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  1. Member
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    #1

    were refracted through the extraordinary politics of a world war

    Dear all!
    What is the exact meaning of the words in bold? It is from the book “Persian Gulf Command” by Ashley Jackson, p. 44:
    Deeply internal matters of contention, sometimes revolving around the Sunni–Shia divide, were refracted through the extraordinary politics of a world war.
    Many thanks in advance.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: were refracted through the extraordinary politics of a world war

    Hi, Pars -

    When light passes through a prism, it refracts. I'd have to read more of the article to be sure, but my guess is that by "refracted" the writer means changed or distorted.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. Member
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    #3

    Re: were refracted through the extraordinary politics of a world war

    Hi!
    All the paragraph is as follow:

    The twists and turns of Iraq’s complex politics at the time of the Second World War, fascinating or tedious depending on one’s interests, have been well documented.1 Of relevance here is the fact that throughout 1940 the political merry- go- round, in which members of a narrow elite tussled for office and senior military leaders sought to shape national policy, produced a succession of prime ministers but failed to fix upon an effective policy given the proximity of war. On occasion troops were stood to arms in support of rival factions, the regent Prince Abdulillah prudently leaving Baghdad to be close to loyal troops until things blew over. Deeply internal matters of contention, sometimes revolving around the Sunni–Shia divide, were refracted through the extraordinary politics of a world war. The main actors in this drama were Nuri as- Said, the prime minister, and Rashid Ali al- Gailani, the head of the king’s executive office, the Royal Diwan, along with the Golden Square officer cabal. While all protagonists desired genuine independence for Iraq and nurtured ardent ambitions for greater Arab unity, they differed in the extent to which they saw Britain retaining a role in developments. Some, like Nuri, considered Britain essential to Iraq’s existence and too powerful to be cast off. Others, like Rashid Ali and the Golden Square, saw Britain as an insurmountable obstacle to the pursuit of their goals for Arab and Iraqi independence – and viewed a triumphant Germany as the perfect vehicle to which to hitch their ambitions.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: were refracted through the extraordinary politics of a world war

    Thanks!

    Yup. It still looks like it means changed or distorted.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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