• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

The Middle East at a Strategic Crossroads: Threat to US Hegemony?

Bo

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The Middle East at a Strategic Crossroads: Threat to US Hegemony?

by Nicola Nasser


 


Global Research, January 31, 2011




The Arab world is the beating heart of the overwhelmingly Muslim Middle East, and the Arab masses are angrily moving for a change in the status quo, practically dictated by the military, economic or political hegemony of the United States, which in turn is whipped by the regional power of the Israeli U.S. strategic ally. But any change in the regional status quo would place the Middle East at a strategic crossroads that is not expected to be viewed tolerantly by the U.S. – Israeli alliance, a fact which expectedly would warn of a fierce struggle to come. Despite the U.S. rhetorical defense of the “universal rights” in the region, it is still premature to conclude that this hegemonic alliance will allow the Arab move for change to run its course, judging by the historic experiences of the last century as well as by the containment tactics the United States is now adopting to defuse whatever strategic changes might be created by the revolting Arab masses.

The U.S. war on terror has preoccupied U.S. decision makers and embroiled regional rulers in their preoccupation to overlook the tinderbox of the double digit unemployment rate among Arab youth, double and in some cases triple the world average, according to the most conservative estimates, which under the U.S. – supported authoritarian regimes has been a ticking time bomb for too long. Now, the “demographic tsunami to the south of the Mediterranean,” as described by Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, has overtaken the west, but in particular the U.S. – Israeli alliance, by surprise, sending shock waves across the Middle East, shaking the pillars of what this alliance has taken for granted as a guaranteed geopolitical stability reinforced by the Israeli 34 – year old military occupation of the Palestinian territories, the Syrian Golan Hights and parts of southern Lebanon and the U.S. invasion then the ongoing occupation of Iraq. But “the Arab world’s Berlin moment” has come and the U.S. – supported “authoritarian wall has fallen,” professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics, Fawaz Gerges, told Reuters.

Unlike in Tunisia, the U.S. regional strategy cannot afford a strategic change of regime in a pivotal regional country like Egypt. U.S. senior officials’ appeals for President Hosni Mubarak to respect the “universal rights” of the Egyptian people and their right in “peaceful” protests, for reforms that should be “immediately” undertaken by the ruling regime, and their calls for “restraint” and non-violence by both the regime and protesters are all smoke-screening the fact that the United States is siding with what President Barak Obama hailed as “an ally of ours on a lot of critical issues” and his spokesman, Robert Gibbs, described as “a strong ally” - - which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wishfully described his government as “stable” on Wednesday, despite the roaring demands on the streets for its change - - at least because “a more representative government drawn from the diversity of Egypt's political opposition will be much more inclined to criticize American and Israeli policies,” according to Bruce Riedel, a former long-time CIA officer and a senior fellow of the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, on January 29.

The U.S. posturing as neutral, “not taking sides,” could appease and mislead American public opinion, but to Arab and especially to Egyptian public opinion even neutrality is viewed as hostile and condemned in the region as a double standard when compared with the U.S. siding with similar moves for change elsewhere in the world, let alone that this neutrality contradicts the western highly valued democratic values at home.

On Friday night, Obama called for “a meaningful dialogue between the (Egyptian) government and its citizens,” who insist on staying on the streets until the regime, and not only its government, is changed and Mubarak leaves. On January 28, Vice President Joe Biden told PBS NewsHour that Mubarak should not step down. When asked whether time had come for Mubarak to go, he said: “No. I think the time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move – to be more responsive to some .. of the needs of the people out there.” Nothing would be more clear – cut, but nothing would be more counterproductive to both Egyptian and American interests on the background of footages on the screens of satellite TV stations showing protesters condemning Mubarak as a “U.S. agent” or showing live bullets or “made in U.S.A.” tear gas canisters, reported by ABC News, which were used against them.

It seems the en masse Arab popular protests in Egypt that no party in the opposition could claim to be the leader are confusing the senior officials of the Obama administration who “have no idea of exactly who these street protesters are, whether the protesters are simply a mob force incapable of organized political action and rule, or if more sinister groups hover in the shadows, waiting to grab power and turn Egypt into an anti-Western, anti-Israeli bastion.” in the words of the U.S. commentator Lesli e H. Gelb, the former New York Times columnist and senior government official.

