Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

More essays by Ray Harris
Ray HarrisRay Harris is a frequent contributor to this website. He has written articles on 9/11, boomeritis, the Iraq war and Third Way politics. Since 2007 he took to writing his novels Navaratri, Wild Child and Eden. Harris lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

Shades of Grey

An Open Letter to Frank Visser

Ray Harris

I was surprised to read Frank's recent essay 'Where are the Good Guys anyway in this World?' (1) Surprised because it seemed to ignore integral theory in its entirety and return to a more fundamental good/bad dichotomy. In some sense that is okay because integral theory allows people to move from stage to stage depending on the circumstances - in this case the current geopolitical debates that seek to reduce conflict to stereotypical goodies versus baddies, with demands that people take sides (a form of moral bullying).

I was also surprised because we have been here before (or at least I have). Just over 20 years ago I discussed the issue of US intervention in the ME in my essay 'The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend.' (2)

I do question why I am bothering to address this issue - again. Many of the regular visitors to this site are locked into their positions. I don't expect to change their minds, so consider this an open letter to Frank.

I want to break this response into three sections. The first will examine the issue of good guys vs bad guys. The second will address Frank's summation of Michael Lüders's book 'Blowback'. The third will look at the history of the ME vs the West.

1. A crude dichotomy.

Hasn't the integral community moved well beyond any form of dichotomy, between the absolutes of black and white and good versus evil?

As I was reading Frank's essay I kept wondering who the intended audience was. Was it an audience with a knowledge of integral theory or the favourite audience of the right-wing populists and nationalists? I mean, who here ever believed that the US were the good guys? I certainly didn't, and still don't. I came of age during the Vietnam War. I narrowly escaped conscription. I had heard of the massacre at Mai Lai, Agent Orange and the carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos. Who can forget Coppola's masterpiece Apocalypse Now, a scathing condemnation of the Vietnam War based on Joesph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness? A novel that exposed the evils of Belgian colonialism in the Congo and which asked who the real 'savages' were.

Of course, parallel to this was the issue of US involvement in South America, particularly in the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile. It certainly seemed that the US really were the bad guys.

Until we heard about the Khmer Rouge and the atrocities committed in the name of liberating the people by various leftist and pseudo-leftist 'liberation' groups.

Turns out the other guys weren't all that good either.

Do we not understand that good people do bad things and bad people do good things?

Do we not understand that decisions made with the best intentions sometimes have unintended consequences?

Do we also not understand the devil's choice where one must decide between lesser and greater evils?

Do we also not understand that not acting is a form of acting?

This applies equally to societies and the various sub-groups within that society. Can we not admit that societies contain both good and bad elements? That any given society can produce beauty and genius as well as horror, greed and stupidity? In truth can we say that any society is good or bad? Wasn't the shock of WW2 that all sides committed atrocities, that so-called great civilisations could be reduced so easily to barbarism? That the culture that nurtured Beethoven unleashed the Holocaust, that the Japanese who could create such beautiful art could commit such cruelty and inspire the suicidal kamikaze, that the Allies could kill so many innocents in the carpet bombing of Dresden, the fire bombing of Tokyo and unleashing nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Isn't this adequately explained in integral theory, especially the values hierarchy of Graves/SD and Kohlberg's levels of moral reasoning?

2. Ouroboros - blowback and the Middle East

History is a long chain of action and reaction. The question is whether it is linear or circular. There is a reason we talk about cycles of violence, cycles of reaction and revenge. Cultures have long memories and can hold onto historical grievances for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Can we really judge if this or that grievance is more or less justified? On what basis?

I've just finished reading Lüders's book Blowback. I couldn't really comment on Frank's essay if I hadn't. In general I found nothing particularly factually wrong with it. In fact he repeats some of the points I made in my essay, 'The Enemy of my Enemy'. If there any issue it is with emphasis. And with confining the problem of blowback to US policy in the ME.

So my problem is not so much with Lüders as it is with Frank's summary of Lüders's argument. I have a choice here. Do I cover every example summarised by Frank or confine myself to just a few? All of his summations are deeply flawed, perhaps if I quote just the first four you'll see the pattern. I'll use Lüders as a primary source given this is the book Frank uses, but I'll also add some additional thoughts not included in Lüders's analysis.


