The price of oil

This is a paper I wrote for a history class I took at Augsburg College “The Modern Middle East”. The italicized text is the question to be answered, or topic. It’s an excellent class led by an exceptionally knowledgeable professor, Dr. Maheen Zaman (

To what extent did the Cold War in the Middle East involve the superpowers imposing their will on regional powers, and to what extent did it involve regional powers manipulating the superpowers? Discuss with special reference to different phases of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

According to Khalidi, both the US and USSR had strategic interests in the Middle East for its location in proximity to the USSR, its shipping lanes, and its vital natural resources such as oil and gas. Also, both viewed the other gaining access to these resources as a direct threat to regional economic stability and would pave the way to global military dominance. To the states and countries of the Middle East, the US and USSR were sources of vast wealth and technology, highly advanced weaponry, a means for bringing about a new Arab Nationalism through multilateral control of oil output and pricing, and a means to wage war with Israel.

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When travelling to Israel…

Just sent this to a co-worker heading to Israel for a team meeting and found it might be useful to others…Jim is a large man, in stature and voice, and has been writing the documentation for Web tools 6.

  1. Be prepared for lots of talking. I mean more talking and “well of course” than you ever thought possible.
  2. Israeli’s are much more direct and get annoyed by passive aggressive Minnesotans. Don’t be offended if they yell at you for apparently no reason.
  3. Hebrew is difficult to read and listen to, don’t try unless you really need to.
  4. Make sure you try the hummous even if you don’t like it here. Try all the food you can actually.
  5. Make sure you try the olive oil and buy some to bring home.
  6. Wine is good too.
  7. All the taxis are small.
  8. Go to Jerusalem if you get the chance, cause really, you probably won’t go to Israel on vacation on your own.
  9. Women there are beautiful. Everyone looks like a hot Sarah Silverman. You’ll wonder if you’re in Brooklyn at times.
  10. Don’t pull a Paul *** and stay in your hotel room the whole time. The best thing you can do to get over the jet lag is walk around and explore.

And lastly, don’t be afraid. What you see on Faux News and CNN is way off. Tel Aviv and R’nana are very modern cities.  You’ll probably be 3 feet taller than everyone else and will look like the big dumb American you are, but they love Americans(obviously).

Plus, who’d mess with a 300 lb spell checker?