In the years between world wars, when British influence was predominant in the Middle East, British policy was to keep the Arabs disunited and exploitable. At the end of World War I, the British Foreign Office deliberately carved the Arab Middle East into artificial chunks, maneuverable as so many chessmen. Near the end of World War II, when the xenophobic Arabs began dreaming of union, the Foreign Office forestalled it by inventing the Arab League, a loose forum in which Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen systematically demonstrated that...

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