Lucas's Reviews > The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of al-Qaeda

The Siege of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov
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's review
Jun 29, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, history, military

It's not clear where all the details in this book came from given how the Saudi's have attempted to erase it from their history- part of the story comes from French and U.S. sources, and there is mention of a censored book, but were Saudi's interviewed on the condition of anonymity?

An A-12/SR-71 overflew the mosque during the siege and took pictures, I wonder if any of these pictures have been released to the public.

The author finds many faults with Carter's initial hands-off Middle-East policy, but seems equally critical of the later adopted 'Carter doctrine' of more forcefully defending U.S. interests in the region. I suppose he's advocating some position in-between those two, or given 20/20 hindsight we should have given the Shah the tear gas he wanted to get the fundamentalists and leftists out of the streets, but not have stationed troops in Saudi Arabia or liberated Kuwait from Iraq, while giving marines at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan permission to fire on the protesters who would burn it down?

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