Ahdaf: Non-Intervention "Impossible" For West
Novelist Ahdaf Soueif
While discussing Musharraf and the state of Pakistan on the BBC's political debate TV program 'Question Time' [November 8, 2007], writer Ahdaf Soueif questioned the wisdom of Western intervention in the Middle East, connecting the overthrow of Dr. Mossadegh in 1953 with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the region. Egyptian born, British bred Soueif is the author of the novel The Map of Love, and also writes commentaries on the history and politics of the Middle East.
Ahdaf Soueif: Well, you know, I think this whole question of the intervention of Western countries in the Middle East is just so tricky and so spiky... and I would prefer not to see any intervention at all, I would prefer to sort of just see them not interfere, but of course that's impossible.
David Dimbleby [moderator]: Why do you say that's impossible?
Ahdaf Soueif: Well, because of oil, and interests and who's going to just pack up and go and say 'OK, you guys, you choose your own governments'? Across the region, dictators and people who are completely unpopular with their own..
David Dimbleby: --I mean in an ideal world, you would advise Washington or advise London to withdraw completely from these places?
Ahdaf Soueif: Well yes I would, but they wouldn't listen to me, so there's no point in my saying that! And also, people talk about how Saddam Hussein was armed because of Muslim fundamentalism rising in Iran. Well, but why was Mossadegh toppled? Mossadegh in Iran was not a fundamentalist, he was a nationalist leader who just wanted the resources of his country for his own country, and so, now conveniently, of course you have Islamic fundamentalism.. but there were a lot of secular national leaders in the region before they were so, sort of you know.. toppled and destroyed that we got Islamic fundamentalism in their place.