I want to understand the current situation in the middle East and it's modern history. What led up to it...

I want to understand the current situation in the middle East and it's modern history. What led up to it, all the groups and major players involved.

Please help I don't know where to even begin.

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It's not that hard. Like we see on christianism, in islam there's all sorts of ideologies and beliefs. Those folks are always fighting each other and that's that.
Also, western countries throught out history have sponsored authoritarian leaders in those countries, so when they became fantatical anti-west and did their revolutions, obviously they are mad at us. Well…USA mostly.

I just love to see how hypocritical the media and politicians are. Countries like Cuba and North Korea is highly politically correct to criticize as awful places with no democracy.
But a country like Saudi Arabia which is capitalist and very good friends with the USA, very few people dare to publicly criticize.

Anyway, start with wikipedia.

It's a massively complicated subject, no one could really cover it here in one post, and even if they did they'd probably be wrong.
Watch an Adam Curtis video or something, yes he comes into things with a bit of an angle to create a narrative but it will really cause your neural synapses to depolarise.
Maybe ask the same question on Holla Forums and /islam/ to get different viewpoints and hopefully something more concrete.
Unfortunately most people like to over simplify somplex things (mostly to make themselves feel like they have an answer) but such a massive subject as "The Middle East" can't really be explained with a memey response.

I'm struggling with the same thing OP.

I've actually even read a few introductory books on the subject but I forget everything almost as soon as I read it. Islamic names, terms, the geography, the religion and so on are so alien to me that nothing really sticks.

Also another concern I have is the fact that the situation is always changing and evolving. So books from even 2010 aren't adequate

This is literally already my understanding but I think it is too shallow

Seen all his documentaries

Well I have hazara parents so that isn't a problem for me

Btw I did find this blog recently, which has comments on MENA news and a series on Islamic History. It's doing more for me than actual introductory literature has so far.


I'm also learning that following MENA journalists and analyists on social media is pretty useful.

You're lucky. Next time I read a book on the Middle East I'm throwing all these fucking names and places into Anki so I don't forget them.

So you'll know that Libya wasn't the epicenter of terrorism we were told it was in the 80s.
Well then it may be safe to assume some of the way we're told things in the ME to be now might also be false?

Just start by looking into the conflicts in Lebanon. It is the center of secularism in the middle east. All the conflicts there have every single major player in the middle east involved in them somehow.

Get to know the Syrian Civil War, and then work backwards from that. That's was my route.

How did you do that?


reddit (/r/syriancivilwar) and twitter and a vast assortment of article and other pieces on the internet

Books is not the way to go for knowing SCW, it moves too fast.

Almost every major player in the Middle East is involved in Syria. When you see what they're doing in the 'now', your curiosity will lead you to investigate why they're doing that, how they came to be aligned, what's their goals etc. This part will come down to you, your biases and your ability to use the internet.

Do you want me to dump a list of Syrian Civil War twitters?

Any other subreddit on MENA to follow?

Bro that would really help

Everything happening in the middle east is actually a proxy war for regional dominance between the saudis, neocons, and Zionists, versus iran, and sometimes russia likes to come in just to troll america and tag team with iran.
Now, you think about that, and its also wrapped in sunni vs shia divide for who is the most muslimy muslim.
Then you think about that and its actually also wrapped in the quest for more oil, because who controls the oil controls the universe.
And that is the middle east, also alliances and rivarlys are constantly shifting and enemies team up together and friends backstab each other.

What is going on in syria right now is not about human rights, (also side note, the whole idea of a "humanitarian war" is the most laughable fucking thing on the planet, whatever asshole thought of that Doublethink
should get a raise, its a really good ways to convince liberals that war is a good thing lol) what is going on in syria actually started because of an oil pipeline

Read "Gary Brecher's" (John Dolan) old articles on the eXile and Pando. He writes about more than the Middle East but he gives a lot of insight and background knowledge on what's happening and the players involved. He's also got a podcast. The latest interviews with Max Blumenthal and Andrew Cockburn are really relevant to the ME right now.