The CIA staged a coup in Teheran, in which the democratically elected president Mossadegh was replaced by the US-favored Shah. Years later, this regime prompted the Ayatollah revolution.

I understand Frank was trying to be brief, but that is still no excuse. Britain was the primary driver of the coup, not the US. Mossadegh had planned to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and after overt political pressure failed to dissuade him, Britain resorted to the standard covert methods. I say standard because they are used by all major and lesser powers, including the Soviets. When negotiations fail, remove the obstacle. At first the US under the Truman administration declined to support the plan. It was the newly elected Eisenhower, concerned about Russian influence, who approved it. As Lüders admits, the CIA did not 'stage' the coup, it 'financed' opposition groups to stage the coup. There is a difference. An important one.

Here it is important to note the history of Persian (Iran)/Russian relations. Russian imperialist expansion was checked by a powerful Persian empire. However, whenever the Persians showed weakness, the Russians took advantage, gradually taking territory (the war in Chechnya is a reaction to this expansion). This process continued under the Soviets so that in 1941, the Central Committee instructed the commander based in northern Azerbaijan to:

“Begin preparatory work to form a national autonomous Azerbaijan district with broad powers within the Iranian state and simultaneously develop separatist movements in the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, Gorgon and Khorasan.” (3)

We cannot understate the importance of the Cold War on geostrategic thinking. The two great powers played a chess game of influence and intimidation, each trying to outmanoeuvre the other. As much as people complain about the many manipulations of the CIA, it must be remembered that wherever the CIA was at play, there too was the KGB. Each side would use the same tactics as the other. If the Soviets showed favour to this or that group, the US would simply show favour to the opposite group. Neither side were concerned about higher principles. Both sides supported the bad guys if need be. It was Roosevelt who summed it up in the famous quote: “He might be a bastard, but at least he's our bastard”. Geostrategic decisions are often a devil's choice between this bastard or that bastard. The choice is rarely between good guys and bad guys.

It's the game that is the problem, not the individual pieces.

Back to Mossadegh… As Lüders acknowledges the CIA under the direction of Kermit Roosevelt (a member of that notorious family of American imperialists), supported groups inherently opposed to Mossadegh: conservative clerics opposed to secular reforms and royalists opposed to democracy. This is where we come to another important point. The CIA cannot fund opposition groups that do not already exist. It is very difficult to conjure opposition groups out of thin air. As we saw in the quote above, the same principle applies to the KGB who supported a number of communist insurgent groups in the region, including Tudeh, the Iranian Communist Party.

Frank claims that the US favoured the Shah. This is not quite true. The Shah wasn't installed, he was already in power. At the time Iran was a constitutional monarchy and the Shah had the authority to remove Mossadegh. Initially the Shah declined to do so. He had to be persuaded.

Frank concludes that 'years later, this regime prompted the Ayatollah revolution'. This is supposed to be an example of blowback. It isn't. The Iranian revolution was the result of long standing clerical objections to secular and modernist reforms. This opposition dates back at least to 1921 and the secular reforms of Shah Reza Pahlavi. In an echo of current conflict, Reza placed a ban on the wearing of the niqab and the separation of women from men. These same clerics opposed Mossadegh's reforms and eventually Reza Shah's son, Mohammed Pahlavi, who had undertaken a far more comprehensive modernisation program called the White Revolution.

“The reforms resulted in a great redistribution of wealth to Iran's working class, explosive economic growth in subsequent decades, rapid urbanization, and deconstruction of Iran's feudalist customs”. (4)

This also included expanded rights for women. The US did not object to these liberal reforms, but the clerics most certainly did. In 1963 Khomeini delivered a speech condemning the Shah and was subsequently arrested, thus beginning the steady build up of religious resistance that culminated in the Iranian Revolution. Here I want to emphasise that the clerics were complicit in supporting the US/UK coup against Mossadegh. They later turned against the US because the Shah had continued the reform process. Yes, it is true that the Shah's secret police, SAVAK, were notoriously brutal, but what is often ignored is that Khomeini did not disband the organisation, he simply renamed it SAVAMA and its members shifted loyalty. Can we say there is progress when one evil is replaced with another evil?