The U.S. confusion is illustrated by the stark contradiction between the realities on the ground in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen and, for instance, what the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Filtman, told Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy: “What happened in Tunisia strikes me as uniquely Tunisian. That the events that took place here over the past few weeks derive from particularly Tunisian grievances, from Tunisian circumstances by the Tunisian people.” How farthest cut off from reality a senior U.S. official could be! “The White House will have to be forgiven for not knowing whether to ride the tiger or help put him back in a cage,” Gelb wrote.

White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, said the U.S., in view of the protests, will “review” its two – billion annual assistance to Egypt. This “threat” is understood among Arab and Egyptian audiences as targeted not against Mubarak to pressure him on reforms, but against whatever anti – U.S regime might succeed him.

Arab en masse protests, especially in Egypt, are cornering the United States in a bind, tortured between maintaining “an ally” and respecting his people’s “universal rights” in expressing their “legitimate grievances,” according to Obama. What message would the United States be sending to the majority of Arab allied or friendly rulers if it opts to dump the most prominent among them? Would AIPAC and other American Jewish and Zionist lobbyists allow their government to facilitate the ousting of the 30 –year old guarantor of the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel? It’s almost a forgone conclusion that Obama’s decision is already made to once again give priority to the stability of U.S. “vital interests” in Middle East while in public giving lip service to Americans’ most cherished democratic values.

This translates into a naïve American recipe for preserving the status quo by some cosmetic reforms. But “Those who stick to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries' problems for a little while, but not forever,” Clinton warned in Qatar on January 13, otherwise, she added, the foundations of their rule will be “sinking into the sand,” but she did not announce the fears of her country that the pillars of the U.S. hegemony would be then crumbling too, anti – Americanism exacerbated and in turn fueling the only alternative to democracy in the Arab Middle East, i.e. terrorism. Egyptian former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, whom some of the protesters have chosen to head a delegation to represent them on Sunday and who is seen as a potential presidential challenger to Mubarak, warned in Newsweek before his return to Egypt last week, that it was too late to believe reforms were still possible under the 82- year-old Mubarak, who has held “imperial power” for three decades and presides over a legislature that is a “mockery.”

Similarly, Israel was taken by surprise. On Tuesday, January 25, the Egyptian popular tsunami flooded the streets of Cairo on the Police Day. The coincidence was highly symbolic. The U.S. – supported police state was unable to honor its police and within a few days police simply “disappeared,” army was called in to protect vital state and public property while protection of private property and safety was left to the “popular committees,” which sprang up of nowhere. On the same day, the new chief of the Israeli Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, was telling the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Egyptian President’s rule was not under threat, his regime was stable and Mubarak was able to rein in the protests. In no time Kochavi was proven wrong. Ordering his government’s spokepersons to shut up on Egypt and, like Obama, holding urgent and high level meetings with his senior security and intelligence officials, Israeli Prime Minister sent a clear and brief message on January 30: Israel will “ensure” that peace with Egypt “will continue to exist.”

The Egyptian shock waves have already hit Israel and the Israeli possible reactions are potentially the most dangerous. “An Egyptian government that is less cooperative with Israel .. could make Israel more prone to unpredictable unilateral actions, creating greater instability throughout the region,” warned Jonathan Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Israeli mainstream media is already crying wolf. “If Mubarak is toppled then Israel will be totally isolated in the region,” said Alon Liel, a former director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and a former ambassador to Turkey. “Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast,” a story in Haaretz was headlined. Similarly, “Israel left all alone,” Itamar Eichner headlined his column in the Yadioth Ahronot online. The Egypt – Gaza Strip borders is now under Israeli spotlight. The Egyptian army which was called into cities west of the Suez Canal could not deploy in Sinai east of it, especially on those borders, restricted by none other than the peace treaty with Israel; the Egyptian security vacuum in the last few days was no evident more than in Sinai. The statement by the Hamas government on January 29 that the borders between Egypt and the Israeli besieged Gaza Strip, already declared an “enemy entity” by Israel, were unilaterally and “fully under control” was not good news in Tel Aviv. Hence the Israeli media reports about a possible Israeli reoccupation of the Gaza – Egypt borders.

