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29 Aug, 2011

Al-Ahram Weekly | The US’s defective crystal ball

In the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, US research centres and think tanks came under attack for their failure to predict these events and for their inability to gauge the situations in Arab and Islamic societies. Not only had the Middle East experts in these agencies failed to appreciate the socio-political dynamics that gave rise to militant Islamist trends in those societies, they had completely misdiagnosed the terrorist acts that had taken place in countries such as Egypt, which they had chalked down as local incidents that showed no indication of evolving into a global phenomenon.

Today, Arab/Islamic world specialists in the US are once again feeling the heat, or at least cringing with embarrassment, this time for their failure to predict the wave of revolutions that has rocked the Arab world and for the erroneous premises and assumptions that underlay their assessments of conditions in the region up to the eve of these events.

via Al-Ahram Weekly | Opinion | The US’s defective crystal ball.