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Old 01-08-2011   #1
Jedburgh
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Default The USA and the Middle East: Great Sacrifices, Small Rewards

Economist, 29 Dec 10: American and the Middle East: Great Sacrifices, Small Rewards
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Has America’s obsession with this region been worth it?

The Middle East holds a giant chunk of the world’s energy reserves, and also generates its biggest political headaches. Small wonder that the United States has long had an outsize interest in the place. Since September 11th 2001, and the rise of radical Islam as the sole violent challenge to an American-shaped international order, America’s focus on the region between the Nile and the Indus rivers has been obsessive. Yet all the attention would seem to have been in vain. America’s influence has dwindled everywhere with the financial crisis and the rise of emerging powers. But it seems to be withering faster in the Middle East than anywhere else....
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Old 08-16-2014   #2
Ray
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Default Washington Can’t Solve the Identity Crisis in Middle East Nations

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Washington Can’t Solve the Identity Crisis in Middle East Nations

The Arab world is caught up in a broader struggle. It is being whipsawed between competing and not entirely satisfying notions of what it should mean to be Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, Yemeni or Lebanese — to name just a few places where conflicts over nationalism, identity and citizenship are most pronounced. Until Arabs figure out who they are and what kind of countries they want to live in, there is little Washington can do to help.

http://www.cfr.org/middle-east-and-n...nations/p33349
Like the Missionaries of the past, the US cannot bring 'civilisation' to the world. It is time for the US to analyse their foreign policy and strategy so as to not spook the world by acting in haste and projecting itself as the sole arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.

In today's world, where the natives are no longer 'running naked in the bush' and instead are educated and economically empowered, they realise and acknowledge the pangs what Bishop Tutu's immortal words encapsulated in a metaphoric manner - When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

One's land, one's identity is greater than the sagacious wisdom that maybe thrown their way out of sheer charity of a good Samaritan.

One cannot cut his nose to spite one's face.

All this confrontation is creating chaos around the world and making it volatile. Of course, if the geostrategy is to cause chaos and stand far and watch the rest of the world explode, then the US is on the right lines.

However, the flip side is that it is driving the world away from the US and forcing them to seek solace elsewhere to make the world even more a dangerous place than before.

In fact, it is only encouraging the closing the gap amongst other 'power centres' to the detriment of the world and the US.

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How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/...together-10735
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Five Ways Russia Could Help China's Military Become Even Deadlier
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/...ome-even-11000
US is no longer the economic powerhouse and its unquestioned military supremacy has been eroded, having been bloodied by ragtag Islamic 'unorganised' hordes in Irar and Afghanistan and China, never missing a chance to cock the snook.

This allusion to the reality may upset many a poster, but then that is how its viewed elsewhere.

It is time for the US to get mature and look at its activities more pragmatically and restore its lost sheen.
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Old 08-20-2014   #3
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Have the authors of these opeds...erm, have you ever read something about history of the Middle East?

I'm just asking out of curiosity. For example because when it comes to people there, I would say it was them who brought us the Bible, Qoran and few other things too (including maths, forks and spoons). In return, they've been separated into artificial states that never existed before, put under control of brutal and oppressive regimes imposed upon them - and which are wholeheartedly supported and protected by the West. And then, and just to make sure - they've then got an artificial enemy implanted into their centre too, which is blindly supported by the West no matter what it does or whom it hurts. When that was not enough, they've had their traditional cultural and religious centres been isolated and/or neutralized, and a solid foundation created for emergence of extremism - which otherwise could never grow, alone because the people in the Middle East were always considering it for 'provincialist' and 'idiotic'.

But 'we' are now ah-so-very-much-surprised the 'Arabs' don't accept this, and because this is so ah-so-very-much-surprising, wonder why 'we' can't 'civilize them'...?

Well, if your definition of 'civilizing people' is 'forcing them to subject themselves to our control and give up any semblance of sovereignty, no matter whether they like that or not'...

...you can wait 'till the hell freezes.
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Old 08-23-2014   #4
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Is it an 'identity crisis' that's plaguing the ME? I ask because multi-ethnic states aren't new in the Middle East - that they are so weak (for many of the reasons Crowbat) cited and that political power, as a consequence of foreign intervention, is often distributed on a sectarian basis, creates ideal conditions for sectarian conflict and extremism.