On the surface, the Arab world representing the status quo is no less confused and undecided; its heart is with the Egyptian regime, but, like its U.S. ally, it has to speak with tongues. Example: “The Saudi government and people stands with the Egyptian government and people,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Saudi King Abdullah as telling President Mubarak in a phone call; earlier the king told U.S. President Obama there should be no bargaining about Egypt’s stability and the security of its people, according to SPA. In view of the U.S., Arab and Israeli thinly veiled determination to save the moment in Egypt, it was a forgone conclusion that Mubarak will cling to power, thus setting the stage either for a long battle of instability with his own people that for sure will deplete the country’s meager resources or cutting this battle short by a bloody crackdown that would make the repression which created the present people’s uprising look like a mercy.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23021
 

PPCLI Guy

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
277
Points
910
Hmmm - kind of a "have you stopped beating your wife" kind of headline.

What if I don't believe in the US hegemon?
 

Journeyman

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
351
Points
910
PPCLI Guy said:
Hmmm - kind of a "have you stopped beating your wife" kind of headline.

What if I don't believe in the US hegemon?
Perhaps sadly, I didn't get past the first sentence before I said, who is "Global Research" and who is the author?
(Yes, I often read a book jacket before deciding if I want to read the book).

Ahh....The Centre for Research on Globalisation -- not quite the same thing as "Global Research."

What they do [rom their website]:
- In an era of media disinformation, our focus has essentially been to center on the "unspoken truth".

- Since 2004, Global Research has provided detailed analysis and coverage of US-NATO-Israel preparations to wage a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran.

Their 'claim to fame':

- Global Research articles are used as source material by college and university students.

- Many Global Research authors have developed their own blog sites.

- In 2008, Global Research was awarded The First National Prize of the Mexican Press Club.


OK, "Global Research" didn't reassure me.
Who is the author?

The article tells us that "Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories." A quick google tells us that he (yes, Nicola is a male name there) "reports from the Occupied Territories and sets the record straight on what is happening there" -- simply, everything that is wrong in the Middle East is the fault of Israel and the Great Satan....er, the United States.


No thanks; I think I'll put this book back.


Bo: That's THREE "Global Research" articles you've posted in the past hour -- STOP WITH THE SPAM! ::)
 

Bruce Monkhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
653
Points
1,040
"the fault of Israel and the Great Satan....er, the United States."
But that's all Bo knows..................
 

Sapplicant

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Journeyman said:
everything that is wrong in the Middle East is the fault of Israel

[sarcasm]

So true. Just look at this:



Sphynx%20body_640.jpg




It's only been 4500 years, and already the thing looks like crap. Nose went the way of Michael Jackson, legs and body crumbling, and don't even get me STARTED on the shape the pyramids are in. I would've expected better from people who were ripped from their homeland and forced into slavery. Can't they do ANYTHING right?
::)


[/sarcasm]
 

Bo

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Did anyone who posted in this thread even read the article?

Rather than discuss the facts that are posted, you choose to discredit the author because he is middle-eastern?
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
220
Points
710
Bo said:
Did anyone who posted in this thread even read the article?

Yes.

Bo said:
Rather than discuss the facts that are posted, you choose to discredit the author because he is middle-eastern?

Not so: PPCLI Guy gave a succinct and accurate summary and Journeyman gave the likely reason why the article is rubbish.
 

Bo

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
This is what the site is about unlike the nice cut and paste job by journeyman:


About Global Research

The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal.  The CRG is a registered non profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada.

In addition to the Global Research website, the Centre is involved in book publishing, support to humanitarian projects as well as educational outreach activities including the organization of public conferences and lectures. The Centre also acts as a think tank on crucial  economic and geopolitical issues.

The Global Research website at www.globalresearch.ca publishes news articles, commentary, background research and analysis on a broad range of issues, focussing on social, economic, strategic and environmental processes.

The Global Research website was established on the 9th of September 2001, two days before the tragic events of September 11. Barely a few days later, Global Research had become a major news source on the New World Order and Washington's "war on terrorism".

Since September 2001, we have established an extensive archive of news articles, in-depth reports and analysis on issues which are barely covered by the mainstream media.