There's a bunch of free episodes in the link. Including the Blumenthal and Cockburn interviews.

Just visit specific subreddits (ie /r/kurdistan, /r/arabs, /r/iranian etc) and search for/ask questions if you want to get to grips for more general issues.






Rebels/jihadists/Gulf states/Turkey:

Iraq/Yemenl/MENA general:

top lad

Thanks a lot man

And you mean actual jihadists? Well, I guess I'm already in some government list so I might as well follow them anyway.

One thing you need to remember:

Islamic fundamentalism/terrorism is the result of instability, not vice versa.

Most of the rebel twitters I have down there support jihadists but deny the rebels are jihadists. The absolute vast majority of rebels are varying degress of jihadists though. No bias, but facts when I say this. You see Aleppo at the moment? The biggest or most significant rebel groups in Aleppo are Ahrar Al Sham, Nour al Zinki, Jaysh al-Islam etc. and they're all involved in deep cooperation with Al Nusra (Syrian Al Qaeda).

There's far more explicitly open Rebel supporters who openly celebrate the hardline Islamist values of these groups. But I don't follow these people, nor do I follow ISIS supporters.

read Orientalism by Edward Said before you get immersed in things. it'll put things in context.

Download Tor Browser (it's modified Firefox), create a twitter account over Tor, follow those people, and remember to always log into this twitter account over Tor.

I've been reading online Jihadi magazines from al Qaeda and ISIS only via Tor.

How much of it is actually relevant to the historical situation of the middle east? I always thought his book was only a very theoretical critique of Western perception of ME and doesn't have much to do with ME itself as it is in reality.

In other words: capitalism

Iran (Shiite) and Russia want to build an oil pipeline from Syria. Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and the US also want to build a pipeline from Syria.

For a solid, if somewhat lengthy, take on the subject, watch Caspian Report's videos on the subject. He covers geopolitics and history in many areas of the world, but has a particular interest in the Mideast. The videos' production values are easily on par with TV, his political outlook is genuinely sober and neutral, his analysis is deep but comprehensibly presented, plus his Azerbeijani accent is boss.

Start with History of Islam, then move onto the Geopolitics videos for the countries you're interested in:

I see you are a man of refined tastes as well

This is great. I was looking for a good history of Islam doc/lecture just recently.


Stay based lads


Any recommended books about the ME?

Watch Bitter Lake and Hypernormalisation

Basically a Jew poisoned Mohammed so the muddys hate the Jews and they have now wiped a lot of them out.

Then some muddys decided they wanted to follow mohammeds descendants and some muddys wanted to follow the caliphs appointed by Mohammed during his lifetime.

So Islam split apart and since then there has been a huge power struggle between the two main branches of Islam (sunni and shiite) which has severely inhibited their ability to build a successful empire ever since.

i heard the literal opposite and that muslims were on the verge of global dominance

make up ur mind Holla Forums

People are probably referring to the speed at which they took over North Africa and wiped out all the competing cultures and religions.

However, when the Ottomans joined the axis powers during WW1 they got their shit monumentally pushed in and it became obvious how far behind the west they really were. But by then it was too late.
As punishment for joining the Axis the allied powers ended up carving up the Ottoman empire between themselves.

The rest is accurate enough, but Islam was the best friend of Judaism right up until Israel, even in Southern Europe living conditions for Jews rose and fell as the tide of Muslim conquest waxed and waned.

The "ancient feud between Jews and Muslims" is about as authentic as that between pirates and ninjas.

they're sandnigger religious fascists.

that has more to do with the austro-hungarian empire being fucking retarded and getting them and germany in deep shit they weren't prepared for tbh

these. Op's attempt to learn more in admirable but in the end it boils down to this. I've talked with people who study geopolitics and they have a tendency to know so many names and places and events that they become blind to the obvious reality of the situation

Nazis, never stop coming here, you're too fucking hilarious to lose.