1944 by renaming of the Saudi subsidiary of Standard Oil of California (Socal)) and Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) respectively held controlling position.[13][14] In 1929 the TPC was renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company.[13] By 1934, the NEDC comprised only two shareholders, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony, which had merged with the Vacuum Oil Company to form Socony-Vacuum in 1931.[8][15]

In 1929 the TPC was renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company.[13] By 1934, the NEDC comprised only two shareholders, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony, which had merged with the Vacuum Oil Company to form Socony-Vacuum in 1931.[8][15]

Delayed Production Start

IPC assistants welding pipes together on the Esdraelon stretch in the 1930s.

The original concession of March 14, 1925 covered all of Iraq, but IPC was reluctant to develop it quickly and production was restricted to fields constituting only one-half of 1 percent of the country's total area. During the Great Depression, the world was awash with oil and greater output from Iraq would simply have driven the price down to even lower levels. Delaying tactics were employed not only in actual drilling and development, but also in conducting negotiations on such matters as pipeline rights-of-way.[16]

The owners of IPC had conflicting interests: the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Royal Dutch/Shell and Standard Oil had access to major sources of crude oil outside Iraq, and therefore wanted to hold the Iraqi concessions in reserve…

Different routes and terminal locations on the Mediterranean coast were sought by the French, who favored a northern route through Syria and Lebanon terminating at the city of Tripoli on the Lebanese coast, and the British and the Iraqis who preferred a southern route, terminating at Haifa, in what then was Palestine. The issue was settled by a compromise which provided for the construction of two pipelines, each with a throughput capacity of 2,000,000 tons a year. The length of the Northern line would be 532 miles (856 km), that of the Southern line (Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline) 620 miles (1,000 km).[18] In 1934, the pipelines were completed from Kirkuk to Al Hadithah, and from there, to both Tripoli and Haifa; the Kirkuk field was brought online the same year. Only in 1938, nine years after the discovery, did IPC begin to export oil in significant quantities.[17]

IPC-Government Relations

During the Hashemite Monarchy (1932–58), there were no serious issues between the IPC and the Iraqi government as the Hashemites were extremely pro-west. In fact, they had been installed by the British, and therefore tensions were minimized. They were dependent on the British militarily and had essentially pledged allegiance to them through the Baghdad Pact. The Hashemites' main disputes centered on increasing the amount of crude oil extracted, getting more Iraqis involved in the process of producing the oil and getting more royalties. In 1952, terms that were more generous to the Iraqi government were negotiated. These terms were largely based on the far more lucrative terms of the Saudi-Aramco "50/50" agreement of December 1950. One could argue that a determinant in these negotiations was the friendly atmosphere in which they were conducted.[26]

The Qasim Era

Beginning in the early 1950s, as the strength of nationalism in Iraq grew, the focus came to bear on foreign control over the oil production of the country. Abd al-Karim Qasim was a nationalist Iraqi Army general who seized power in a 1958 coup d'état in which the Iraqi monarchy was eliminated…

However the economic situation at the time did not permit Qasim to nationalize the IPC – western nations had boycotted Iranian oil when Mossadeq nationalized its oil company and could be expected to do the same in this case.

1972 Nationalization

Throughout the 1960s, the Iraqi government criticized the IPC and used the IPC as a central piece of their anti-western propaganda. The Soviet-Iraqi agreement of 1969 emboldened the Iraqi government and in 1970 they made a list of demands including ownership of 20% of the company's assets and more control. The IPC by this time was taking the Iraqi government very seriously and made some huge concessions. They agreed to increase oil production substantially and also increase the price of its crude oil in certain areas. They also offered an advance payment on royalties…

Dissatisfied with the IPC's unwillingness to negotiate on Iraq's terms, the Iraqi government gave the IPC an ultimatum with similar demands in May 1972. The IPC tried to offer a compromise solution but the Ba'athist government rejected the offer and, on June 1, 1972, nationalized IPC operations, which were taken over by the Iraq National Oil Company...

IPC Today

IPC has ceased operations, but the company "Iraq Petroleum Company" still remains extant as a name on paper,[1] and one of its surviving associated companies – Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company (ADPC), formerly Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd – also continues with the original shareholding intact.[3][4][31][32] ADPC still holds 40% of the onshore concession in Abu Dhabi, with the majority 60% held by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Government. Operations are carried out by the local operating company - The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) – jointly owned by ADNOC, and the ADPC shareholders : BP, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Total S.A. and Partex; reflecting the historical make-up of the Iraq Petroleum Company.[33][34][35] The Abu Dhabi onshore oil concession expired in January 2014.[36]

“Great Britain's interest in Persia began early in the nineteenth century. This interest led to friction with Russia, Persia's northern neighbour. The Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907 helped to stabilize nearly a century of intermittent conflict between them. This agreement provided for a Russian sphere of influence in northern Persia while a neutral zone separated it from Britain's sphere of influence in south-eastern Persia. For Russia, Persia represented an area for future territorial annexation. Great Britain, on the other hand, sought no territory in Persia. Rather, its primary concern was not its commercial interests, or oil fields (which were discovered two years later), but the military security of India, its jewel in the East.