In an era of media disinformation, our focus has essentially been to center on the "unspoken truth".

During the invasion of Iraq (March-April 2003), Global Research published, on a daily basis, independent reports from the Middle East, which provided an alternative to the news emanating from the "embedded" journalists reporting from the war theater. Since 2004, Global Research has provided detailed analysis and coverage of US-NATO-Israel preparations to wage a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran.

In early 2006, Global Research established a separate French language website, www.mondialisation.ca, which reaches Francophone readers in Western Europe, North America, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. 

In 2007, we launched Spanish, Portuguese and German language pages, which contain translations of Global Research articles. Arabic, Italian and Serbian language pages were launched in 2008. 

In June 2010, we launched The Global Research TV (GRTV) website, which features selected videos as well as commentary, analysis and news coverage

Visit our new website
GlobalResearchTV
 

The articles in French are contained in a separate Mondialisation.ca archive. Those in other languages are contained in the main Globalresearch.ca archive.

Global Research articles are used as source material by college and university students. Moreover, numerous universities, libraries and research institutions have established a link to Global Research on their respective web sites.

Global Research has also become a source of specialized information and analysis for journalists, senior government officials, financial analysts and non-governmental organizations. 

Since 2001, Global Research has established an international network of authors, scholars and investigative journalists. Global Research counts among its regular contributors a number of prominent writers, researchers  and academics as well as several promising young authors. 

Many Global Research authors have developed their own blog sites. Our focus has been to support our authors' blog sites, while also promoting several partner aternative media websites.

The Global Research archive (2001-2010) includes more than 20,000 articles and news reports. The Mondialisation.ca archive contains more than 6000 articles in French.

Our data bank (2005-2010) includes a classification by author, and by country. Also of interest is an archive of audio-video material.

Global Research is classified among the top 50 Alternative News Sources by www.World-Newspapers.com,  Global Research is also recommended as a resource by the American Library Association (ALA).

In 2008, Global Research was awarded The First National Prize of the Mexican Press Club, for the "Best Research Website" at the international level.

In the course of the last few years, several Global Research authors have received awards for their writings.

Global Research has become one of the main alternative media websites in North America. While Global Research operates on a shoe string budget compared to the well-endowed establishment think tanks, it has more readers than the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).




Source: Alexa. Global Research is ranked among the 20,000 most popular websites Worldwide

How you can Help Global Research

It is crucial that the articles published on Global Research reach a broad readership.

We encourage our readers to cross-post and/or forward Global Research articles, post them on Facebook and Twitter, submit them to internet discussion groups, send them to your friends on your e-mail lists, etc. This will help Global Research in its endeavors. 

Global Research sends selected articles by email at no charge in the form of an electronic newsletter.

To Subscribe to our E-Newsletter and become a Member of Global Research, Click Here

Donate to Global Research



How to Use this Site

Global Research publishes news and feature articles. The latter consist of opinion articles, analytical articles as well as detailed research reports on important topics.

Both news and feature articles are categorized by Geoographic Region (interactive map on left column), Major Theme (left column) and News Highlight (right column).

The Global Research collection of articles constitutes an invaluable source of information and analysis for the conduct of research on economic, political, strategic, social and environmental issues.

Articles in our archive are categorized by author, and by country. An internal search by key word, as well as a Google search are also available.

Submissions



Global Research welcomes submissions of news and opinion articles. Sources and references should be indicated where applicable with a view to ensuring a high degree of accuracy. For web based references, hyperlink addresses of main sources should also be indicated where app...s increasing at about 500 a month. [/quote]
 

DBA

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Global Research is classified among the top 50 Alternative News Sources by www.World-Newspapers.com,

The website is various lists with short descriptions (no detailed information) and for the category of "Alternative News Sources" doesn't even have 50 entries (it lists 30). The about us notes: "Though we are trying to be objective, description and selection of sites are based only on our personal opinion."  They also don't actually rate any of the sites or provide anything else beyond a link and the short description. The listing for Global Research makes them sound like "New World Order" nutcases tho:

Centre for Research on Globalisation
Independent media and research group of writers, scholars and journalists. Publishes news articles, analysis and intelligence on the New World Order.
 
Top