Frank mentions that a standard technique of the US is to demonise those who fall out of favour. Again, only partially true. The technique is hardly exclusive to the US or the 'West', it is used by everyone. It became useful to the Iranian theocrats to demonise the US, their former benefactor, as the Great Satan.

Afghanistan and al-Qaida

When Russia invaded Afghanistan the US started funding muslim militant factions that would eventually beat the Russians. Later on, Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden grew out of these.

This is perhaps the most mystifying of Frank's summations, primarily because Lüders goes into considerable detail to explain the rise of al-Qaida. Put simply, Bin Laden was a Wahhabi zealot who wanted to overthrow what he saw as the decadent al-Saud dynasty. As Lüders describes it:

“Moscow began to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 1988, but by that time Osama bin Laden had already decided to take jihad to the Arabic world. His aim was to bring down all pro-Western governments - starting with his homeland, Saudi Arabia.” (Note: because Russia is a Christian nation, Muslims regard it as 'Western').

It is certainly true that the US helped fund the mujahideen, but the larger truth is that most of the funding came from private sources within the Arab world. Again, according to Lüders:

“This has led to a schizophrenic situation in which the government in Riyadh attempts to combat al-Qaida and Islamic State, while rich Saudis (often themselves holding high office in government) finance the radicals. Many Arabs see in such groups new versions of the Prophet and his cohorts, who first sought to bring purity and justice to the corrupt city-states of 7th century Arabia.”

See a pattern emerging? The theocrats of Iran happily accept US money to overthrow the (allegedly) decadent Mossadegh and the Wahhabi zealots also put their hand out, accepting money and weapons from the despised infidels when it suits. So much for their principles. The enemy of my enemy.

Understanding this can we truly say that the US created al-Qaida, or was al-Qaida a consequence of a Wahhabi ideology in existence for over 300 years (before the US was even an independent state)? And again, what was the role of Russia?


When the US removed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and introduced parliamentary elections, they demoted the former sunni factions, which would return with a vengeance as the violent Islamic State.

Perhaps if we want to talk about blowback we should remember that Hussein savagely repressed both the Kurds and Shia. However, it is not true as Frank writes, that the US demoted the former 'Sunni' factions. They removed members of Hussein's Ba'ath party. Not all Sunni were Ba'athists and not all Ba'athists were Sunni (many Syrian Ba'athists are Alawites, a Shia sect), although it did disadvantage the Iraqi Sunni more than the Shia. This policy was similar to the De-Nazification of Germany and the removal of former Imperialists in Japan after WW2, and so was called De-Ba'athification. There was a justified concern they might form a fifth column.

The argument is that this then created a power vacuum. But I'm not convinced that had the Ba'athists remained in power they would have been able to prevent the Kurds and Shia from seeking bloody revenge. Surely the violence that followed his fall was the consequence of decades of vicious repression. What would have been the solution? To replace one dictator with another who would keep the Kurds and Shia in their place?

This is an example of a devil's choice. Keep the Ba'athists in power and face an internal rebellion or remove them and face an external rebellion.

Here it is important to mention the long standing tensions between Sunni and Shia, tensions that date back to the 7th century and which have nothing whatsoever to do with the 'West'.

In our current era this conflict is expressed through a power struggle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Tensions were inflamed with the success of the Shia theocrats during the Iranian Revolution and the result has been a number of vicious proxy wars and millions of deaths. Starting with the Iraq/Iran war it has continued on several fronts as both the Saudis and Iranians each fund and arm militant factions to fight these proxy wars. At this moment the Iranian backed Houthi are attacking international shipping, allegedly in support of Hamas in the Gaza conflict. This is another coalition of convenience because Hamas are 'Sunni' theocrats. The enemy of my enemy.


In Syria, the US was initially reluctant to get involved, but by supporting the resistance, both secular and religious, the civil war was extended to many years, until Russia intervened and saved Assad.

I find this the most shocking statement of them all. Russia saved Assad?

Again, a bit of history is in order. The Syrian civil war started with the savage repression of the popular uprising known as the Arab Spring. As a reaction to that repression and subsequent instability, a number of militant groups formed, most notably the Free Syrian Army. Of course, this hasn't stopped the more cynical and conspiracy minded from seeing the hand of the CIA at work here as well. Apparently the people of the Arab world do not have any agency. They can only act on the say so of the all powerful CIA. Here I return to the point I made in regard to Iran. It is most often the case that the various agencies support movements already in existence - they do not create them. Furthermore, these movements welcome assistance. It is not forced on them.