By 1915, however, Great Britain's concerns in Persia had changed. By 1910 oil was discovered in south-western Persia. Three years later the British Admiralty converted its main fuel from coal to oil. Soon after, the British government purchased, primarily on the initiative of Winston Churchill, 51 per cent of the stock in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The company owned an oil concession for all of Persia, with the exception of the five northern provinces which were in the Russian sphere of influence, The Constantinople Agreement of 1915 is evidence of Britain's change in policy regarding the importance of Persia. By this agreement Russia gained control of the Bosporus and the Dardenelles Straits, the sole waterways from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean. Britain incorporated most of the so-called Persian 'neutral zone', previously separating British and Russian spheres of influence, into its own sphere. Although Great Britain wanted to protect and to promote its commercial interests, safeguarding India and the very valuable oil resources in southern Persia were the primary concerns….

Lloyd George was unhappy with the Sykes-Picot agreement and waited for an opportunity to modify it. The opportune moment came in December 1918, when Georges Clemenceau, the French Prime Minister, needed British support for French demands in Europe. Clemenceau agreed to make concessions from France's zone to insure a larger Palestine and ceded control of the potentially rich oil bearing regions in Mosul to the British zone in Mesopotamia. In return, Clemenceau received a 25 per cent share in the oil of Mosul for France. Lloyd George, upon encountering difficulties with Clemenceau over British railway and pipeline crossings from Mosul to Tripoli, withdrew on May 21st, 1919, and further oil negotiations stopped. Lloyd George's stand on Syria perturbed Clemenceau, convincing him that legitimate French interests there were being violated. He believed that Lloyd George was attempting to oust the French from Syria and deprive them of their share in the oil of Mesopotamia.

The State Department was well aware of the British and French negotiations. Leland Summers, member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, asked Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith, Head of the Economic Section of the British delegation, on May 13th, 1919, for any information concerning the Anglo-French agreement and specifically those aspects dealing with 'oil properties throughout the Orient'. Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith replied that conversations had taken place, but that he was unaware of any final agreement. On May 23rd, Summers again inquired, explaining that it would be 'very desirable if you give us some idea of the negotiations', so that 'American interests are not excluded from participation'. But, as mentioned earlier, talks concerning oil in Mesopotamia had already fallen through. Lord Curzon advised Balfour on July 8th that he should inform Summers the talks were off, even though they were not. Negotiations concerning Rumania's oil fields continued into August before they came Work on a section of oil pipeline in Persia, 1917 to an abrupt halt.

Talks concerning British and French oil co-operation did not resume until December 1919. During the interval, Senator Berenger, Commissioner General of Petroleum Products in France, had prepared a memorandum for Clemenceau analyzing recent British Policy in the Middle East. Senator Berenger dealt at length with the 'great activities displayed by Great Britain for securing control over oilfields in Asiatic countries', in order to rid herself of dependence on United States oil supplies. Evidence of this, Berenger noted, displayed itself in the secret Anglo-Persian agreement, concluded without the knowledge of the United States or of any European country. Second, he described as autocratic Britain's handling of the three new Caucasian republics. He argued that Great Britain was trying to create a 'British petroleum interest extending from Egypt to Burmah and from Circassia to the Persian Gulf which is intended to be an offset to the great American petroleum interests'. Berenger described this policy as 'justified', adding that France should acquiesce if she received 'a legitimate share in oil enterprises'. Sir Hamar Greenwood, Minister in Charge of Petroleum Affairs, and Senator Berenger arrived at a new accord, the terms of which were spelled out in the San Remo agreement of April 1920.

The San Remo agreement represented the culmination of the British government's attempt to control future world oil production. There had been a definitive plan for British monopolisation of the world's most promising oil fields. Further, this plan was instrumental in shaping Britain's Middle East policy. In an elaborate memorandum entitled 'Petroleum Situation in the British Empire', Admiral Edmund Slade, one of the directors of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, had outlined, among other things, how to block the application of the Open-Door principle. His memorandum received serious consideration from the Cabinet. This memo suggested that they

encourage and assist British Companies to obtain control of as much oil lands in foreign countries as possible, with the stipulation (to prevent control being obtained by foreign interests) that the oil produced shall only be sold to nr through British oil distributing companies. These oil lands can be developed to assist to provide our requirements in peace whilst our own resources in British territory can be conserved for war.

