This dispatch is © 2009 by Stephen J. Sniegoski.
This page is © 2009 by WTM Enterprises.
All rights reserved.


The Transparent Cabal reviewed favorably
in Middle East Policy


Editor's note. With Dr. Sniegoski's permission, I adapted this dispatch from an e-mail advisory that he sent to his correspondents earlier this month. — Nicholas Strakon, editor, The Last Ditch
My book, The Transparent Cabal, has received a favorable review in the Spring 2009 issue of Middle East Policy. The review is not on line, but it is mentioned at www.mepc.org/journal_vol16/1toc.asp.

The publication is a major scholarly journal on foreign-policy developments in the Middle East, characterizing itself this way: "Hard evidence is available that Middle East Policy is the most influential journal on the Middle East region in the field of foreign policy." More information can be found at www.mepc.org/journal/journal.asp. MEP is the journal of the Middle East Policy Council, which until recently was headed by Charles W. ("Chas") Freeman Jr. Before Freeman, its president was George McGovern.

Reviewing my book was Thomas R. Mattair, who is the head of the book-review section and an expert on the Middle East. Dr. Mattair has taught at Kent State University, the University of Southern California, the University of California at Riverside, and Cornell University. From 1992 until 1995 he was director of research at the Middle East Policy Council. From 1997 until 2003 he was a research scholar at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, where he researched and wrote The Three Occupied UAE Islands: The Tunbs and Abu Musa. The book is a study that examines, among other topics, Iranian military capabilities and intentions in the Persian Gulf.

His most recent book, Global Security Watch: Iran, published by Praeger Security International in June 2008, is a comprehensive study of Iran's foreign relations and the prospects for war or peace with Iran. He has published and lectured widely in the United States and the Middle East, and serves as a consultant to governments and business firms on security and economic issues in the Gulf. He is an honors graduate of Harvard and holds a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mattair begins his review thus:

In this well-written, well-organized book, Stephen J. Sniegoski makes some compelling arguments about neoconservatives: (1) they were the driving force behind the Bush administration's war in Iraq, (2) their motivation was based on their belief that American interests in the Middle East are virtually identical with the Israeli Likud party's beliefs about Israeli interests in the region, and (3) these mutual interests lie in destabilizing Israel's adversaries and reconfiguring the environment rather than in the traditional American policy of stabilizing the Middle East. Others have plowed this same ground, but Sniegoski has marshaled a prodigious amount of evidence and added some new elements.
Later, Mattair writes: "Sniegoski also does an excellent job of documenting the important role neoconservatives played during the George W. Bush administration."

He does not think I proved my case that the neocons and the Likudniks sought the fragmentation of Israel's enemies, but acknowledges that such proof would be difficult, writing:

It might be difficult to provide sufficient evidence that neoconservatives or Israeli Likudniks seek fragmented, powerless states surrounding Israel as a desired outcome — except for the fact that they are carrying out such a plan in the West Bank, which Likudniks and neoconservatives want to divide into non-contiguous enclaves. On the other hand, deductive reasoning would suggest that military action to overthrow an authoritarian government ruling over diverse ethnic and sectarian communities might very well lead to fragmentation.
Mattair does mention evidence I discussed that explicitly advocated fragmentation of Israel's enemies — such as Oded Yinon's work — but regards it as insufficient. He does write, however, that "the author effectively shows the similarity of Israeli Likudnik and neoconservative thinking during the past two decades."

Mattair concludes: "Aside from whether Sniegoski proves his thesis about fragmentation, however, this is a very good book that will make readers think about the price the United States has paid for accepting and acting on the neoconservative agenda."

I hope that Mattair's favorable review will have a positive impact on other journals and potential reviewers who are not in the Israel Lobby camp. My book should not be considered either insignificant or too dangerous to touch. If a review comes out in a scholarly journal such as Middle East Policy, other journals that allow criticism of the neocons or Israel should be willing to review the book. And libraries more willing to carry it.

April 19, 2009

Amazon.com page for The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel

Dr. Sniegoski's Website for the book

© 2009 by Stephen J. Sniegoski. This page © 2009 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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