Albert Hourani

A history of the arab peoples

Defeat goes deeper into the human soul than victory. To be in someone else's power is a conscious experience which induces doubts about the ordering of the universe, while those who have power can forget it, or can assume that it is part of the natural order of things and invent or adopt ideas which justify their possession of it. 300

The ambiguity of policy in Iraq and Jordan, however--the desire to end the presence of British forces, but at the same time to have some military relationships with the Western powers--showed that formal withdrawal of foreign military forces did not by itself necessarily create a different relationship with former imperial rulers, but rather restated the problem of independence in a new form. 365

The concessions to explore for oil, and to extract and export it when discovered, where held everywhere by western companies, for the most part controlled by the small number of great oil companies who between them held a virtual monopoly over the industry. In Iraq exploitation was in the hands of a company with joint British, French, Dutch, and American ownership, in Saudi Arabia in American hands; in Kuwait in British and American; in Libya in the hands of a large number of companies; and in Algeria in those of a French company with government funds invested in it. Their capital came mostly from private western investors, and this indeed was the most important example of western private investment in Arab countries during this period. 378