Writers: Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B.
Artist: David B.
We all know the contentious issues in US/Middle East relations these days: oil, Israel/Palestine, Sunni/Shia, economic disparity, radical Islam, despotism, human rights, etc. It's easy to forget, however, that a lot of the battle lines were drawn during the global dynamics of the Cold War era. For most of the time period covered in the book, Israel, Saudi Arabia and, interestingly, Iran were allied with the United States. Meanwhile, the other major powers of the region - most importantly, Egypt - were under the influence/protection of the USSR, though not technically Communist per se.
Part Two covers a lot of ground: two wars between Israel and Egypt (plus Arab allies), the formation of the PLO, the Camp David Accords, the Iranian Revolution (which abruptly slammed the door on the alliance with the US), the Soviet-Afghan War and the Lebanese Civil War among other conflicts and maneuvers. Just as in Part One, the authors maintain an impressive neutrality. None of the parties involved is portrayed as virtuous. They're all bad guys with lots of blood on every hand. The lasting impression is the overwhelming complexity of the issues and the astonishing web that connects them.
One event I remember from the time which is left out is the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. Maybe they're planning to include that in another book. Speaking of another book, I certainly hope they write one. At the moment, this is all there is, even in the original French. Obviously, there's plenty of material to explore post-1984 so I hope they'll continue.