http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8688 ... et-affairs
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Affairs ... 1846687632
The thousands of pieces of evidence that Curtis has amassed and structured into this remarkably coherent book, present a convincing picture of a country that has been (and continues to be) put at risk through the machinations of unseen and unaccountable people working for secret organisations, whose motives and strategies are as opaque as they are questionable. Yet, even if their purposes remain opaque, there has been an remarkable consistency in the nature of their plottings over the century since the break-up of the Turkish Ottoman empire and the establishment of the nations of the Middle East that were created largely by the British in pursuit of a "divide and rule" policy designed to retain control over the oil wealth in the region.
Curtis presents clear evidence that throughout its post-colonial history, beginning even as far back as the 1920s, British governments and Civil Service have exploited Islam and Islamic fundamentalism for its own (obscure) purposes - from the establishment of the Saudi kingdom; the division of India in 1948 to create the strategically useful Muslim state of Pakistan; to the support of the Muslim Brotherhood during Nasser's control over Egypt; to the backing of both sides during the Israeli-Palestinian wars; to the active support of terrorists (including Bin Laden) during the Afghan-Russian war; to the support of KLA and other terrorists during the Bosnian and Kosovan wars. Even after the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks, Britain continued to harbour known terrorists on its shores, giving them a safe-haven from American, French and other prosecutors.
The other consistency in the story is that like the US in its terror campaigns against democratically elected popularist and nationalistic governments in Central and South America, Britain has consistently given support to brutal dictatorships in the Middle East and Asia and actively suppressed nationalist parties and organizations, and undermined popularly elected governments, at the cost of many hundreds of thousand (or, more likely, millions) of innocent lives. Presumably Britain's elite continues to pursue such policies, but since the secret services who mastermind such activities, do not publicise what they are doing or planning, and since British governments of every ilk seem to acquiesce unquestioningly in whatever MI6 and MI5 do in the name of "public service", it is unlikely that we will ever know what has been going on until it is too late.
Curtis deserves the greatest credit for piecing together this immensely complex jigsaw of evidence. He also deserves credit for his bravery in publishing his findings. It's hard to imagine that there are not many people both within the British secret agencies and amongst the multitude of terrorist groups that he names, who would like to see him silenced. I urge everyone to read this book. It's not a pleasant read, but it's an essential one.
Mark Curtis continues to trawl through formerly secret or widely unknown official papers, and uses them to reconstruct a compelling picture of the way in which the British establishment has consistently acted through the years to protect what it sees to be its interest. This geopolitical "strategy" to use perhaps too polite a word, has had grave consequences for hundreds of thousands (actually probably rather millions) of citizens in other countries who arguably have had the chance for peace and security snatched away from them. This book is essential background reading on what is now happening in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and with ISIS etc, and to the present (continuing) political fixation on so called islamist terror.
What would be interesting is to read the counter-arguments, if anyone is willing or able to articulate them, in a well researched and referenced study, arguing i.e. that this foreign policy has been successful and was the right approach at the time, and we are right to be continuing similar policy now, in light of the obvious consequences.
Mark Curtis following up from the highly recommended "Web of Deceit" has with "Secret Affairs" provided a comprehensive and powerful expose of the UK governments collusion with extremist & radical Islam in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Gulf states, Indonesia, the former USSR, the Balkans, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iran etc often in order to overthrow moderate secular regimes. All in order to control oil and sell weapons and other dodgy trade deals.
Mark Gobell wrote:Mark Curtis' recent Guardian CiF article is here:
Bin Laden, the Taliban, Zawahiri: Britain's done business with them all
Another revealing titbit:
Mark Curtis blog on Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical IslamThere are credible suggestions that Britain facilitated the dispatch of HUM volunteers to fight in Yugoslavia and Kosovo in the 90s.
The book, published 1st July 2010 can be ordered here or here
At £8 it's a snip.
“Startling and deeply disturbing evidence about how, in an effort to preserve declining influence in the world’s oil-producing regions, the government has lent frequent and critical support to the states that have been the primary sponsors of radical Islam and the terrorism that it spawns...’
Noam ChomskyListen to an interview with BBC Radio Scotland here (starts at 31 minutes)“Sensational in the best sense, Secret Affairs examines the darkest corners of the imperial past to reveal the truth behind today’s news.”