I am really worried about the Middle East if Mitt Romney ends up being the next American president. For anyone involved in the history of the ancient and the modern Middle East, a Republican president is a disaster for the inhabitants of this region. The Bush Family is by far the historically worst. And as Thomas L Friedman pointed out in The New York Times the other day;
“The worst message we can send right now to Middle Easterners is that their future is all bound up in what we do.”
I guess you have to spend a lot of time in the Middle East to understand that there is a reason that American politics and involvement in the region isn´t much liked among the people in the street. And to my amazement, because the United States have among the best academics and political analysts in the world as regards to this seemingly complicated region, it seems people like Mitt Romney just doesn´t understand that more military presence and hard line involvement will create more so called jihadists. They become so called jihadists because there´s not much other choices! And as far as I see it, it has to do with the fact that Mitt Romney have people around him which just doesn´t get it. I mean the workings as regards to the Middle East, no matter how complicated they seem, it can be understood by just reading these 5 books I am going to recommend!
1. A History of The Middle East 3rd Edition by Peter Mansfield and Nicolas Pelham. This is my present favorite on the region. All the questions I had about The Middle East and its political development and modern history got answered by reading this book. It is a thrilling, easy read and it would make such a difference for Mitt Romney and the people around it if they read it!
2. Muhammed: A Biography Of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong. It is not being Arab which is what connects people, this is something which came with the creation of nations after the 2nd World War, it is being Muslim. So an understanding of the life of the Prophet is important!
3. Islam: A short history by Karen Armstrong. This is a concise, easy to read and understandable book about the fastest growing religion on earth. The author touches subjects as fundamentalism, jihad and why.
4. Arabian Sands by Wilfried Thesiger. Romney also needs to get a perspective on the possible first inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Theisger´s Arabian Sands is still the best according to me.
5. The Road To Mecca by Mohammed Asad. Soul searching Jew from Austria ending up being a Pakistani Minister. He set off as Leopold Weiss and ended up as Muhammed Asad. A good read in many ways for Mitt Romney on his possible trips to the Middle East.
Once Mitt Romney have read these 5 books, he would have a much healthier perspective on this misunderstood part of our world. Hopefully he won´t make it to the presidency, but if, these books will help him!