The Middle East is almost never off the front pages, yet most Americans know little about the region. Why? The mainstream media and Ivy League academics, instead of helping, only make matters worse by casting everything in the usual politically correct mold: Arab terrorists are just desperate freedom fighters, and the region's one free democracy -- Israel -- is the oppressor, not least because of its alliance with America. And if Islamic extremism is a problem, the establishment tells us, it's only because it's rooted in that source of all evils: religion.
A different strain of political correctness has seeped into some minds on the right -- most notably the Bush administration, which, so ready to buy into the egalitarian myths we are all taught, believed that Western-style democracy could flourish anywhere. Now, in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East, veteran Middle East correspondent Martin Sieff puts the lie to all these myths and clichés, giving you everything you need to know about the region to understand its past, its present, and its possible future.