December 4th, 2012
11:12 AM ET

Zakaria: Get facts straight about Middle East today

"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

By Fareed Zakaria

Yasser Arafat’s body has been exhumed for investigation, bringing back memories of the unpredictable Palestinian leader and the Middle East in which he operated. That news broke just as a conventional wisdom began to take hold that the Middle East today is much more dangerous, unstable, violent and anti-American than before. Let's take a look at the facts.

In the 1980s, the newly empowered, radical Islamic Republic of Iran unsettled the Middle East with its promise to spread its revolution to the rest of the region. The other powerful players were despots like Saddam Hussein and Hafez Assad, backed and supplied with arms by the Soviet Union. Lebanon was in the midst of a bloody civil war that engulfed not only itself but also the Palestinians and Israel. Iran and Iraq fought a gruesome war with over 1 million casualties. Hezbollah attacked U.S. armed forces directly, forcing a humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon. A CIA station chief was tortured and killed, and U.S. secrets and interests compromised. And that was just in one decade!

Watch the video for the full Take.

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Topics: Middle East

soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. SAS

    The extent to which Fareed Zakaria tries to whitewash the US's awful historical record overseas, particularly in the Middle East never ceases to astonish me.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  2. empresstrudy

    In the Arab world you have two basic choices: totalitarianism and complete anarchy. Pick one.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
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