i finished reading 'power, faith and fantasy: america in the middle east 1776 to present' by michael oren. i would encourage everyone to read it. it was written because there wasn't a comprehensive look at america's role in the middle east prior to the 20th century. it put many things into perspective for me that's for sure. i encourage everyone to read it but here are some thoughts that struck me while i was reading:
america's view of the middle east has always been that they were backwards and needed conversion to democracy and preferably christianity.
zionism has roots in the american evangelical christian community and eventually in eastern europe.
america has never really cared one whit what the arabs wanted in regards to the us push for a jewish state.
america has attempted to start democracies from north africa to the fertile crescent and most americans have never bothered to learn about the people or their culture.
america promoted arab nationalism against european colonialism and imperialism when it suited us.
not much has changed in america's approach to the middle east in 230+ years.