You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the US strategy in the ME. Divide and Rule, as the old adage goes, has been at the core of American policy towards a region considered as early as 1945 as “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world History.” Eisenhower later described it as “the most strategically important area of the World.” (source: Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky)
Since the US took over Britain as the World’s new imperial power, the aim -contrary to their predecessors- was control, not necessarily access or military occupation. That supposes sponsoring client states, ruled by “moderates”: i.e. weak, corrupt but docile and obedient compliers.
The recent military “deals” with the rulers of the feudal monarchies of the Gulf, with Egypt and Israel, come as a confirmation for this unwavering policy.
Reasons that were given to justify this move are not surprising either. The American secretary of state bluntly explained that Americans needed to show their commitment for the “security” of these “friendly” regimes against “threats” represented by newly designated evils. (For the record, Israel will be GIVEN almost as much as the rest of the Arabs altogether without having to spend a penny).In the 1960s, “radical” Arab Nationalism was identified as the enemy and a threat for the “stability” of the region. Later radical Islamism became the total evil. What is new this time is that the Bush administration has chosen to put Al Qaida, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Sunny insurgency in Iraq, all in the same basket, claiming that they all constitute a homogeneous block against the American interests in the region. Whilst the US policy’s thrust in the ME hasn’t significantly shifted, this time round, the Americans seem to have lost any consistence or logic in their dealings with an already volatile and calamitous situation. This reveals, at best, a total misunderstanding of the realities of the region; at worse, a total incompetence.
The Arab “street” has long understood that the real enemy of the American establishment’s interests in their part of the world was not Islamism, nor secular Nationalism, but THEY… themselves! Each time they dream of a better tomorrow, each time they think of living with dignity and each time they hope of benefiting from their own wealth, they become a threat for the American “national interest.” But most Arabs, I hope, should have the intelligence to distinguish on the one hand, the American people, overwhelmingly tolerant and friendly, and on the other, the American rapacious political class whichonly believes that Might is Right.
Kissinger once said that “disorder is worse than injustice.” I think he should have listened to Dylan singing: “When you got nothing… you got nothing to loose!”
(picture by “thePatrick“)