How many years have political stability have these states enjoyed since their creation - between the wars, coups, terrorism, etc? I'd venture not much. So it shouldn't be surprising that in these conditions, people pick sides and that they play to win. And we should also question the assumption that it it's in the West's interests to actually resolve any of these internal conflicts in any way that's fair or sustainable for the local populations.

Assigning 'identity crisis' as the cause of these conflicts is a cop-out that let's power-brokers wash their hands of any responsibility for the conflicts that they create and facilitate. They say the conflict is inherent and therefore they are absolved of any responsibility to do anything about it since the implication is that nothing can be done anyway. There is nothing inherent in identity that is conflictual. Conflict occurs when people take action, and that's a deliberate decision.
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Old 08-24-2014   #5
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Like the Missionaries of the past, the US cannot bring 'civilisation' to the world. It is time for the US to analyse their foreign policy and strategy so as to not spook the world by acting in haste and projecting itself as the sole arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.
In fairness, none of the referenced links discusses efforts to "civilize" the Middle East. They do refer, I think justly, to the reality that the US cannot impose its own preferred models of governance, nor can the US dictate national borders.

What's going on in the Middle East is not all that different in principle to post colonial transitions elsewhere. Colonial powers imposed order at the expense of stability, aborting the process of political evolution. Post-colonial orders are often dominated by dictators. As those dictatorships age and weaken, the process of political evolution continues. That process is often violent, as it has been everywhere else. Borders may be redrawn; various factions will compete for power. Foreign powers will meddle to advance their interests. None of this is in any way unique to the Middle East. What is particular to the Middle East is that Islam often serves as a rallying point, just as leftist ideologies once did in populations fighting colonists or post-colonial dictators in Asia and Latin America.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
All this confrontation is creating chaos around the world and making it volatile. Of course, if the geostrategy is to cause chaos and stand far and watch the rest of the world explode, then the US is on the right lines.
In some places the US has caused chaos. Iraq is a notable example, though sooner or later Saddam would have fallen and the same forces of entropy would have been released. More often, though, chaos emerges from domestic conflicts, often (though not always) released as long-entrenched dictators lose their grip.

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However, the flip side is that it is driving the world away from the US and forcing them to seek solace elsewhere to make the world even more a dangerous place than before.
Is the world being driven away from the US? One could argue that China's aggressive foreign policy has actually drawn the rest of Asia closer to the US, and that Russia's has actually draw Europe closer to the US. Nothing pulls people together like a common perception of threat.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
In fact, it is only encouraging the closing the gap amongst other 'power centres' to the detriment of the world and the US.
I'm not sure a multipolar world is necessarily detrimental to the US or the world. The monopod is not the most stable of structures.

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US is no longer the economic powerhouse and its unquestioned military supremacy has been eroded, having been bloodied by ragtag Islamic 'unorganised' hordes in Irar and Afghanistan and China, never missing a chance to cock the snook.
The US remains an economic powerhouse, though not the sole one, fortunately for the global economy. Iraq and Afghanistan have only demonstrated what has been widely known since Vietnam: the US can take whatever it wants, but can't always hold it. I don't think anyone out there is real eager to go into a fight with the US.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
It is time for the US to get mature and look at its activities more pragmatically and restore its lost sheen.
Can't argue with maturity and pragmatism, which are badly needed, but I don't think restoration of anything is a valid goal. Time to build a new set of relationships, not waste time and effort in attempts to recover what is permanently gone.
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Old 08-24-2014   #6
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Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
Is it an 'identity crisis' that's plaguing the ME? I ask because multi-ethnic states aren't new in the Middle East - that they are so weak (for many of the reasons Crowbat) cited and that political power, as a consequence of foreign intervention, is often distributed on a sectarian basis, creates ideal conditions for sectarian conflict and extremism.
Multi-ethnic states in the Middle East are nothing new, that's right.

And on the contrary: there is absolutely no 'identity crisis'.

