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Book Review of Peter Scholl-Latour's 'A World Power in Quicksand'.

Peter Scholl-Latour, A World Power in Quicksand.
Bush against the Ayatollahs. Propyläen: Berlin 2004.
344 p., 24.00 EUR.

04.04.2004 · Reviewed by Jürgen Turek

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It was just a question of time till Peter Scholl-Latour begins to speak about the current situation in the Near and Middle East. Nobody else was so effectively present in media terms since 11/9 and hardly anybody knows such a lot about the region of conflict. Now, two years after the beginning of the antiterrorist campaign of the Bush administration, he draws a humbling balance.

Although he appreciates, that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the dictator Saddam Hussein have been overthrown, he points out that in both countries chaos and fundamentalist-terrorist groups gain ground. Above all, a geographic bridge of the Shiite denomination becomes apparent extending from Iran to Iraq up to the Lebanon, from the Hindukush to the Mediterranean Sea, and now demands its share of power.

His conclusions and at the same time his warning are: Contrary to the plans of Washington to pacify the region in the long term, it would remain a powder keg. The USA is threatened by a long-term conflict similar to the one in Vietnam: a scenario, if it was to become reality, that can only be seen as a dreadful addition to the traumatic experience of the collapse of the twin-towers.

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