This memorandum was instrumental in and provided the impetus for the hectic military march for control of Mosul in October 1918. Lord Curzon, in his capacity as chairman of the Eastern Committee, pressed Lloyd George to make sure Britain occupied Mosul.

Significantly, Lord Curzon began working on the Anglo-Persian agreement the following month. The official reasons for the agreement were stated earlier. Most historians believe that the agreement would have made Persia a British protectorate, thereby safeguarding Britain's oil interests in the south, India to the east, and the anticipated control of Mesopotamia to the west. A 'veiled' protectorate wais probably not necessary to secure these goals. The areas under Britain's suzerainty in 1915, when she received the greater portion of the 'neutral zone' in Persia, would, most likely, have provided the necessary security. Lord Curzon saw a greater vision contained in the agreement's unstated objectives. It included the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and its efforts to secure control, and exploit the oil in Persia's five northern provinces. British oil experts knew that the oil in northern Persia was only profitable if it could be shipped overland to the Black Sea. The only other way to transport the oil was a prohibitively expensive route over the Zagros Mountains to the Gulf. The agreement allowed the British to provide moral and military support to the anti-Bolshevik forces under the White Russian, General Deniken…

The troops of a resurgent Soviet Russia put a stop to these grandiose plans. The Anglo-Persian Agreernent was dead by May 1920, the victim of the Soviet conquest of Azerbaijan and subsequent troop landings in northern Persia coupled with the retreat of British troops. The British were humiliated, and the Persian government was discredited. On February 21st, 1921, a coup d'état organized by Seyyid Zia al-Tabatabai and Colonel Reza Khan of the Persian Cossacks overthrew it. The new government quickly assessed the situation and acted. On February 26th it signed a Treaty of Friendship with Soviet Russia. Then it denounced the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919…

This plan failed. The Republic of Azerbaijan wanted British protection, but not by forfeiting its newly-acquired independence. The Persian politicians wanted the Agreement's benefits, but the Nationalists opposed Persia becoming a British protectorate. The United States government support of the Nationalists thwarted attempts to convene the Majlis to ratify the Agreement. And the Bolshevik landing in northern Persia ultimately killed any hope of the Agreement's ratification.

Consequently, as soon as the Foreign Office announced the Agreement, it provided the American oil industry and the State Department with another example of the British Government's intent to control foreign oil reserves. Within this context, the vigorous opposition of the State Department to the Anglo-Persian Agreement is more easily understood. Standard Oil of New Jersey capitalised on the State Department's support of the Nationalists. The Majlis awarded Standard Oil the oil concession for the five northern provinces in Persia. Standard Oil later used this concession to gain an entry into the oil negotiations surrounding Mesopotamia. What began as an idea to control the world's untapped oil reserves ultimately evolved into a Middle East oil cartel in which British, American, and French oil companies shared.”

“The San Remo Agreement.

In pursuance of the British Imperialists’ deliberate policy of securing world domination through oil, they set themselves to gain control of the oil within the French dominions. The San Remo agreement, though professedly a cementing of the friendly Entente, was a part of this policy…

The San Remo agreement, on behalf of the British and French Governments, was concluded in April 1920, between Sir John Cadman, the chairman of the British Petroleum Executive, and M. Philippe Berthelot, for the French Government. This agreement dealt with oil in Mesopotamia, Galicia, Rumania, Asia Minor, Russia, the French Colonies, and British Crown Colonies…

In the French Colonies the San Remo agreement binds the French Government to give facilities to Franco-British companies for the acquisition of oil concessions, provided these groups contain at least 67 per cent. of French capital…

The French shareholders will grow richer by the prosperity of British companies; but the power will be in British hands. The great ones of France bitterly resent the position.

U.S.A. Objects to San Remo Agreement.

British Capitalism had got the better of French in the San Remo agreement, but it was obvious that the Americans would protest against it because it would keep them out of all territory under French control. The agreement was kept secret at first, but of course it presently became known, and of course U.S. Capitalism objected…

Nevertheless, the San Remo agreement remained, but the United States is a powerful factor which cannot be altogether ignored. Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary, and Sir John Cadman protested, and still protest, that Britain also believes in the open door. Such protestation, of course, failed to satisfy the Yankees, and it was necessary to allow Standard Oil to resume an oil concession in Palestine, which it had possessed before the War.”