From my POV, this way of thinking is either a) intentional picking of the story from its middle by those who prefer to ignore (usually for opportunistic reasons) or b) nave attempt at doing so by those who simply have no clue

- about the history of the Middle East.

Such characters do so instead of starting the story at the start, which is actually the only way out of the problem there.

Namely, it's not so as if these states came into being by the wish of local population or by some sort of 'pure accident', and that it then so happened that they couldn't enjoy political stability. The will of local people is insistently ignored by Western powers (especially the USA) ever since the King-Crane Commission.

We're talking here about artificial states created by foreign powers, with borders where there were never any before. These borders are cutting right through centres of populations of various ethnic and religious groups. In combination with intentional policy of imposing and then supporting de-facto foreigners as oppressive rulers of states in question, plus emergence of the 'oil/gas factor', plus intentional policy of isolation of traditional (mileniums-old, not only 'centuries old') economic, cultural and political centres from the 'province'... etc., etc., etc... Well, that's how one is creating excellent conditions for emergence of such creations like al-Qaida.

And when one is only curing the effects of al-Qaida (i.e. only goes fighting them in Afghanistan and in Iraq, instead of destroying their very centres of emergence, like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar etc.)... well, provided enough time is left, then one has got an area that's not only 'ill', but becomes the best possible breeding ground for an imported mental illness called 'Islamic State' too.

If some might wonder why am I explaining all of this: extremist Islam is nothing new. It came into being in reaction to Crusades and Mongol invasions that successively smashed the original caliphate, back in the 12th and 13th Centuries. NEVERTHELESS, and contrary to 'Christian and civilized Europe' (ho-hum!) the Middle East never had a serious problem with extremists: these were banned and forced into exile well away from the cultural and political centre (nowadays 'Syria'), via Baghdad and then into the deserts of the Nejd (nowadays 'Eastern Province' of Saudi Arabia), where they were vegetating in their holes for centuries, without trace of ability to harm anybody (except few shepherds unlucky enough to find themselves in the way of one of many of Wahhabist gangs that periodically raided southern parts of what are nowadays Iraq, Jordan and Syria).

What changed this: firstly the British uprooted the most authoritative political and religious authority - Sheriff of Mecca - and sent him to Damascus; then they've dropped him like a hot rock so he can be forced into exile by the French; then they imposed his sons as kings of two artificial states (Iraq and Transjordan) created irrespectively of ages-old ways of living by the locals while letting his most bitter enemies (al-Sauds and their idiotic Wahhabists) conquer their place of origin (Hejab). And when this was not enough, the USA came to the scene, saved the Sauds (and Wahhabists) from starvation by feeding them (that was in 1942-1943), and then helped them establish what is nowadays Saudi Arabia and turn that (intellectual and political) 'more retarded than the rearmost province' into the powerhouse of the entire area - while isolating places like Cairo and (especially) Damascus, San'a etc., while the French meanwhile did their best to impose the rule of minorities (Christians in Lebanon and Alawites in Syria) and teach the locals about 'advantages' of such 'democratic traditions' like corruption, nepotism, mass murder, terrorism etc. And then, and all because they bitterly opposed Israel, Cairo, Damascus and then San'a were successively cut off from their traditional spheres of influence.

So now: what kind of results can one expect from such 'glorious' policy? 'Civilisation, peace, national identity, tranquillity and prosperity' - or exactly what happened in the Middle East?

And regarding 'identity crisis': what kind of 'identity' with, say, 'Jordan' or 'Syria' should members from clans living in, say, Mafraq-Suwaida or Rutba-Amman area since something like 10.000 years have? What is 'Jordan' and what is 'Syria' for them? What is 'Jordan' for millions of Palestinian refugees - most of whom have extremely strong and millennium-old ties to areas nowadays within 'Israel', 'Palestinian Authority', and 'Syria'?

Hand at heart: nothing. Is it then 'surprising' if 'Jordanians refuse to consider themselves Jordanians'...?

Or the other way around: majority of Egyptians are not sure if they are really 'Arabs'. Considering the history of that country, no surprise here. Nevertheless, they are all 'traditionally' sorted as '(stupid) Arabs' by the West.