On the origins of the Syrian civil war Lüders has this to say:

“Many educated, urban activists infected with the excitement at what was happening in North Africa and blinded by wishful thinking, underestimated both the sectarian angle and Assad's determination to hold onto power. Instead of the regime change they had hoped for, the rebellion spawned a brutal civil war that set people who had been neighbours for years suddenly at each others' throats. Chaos, endemic violence and state collapse - it was only a matter of time before radical Islamist militants would step into the picture.”

Lüders then goes on to make a critical point.

“To make matters worse, by 2012 it had become clear that the Syrian civil conflict had turned into a proxy war between two global camps. On one side were the West, Turkey and the Gulf States, with Saudi Arabia at their head, all seeking the fall of Assad. On the other side were Russia, China and Iran…”

In Frank's summary it is the US who extended the war by supporting the resistance, but Lüders claims that it was Saudi Arabia at the head of the coalition. Remember, Assad is Shia and here we return to the many proxy wars fought between the Sunni Saudis and Shia Iranians.

I will return to the role of the Saudis later.

For now let's take a look at the involvement of Russia in Syria (4). This is a relationship that goes back at least to the founding of the socialist Ba'ath party in 1947. When the Ba'athists gained power in both Syria and Iraq, the Soviets provided both arms and aid. It was to be expected that Russia would side with Assad. And as the world reacts with horror at the carnage in Gaza, it is worth noting that Russia employed the same tactics in Syria.

“Russia's defence minister boasted that they tested “more than 320 types of different weapons” in their military operations in Syria that killed 87,500, according to Russian sources. Even hospitals were not spared. The Russian war in Syria targeted doctors, hospitals, and clinics, depriving communities of healthcare.” (6)

“Between April 29 and mid-September 2019, as Russian and Syrian government forces assaulted the last rebel pocket in Northwest Syria, 54 hospitals and clinics in opposition territory were attacked. According to Syrian human rights groups, Russia committed more than 335 massacres and at least 1,083 attacks on vital civilian facilities, including 201 attacks on schools and 190 attacks on medical facilities. These killed at least 20,944 Syrian civilians from air raids using illegal weapons like cluster incendiary and 'thermobaric' vacuum bombs.” (6)

The results to date? According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights:

“The report reveals that no fewer than 230,224 civilians, including 30,007 children and 16,319 women (adult female), were killed at the hands of the parties to the conflict and controlling forces in Syria between March 2011 and March 2023. The Syrian regime was responsible for 201,055 of these deaths, with the victims including 22,981 children and 11,976 women, while Russian forces killed 6,950 civilians, including 2,048 children and 977 women.” (7)

We can add to that appalling toll a further 13 million internally displaced citizens and 6.7 million refugees. Compare this to Iraq with an estimated 66,000 civilian deaths and an estimated 9.2 million internally displaced or refugees (8). These are horrific numbers which point to a cruel reality - the Syrian war was worse.

So much for Russia saving Assad.

3. The West vs the Middle East

As I argued in my essay 'The West isn't Western' (9) the polarity of West vs East is largely fiction. The concept of the West as a radically distinct entity is a political construct based on three conflicts. The first was the rivalry between Greece and Persia. The second between the Christian world and the emergent Muslim world. And the third was capitalism and communism with the left identifying with the various insurgent groups. It is the second that is of most relevance in this discussion.

To the Muslim world the West is the Christian world, the home of the hated Crusaders. The Islamist movement, more correctly called Salafism, considers any outside influence a corruption of the pure form of Islam. This includes any and all forms of Western ideology including Christianity, democracy, capitalism, communism and secularism. In short - modernism.

Lüders acknowledges this problem when he says:

“Clan, tribe, denomination, ethnicity. These are the hallmarks of today's feudal states in the [Middle] East, and all such states, old or new, use them for their own purposes... Denominationalisation and tribalism goes hand in hand with intolerance and violence towards people belonging to other groups… This applies to secular despots like Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad, as well as radical Islamists. They seek not compromise, but ultimate victory; and their opponents are no different.”

One could describe this situation as a nest of fire ants. Why in the hell would the West get involved?


