"Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam" by Robert Dreyfuss


Devil's Game is the previously untold account of America's misguided efforts, stretching across six decades, to cultivate the Islamic right in an effort to dominate the economically and strategically vital Middle East. Drawing on archival research and inter-views with policy makers and CIA, defense, and foreign-service officials, Robert Dreyfuss argues that America's historic alliance with the Islamic right is greatly to blame for the emergence of Islamist terrorism in the 1990s.
Among the hidden stories of U.S. collusion with radical Islam that Dreyfuss reveals here are President Eisenhower's 1953 Oval Office meeting with a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the United States' later secret alliance with that group and their Saudi patrons against Egypt's President Nasser. Dreyfuss meticulously documents the CIA's funding of the Iranian ayatollahs in the coup d'état that restored Iran's shah to power, the United States' support for Saudi Arabia's efforts to create a worldwide Islamic bloc as an antidote to Arab nationalism, and the longstanding ties between Islamic fundamentalists and the leading banks of the West. With clarity and rigor, Dreyfuss also chronicles how the United States looked the other way when Israel's secret service sup-ported the creation of the radical Palestinian group Hamas and how a secretive clique of American strategists in the 1970s exploited political Islam to conduct a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan—leading directly to the rise of the Taliban.
Wide-ranging and deeply informed, Devil's Game reveals a history of double-dealing and cynical exploitation that continues to this day—as in Iraq, where the United States is backing radical Islamists, allied with Iran's clerics, who have surfaced as the dominant force in the post–Saddam Hussein Iraqi government. What emerges is a pattern that, far from furthering either democracy or security, ensures a future of blunders and blowback.

ROBERT DREYFUSS, who covers national security for Rolling Stone, has written extensively on Iraq and the war on terrorism for The Nation, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones. A frequent contributor to NPR, MSNBC, CNBC, and many other broadcast outlets, he lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

388 pages ($18.95)

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