And finally, what should Zeidis, a traditional state-founding group of what is nowadays Yemen (and that since several mileniums), think about foreigners that came in and impressed the Wahhabist rule upon them, in turn driving them into the hands of Arab arch-enemies (i.e. the Iranian Shi'a)?

'Inherent conflict'? Perhaps. But then, obviously and clearly created by foreigners, exclusively those from the West.
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Old 08-24-2014   #7
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Let me summarize this is simple words.

There's a lot at play here, not just "terrorism". Quite simply the post-colonial order is dying.

But whose "post-colonial order"? Quite simply the British & French post-colonial orders (that the US simply took over in the Middle East & much of Africa).

How does America deal with this? Conceptually a bit difficult - as it's closest allies are the 2 biggest colonial powers in history, but more than that - US will have a serious problem "thinking out of the British & French colonial box".

The great problem of the Cold War is this - it presented Washington with a binary world. So Washington was spared the inconvenience of deeply questioning the foundations of the post-colonial order established by UK and France.

Unfortunately, US no longer can afford that luxury. This is a more complex World, not simply a World where Washington defends Western interests (i.e. UK doesn't simply goad US to remove Mossadegh in Iran & France doesn't simply goad US to intervene in Iraq).

I'm African and in a few decades, we'll experience something similar - just like Sykes-Picot underpinned the colonial order in the Middle East and is being challenged. Globalization will force a challenge of the Berlin conference.

Britain and France will try to goad US to protect their spheres of influence in Africa, but will US see clearly enough to understand the complexities - or will they seek the easy way out - sticking with their "allies"?
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Old 08-25-2014   #8
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In reply to Ray's post and the Washington Post article, I believe the former is projecting his own limited opinion onto the latter. The idea that Obama or what anyone might call his foreign policy has the capability to "spook the world" is absurd.

In reference to the cited article, I believe the USA should support Israel, the Kurds, Assyrians, etc., that is entities which are under threat from the Islamic State.
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Old 08-26-2014   #9
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There's a lot at play here, not just "terrorism". Quite simply the post-colonial order is dying.

But whose "post-colonial order"? Quite simply the British & French post-colonial orders (that the US simply took over in the Middle East & much of Africa).

How does America deal with this? Conceptually a bit difficult - as it's closest allies are the 2 biggest colonial powers in history, but more than that - US will have a serious problem "thinking out of the British & French colonial box".

The great problem of the Cold War is this - it presented Washington with a binary world. So Washington was spared the inconvenience of deeply questioning the foundations of the post-colonial order established by UK and France.
I agree that the post-colonial order is dying, but I think you're overrating the influence of former colonial powers on that order. In the Middle East the post colonial order has been dominated by long-lasting dictators like Assad, Gaddafi, Hussein, etc, and by the royal families of the Arabian peninsula. The dictatorships are expiring, with unpredictable results that may or may not include the redrawing of borders. The monarchies seem more durable, for a variety of reasons, though how much more durable remains to be seen.

Post-colonial dictatorships will inevitably fall, and the process of political evolution that was interrupted by colonization will resume. he challenge for the US in all of this is to determine where US interests actually lie (to the extent that there are any) and to develop practical and achievable goals. I think commitment to the British and French is less an issue here than the traditional US confusion over interests and goals.

In parts of the Middle East the US does have a clear economic and strategic interest: oil. That doesn't necessarily translate into good decisions, but at least it produces a bit of clarity where goals are concerned. In other parts of the Middle East (e.g. Syria) and in most of Africa, the US has no compelling economic or strategic interest in place, which creates confusion over goals. When the US does act in these areas it tends to do so on vague "humanitarian" grounds, with limited commitment and sustainability, as will always be the case when there's no compelling national interest involved.

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Britain and France will try to goad US to protect their spheres of influence in Africa, but will US see clearly enough to understand the complexities - or will they seek the easy way out - sticking with their "allies"?
The US doesn't really need to understand the complexities; they just need to be able to determine where their own interests lie, if there are any interests at stake. As is always the case with a status quo power, the US tends to reflexively prefer the status quo, which is not necessarily an advantage. The US is also heavily driven by domestic politics, especially where no discrete national interests at stake, and is inclined to act, often hastily and without defined or practical goals, when a situation gets a lot of media attention. This confusion is to me more a problem than anything the British or French are doing.