Again, this assumes that the West and the ME are two seperate spheres. They are not. They are interconnected.

Since ancient times the ME has been the crossroads of trade between the western and eastern edges of the great landmass of Eurasia. Goods and knowledge flowed between China and the ME (and westward) via the Silk Road, and between India and the ME via the coast. Because of this, the focus of both the Greeks and Romans was to the east with Rome developing a trade deficit with India. The Roman expansion into Gaul, Britannia and Germania simply expanded the trade routes to the western edge (objects from the ME have been found at Hadrian's wall). Much of the geopolitical conflict across most of this history was over control of these trade routes. The Tang Dynasty (618-907) grew wealthy by exploiting trade along the Silk Road, sending armies westward to conquer the Western Turkic Khanagate. But this is not the first time armies from the east marched westward.

The point is this, keeping these trade routes open was of vital strategic interest to every power, especially those in the middle. The reason is simple. Control a section of either the Silk Road or the Arabian Sea routes and you could take a cut of the profits. This was especially important to the Arabs who controlled the desert trade routes (Mohammed was originally a camel caravan merchant). Banditry and piracy were a continual problems for everyone. It increased the price of goods and the risk of damage and loss.

Islamic expansion

People seem remarkably blind to this one simple fact: the Arabs colonised the West long before the West pushed back. Let's not forget that Christianity is a ME religion. Most of the key events took place in territory that was subsequently conquered by Muslim armies. Jerusalem. Constantinople. Cairo. Damascus. In 732 a Muslim army penetrated Frankish territory as far north as Tours before being turned back. For the next thousand years Western Europe faced constant challenge from Islamic expansion. The turning point was the defeat of the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna in 1592. This marked the beginning of a centuries long decline of Ottoman power leading to the collapse of Ottoman rule in 1918.


The ME is saturated in oil. It was a useless material until the development of a range of combustion engines during the Industrial Revolution. The superficial explanation for the Western interference in the ME is that we want their oil and we fight wars to control (or steal) it.

The reality is more complex. The discovery of oil has made some ME nations enormously wealthy.

How could this be possible if the West was stealing the oil? It is true that in some cases Western corporations exploited local governments. Mossadegh of Iran was overthrown because he dared demand a fair price from the British, who were robbing the country blind. But it is also true that other countries negotiated very profitable deals. The primary example is the creation of ARAMCO, the Arab and American Oil Company. The Saudis were able to reach an agreement that gave them considerable control to the point that in 1973 they were able to defy their supposed Western masters to impose an oil embargo that had a devastating effect on the world's economy.

As with trade in general, the object of the game is to keep oil flowing at a reasonable price. A volatile oil market affects every country, especially developing nations.

The hidden hand - Saudi Arabia

Who really pulls the strings in the ME? The US or the Saudis? Earlier in this essay I mentioned the series of proxy wars between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. The question to ask, is the US really orchestrating these conflicts or are they doing the bidding of their Sunni Arab allies? Saddam Hussein was in the good books as long as he kept Iran in check. Remember the Iran-Iraq War? Figures vary, but according to the Guardian it cost 1 million Iranian lives and 250-500,000 Iraqi. (10) And then Hussein decided to invade Kuwait, deposing the ruling Sunni Arab clan, the al-Sabah: thus threatening the other Arab royal families.

This is where I disagree with Lüders's analysis. Lüders claims Western interference through sanctions and wars as the major cause of blowback in the ME. I believe a closer examination shows that many of these conflicts are the result of long standing tensions within the ME that have nothing to do with the West and that the West has acted primarily to block Russian influence. In which case we must also examine the effects of blowback due to Russian policy in the region.

If the war in Iraq was a disaster, then what is the war in Syria?

Yes, we can point to role of Western corporations in war profiteering. The name Halliburton rings a bell. But who is going to rebuild Syria? Want to hazard a guess? China, Russia and Iran.

The problem is modernism

Islam has its own history; its own cultural icons. One of those icons is Ibn Taymiyya, the 13th century cleric responsible for the Salafist interpretation of Islam that has inspired multiple movements from the Wahhabism of Arabia, the Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is an offshoot) to the Deobandi (Taliban) of the Indian subcontinent (Deoband is a city in India). Ibn Taymiyya warned against the corrosive influence of both Shiism and foreign ideas on the purity of early Islam. Although Salafi are Sunni who reject Shiism as heresy, Shiism has its own purist theology.