Oil and the origins of the ‘War to make the world safe for Democracy’By F. William Engdahl, 22 June, 2007

 Abstract: At first almost unnoticed after 1850, then with significant intensity after the onset of the Great Depression of 1873 in Britain, the sun began to set on the British Empire. By the end of the 19th Century, though the City of London remained undisputed financier of the world, British industrial excellence was in terminal decline. The decline paralleled an equally dramatic rise of a new industrial Great Power on the European stage, the German Reich. Germany soon passed England in output of steel, in quality of machine tools, chemicals and electrical goods. Beginning the 1880’s a group of leading German industrialists and bankers around Deutsche Bank’s Georg von Siemens, recognized the urgent need for some form of colonial sources of raw materials as well as industrial export outlet. With Africa and Asia long since claimed by the other Great Powers, above all Great Britain, German policy set out to develop a special economic sphere in the imperial provinces of the debt-ridden Ottoman Empire. The policy was termed “penetration pacifique” an economic dependency which would be sealed with German military advisors and equipment. Initially, the policy was not greeted with joy in Paris, St. Petersburg or London, but it was tolerated. Deutsche Bank even sought, unsuccessfully, to enlist City of London financial backing for the keystone of the Ottoman expansion policy—the Berlin-to-Baghdad railway project, a project of enormous scale and complexity that would link the interior of Anatolia and Mesopotamia (today Iraq) to Germany. What Berlin and Deutsche Bank did not say was that they had secured subsurface mineral rights, including for oil along the path of the railway, and that their geologists had discovered petroleum in Mosul, Kirkuk and Basra.

  The conversion of the British Navy under Churchill to oil from coal meant a high risk strategy as England had abundant coal but no then-known oil. It secured a major concession from the Shah of Persia in the early 1900’s. The Baghdad rail link was increasingly seen in London as a threat to precisely this oil security. The British response to the growing German disruption of the European balance of power after the 1890’s was to carefully craft a series of public and secret alliances with France and with Russia—former rivals—to encircle Germany. As well, she deployed a series of less public intrigues to disrupt the Balkans and encourage a revolt against the Ottoman Sultan via the Young Turks that severely weakened the prospects for the German Drang nach Osten. The dynamic of the rise of German assertiveness, including in addition to the Baghdad rail, the decision in 1900 to build a modern navy over two decades that could rival England’s, set the stage for the outbreak of a war in August 1914 whose real significance was a colossal and tragic struggle for who would succeed the ebbing power of the British Empire. The resolution of that epic struggle was to take a second world war and another quarter century before the victor was undeniably established. The role of oil in the events leading to war in 1914 is too little appreciated.  When the historical process behind the war is examined from this light a quite different picture emerges. The British Empire in the decades following 1873 and the American Century hegemony in the decades following approximately 1973 have more in common than is generally appreciated.

William Blum- Killing Hope Ch 13. The Middle East 1957-1958

“the US government conferred upon the US government the remarkable and enviable right to intervene

militarily in other countries. With the stroke of a pen, the Middle East was added to

Europe and the Western hemisphere as America's field of play.

The resolution stated that "the United States regards as vital to the national

interest and world peace the preservation of the independence and integrity of the

nations of the Middle East." Yet, during this very period, as we have seen, the CIA

initiated its operation to overthrow the government of Syria.” p88

The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America

Throughout this period, Washington officials alternated between striving to

enlist testimonials from other Arab nations that Syria was indeed a variety of Soviet

satellite and a threat to the region, and assuring the world that the United States had

received a profusion of just such testimony. But Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia all

denied that they felt threatened by Syria. Egypt, Syria's closest ally, of course

concurred. At the height of the “crisis”, King Hussein of Jordan left for a vacation in

Europe. The Iraqi premier declared that his country and Syria had arrived at a "complete

understanding". And King Saud of Saudi Arabia, in a message to Eisenhower, said that

US concern over Syria was "exaggerated" and asked the president for "renewed

assurances that the United States would refrain from any interference in the internal

affairs of Arab states". Saud added that "efforts to overturn the Syrian regime would

merely make the Syrians more amenable to Soviet influence", a view shared by several

observers on all sides.” p 91

Essential context for understanding conflicts in the Middle East, terrorism and regional US foreign policy, Iran and Iraq pre 2001

Historical context problematizes official U.S. policy in Iraq and Middle East. Analyze Bush’s speech in 2005 from air force base.
historical context- shared religious elements, relative harmony and diversity during Ottoman millet system, European imperialism, ME political boundaries and maps after WWI, Arab and Iranian nationalism, control of oil, US support of Saddam, Control Room and media censorship, why they hate us, terrorism, US vetoes position on ICC
Essential Understandings- conflicts in the ME and terrorism are primarily the result of political struggles and conflicts (not religious or cultural conflicts) arising out of the context of historical European imperialism, both Israelis and Palestinians have historical roots to the area, Zionism is not a religious movement, US aid to Israel and UN vetoes
Some useful resources in unit:

excerpt of Bill Moyers’ Secret Govt. on US backed coup in Iran and Democracy Now Iranian film excerpt of coup, article- Why They Hate Us, Democracy Now coverage of Gaza, Rethinking Schools special issue and book Whose Wars,

US Policy with Iraq and Saddam from 1980s to 2000

TCI curriculum on the Modern Middle East

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