In the minds of these many groups and factions, the 'West' is a threat not just because it is Christian, but because it is modern. That is, it is the entire package of Western ideas and innovations that are a threat. As I said above, this includes democracy AND communism, as well as any technical or scientific advances that challenge Koranic teaching (Islam has its own anti-Science Creationists).

Lüders recognises this in part when he says:

“There is a fundamental tension between the 'old' Arab world (rural, tribal, traditional, feudal, with hierarchical authority running right through the family, society and state) and the 'new' (urban, individual, global, forward-looking). The Gulf States, such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai, express the conflict perfectly: sci-fi city skylines, money the only limit on possibility, alongside an antiquated legal system that punishes rape victims for 'adultery' and flogs criminals.”

Some Muslim societies are making tentative steps towards modernisation, but others have retreated backwards. The real cause of the Iranian revolution was NOT 'Western' interference. It was the fundamentalist rejection of modernist reforms - of which engagement with the 'West' was just a part.

In the same way al-Qaida was a fundamentalist rejection of both Russian and American influence in the region. The Taliban are Deobandi Salafist fundamentalists who have taken Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages.

To act or not to act

As history inarguably shows, the ME came to the West first. It conquered Jerusalem in 636 in order to assert its authority over Judaism and Christianity. As a result of Islamic expansion, European powers were forced to engage with the Islamic world. The first foray into Islamic lands were the Crusades, an attempt to win back the Holy Land. It eventually failed and Islam under the Ottomans succeeded in taking the heartland of Christianity - as well as Greece, the birthplace of Western civilisation. This meant that the European powers were obliged to react by either pushing back militarily or seeking to appease through diplomacy. In some instances European powers formed alliances of convenience with the Ottomans. This engagement had a profound effect on both. As European power increased as a result of colonial expansion and industrialisation, the Ottoman Empire attempted to catch up. It invited Western engineering companies to build critical infrastructure (particularly German firms). When oil was discovered, the Ottomans and Arabs turned to Western experts to help them extract, process and export the oil.

WW1 was a fatal turning point. The Ottomans allied themselves with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And lost.

Somehow this loss has been interpreted as the Western colonisation of the ME (here the 'West' means France and Britain) and not the inevitable consequence of defeat. What is ignored is that the Arabs made an alliance with Britain to fight a rear guard campaign against the Ottomans. Here we see an echo of al-Qaida's acceptance of US assistance to fight Russia. In other words, Arab factions are happy to engage with the Western powers when it suits.

Lüders argues that the West fails to understand that internal complexity of Islamic politics. I'm not convinced that this is true. I think Western analysts are fully aware of the complexity. The problem is that they often face a devil's choice. I'm not sure the British were all that happy to ally themselves with the Ottomans to fight Russia in the Crimean war, but at the time they calculated Russia was the bigger threat. Decades later they would be in an alliance with Russia fighting the Ottomans in WW1. I'm not sure that either the British or Arabs were happy about that alliance either, but both calculated that the Ottomans were the greater threat.


It doesn't matter whether it is West or East, the politics of power is full of treachery. Friends become enemies and then friends again, depending on the circumstances.

These decisions are not made on the basis of good or bad, but on basis of lesser or greater evils.

The enemy of my temporary enemy is my temporary friend.


1. Frank Visser, "Where Are The Good Guys Anyways in this World?, The Law of Reverse Effect in US Foreign Policy,, February 2024.

2. Ray Harris, "The Enemy of my Enemy is My Friend: A Developmental Look at the War in Iraq",, January 2003.



5. This article explores an attempt by the KGB to recruit a Mossad agent: Ronen Bergman, "How the K.G.B. Started the War That Changed the Middle East", New York Times, June 7, 2017.

6. Zaher Sahloul, "Putin targets Ukrainian civilians because he could in Syria", Al Jazeera, 19 May 2023.

7. "On the 12th Anniversary of the Popular Uprising",, 15 Mar 2023.


9. Ray Harris, "Integral Geopolitics, Part One: The West isn't Western",, April 2023.

10. Ian Black, "Iran and Iraq remember war that cost more than a million lives", The Guardian, 23 Sep 2010.

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