Ultimately I'd say the best US policy will be the one the US adopted toward post cold war Latin America and SE Asia: back off and let them work it out for themselves. Solving other people's problems is not our responsibility and we generally do a piss-poor job of it, largely because we're never quite sure what we're doing there in the first place.
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Old 08-26-2014   #10
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...The great problem of the Cold War is this - it presented Washington with a binary world.
...yet the core of the problem is that this was never the case. Yes, it 'simplified things' to call people like Nasser or Assad 'Soviet puppets', but that never made such statements truth. Indeed, especially because of people like Nasser and Assad, plus quite a few others, if there was ever an area where the Cold War was anything but bi-polar, then it was the Middle East.

Eisenhower administration understood this very well and run appropriate - and even-handed - policies. To a certain degree, even that of Kennedy did. The 'change' came with Johnson and especially Nixon. It's since that time, that the USA began considering the situation in the Middle East through the prism of Cold War, i.e. as bi-polar. But, that was a result of Johnson and then Nixon introducing the practice of abandoning genuine US interests and replacing these with those of Israel (meanwhile this is reaching proportions where one could save billions by disbanding the State Department and letting Tel Aviv do what it is de-facto doing ever since, i.e. run the US foreign policy).

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So Washington was spared the inconvenience of deeply questioning the foundations of the post-colonial order established by UK and France.
Nope. Johnson (and then Nixon) introduced the practice of explaining the Middle East through the prism of Cold War in attempt to offer an excuse for abandoning US, British, and French security guarantees for territorial integrity of all the countries in the Middle East and openly siding with Israel.

Simplified (yet specific): they needed an excuse for taking sides and escalating the Arab-Israeli conflict through deliveries of hundreds of F-4s and A-4to Israel when these were entirely unnecessary, and do so in face of fierce opposition from the State Dept. and (particularly) the Pentagon. Declaring Arabs for 'Soviet clients' was the simpliest solution for this, and then one 'everybody understood'.

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Britain and France will try to goad US to protect their spheres of influence in Africa, but will US see clearly enough to understand the complexities - or will they seek the easy way out - sticking with their "allies"?
The UK is well beyond the point where it can dream about protecting its spheres of influence anywhere. On the contrary, the French are doing quite well (read: usually far better than the USA) in protecting their interests in Africa.

The latter means not that these policies are the best for all the locals, of course.

With a handful of exceptions, the USA is so far doing only one mistake after the other, and getting involved in ever more affairs that make absolutely no sense - except for opening specific (dubious) sources to certain diamond handlers and (to a lesser degree) to the mining/oil sector.
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Old 08-27-2014   #11
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With a handful of exceptions, the USA is so far doing only one mistake after the other, and getting involved in ever more affairs that make absolutely no sense -
You must be omnipotent if you have a grasp on the totality of US foreign policy and its implementation.
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Old 08-27-2014   #12
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Perhaps. But frankly: I neither care nor have a clue (if one has to be 'omnipotent' or not).

What I do is to study 'obscure' air forces in the Middle East and Africa (sometimes Asia too, see Modern Chinese Warplanes, praised as providing 'the objective and detailed description of China's air forces that has long been missing', by nobody else but Norman Polmar in his review in Proceedings, from June 2013), reasons why they become what they are, why are they equipped and trained the way they are, how they operate, what are their 'lessons learned' etc. Nowadays often outright despised, I consider this practice a follow-up of highly respected 'know your enemy' studies from the 1970s and 1980s.

It might sound surprising at first, but most of the times the air forces in question are developing in the way they do precisely as effect of US foreign policy.

And most of the times that foreign policy has the qualities of what one can only expect to be produced in some kindergarten.

'Classic' example - and then related to the Middle East: I wanted to find out why various Arab air forces began buying 'MiGs' (i.e. Soviet-designed aircraft), their experiences with these, lessons learned etc. That's how the book-series 'Arab MiGs' came into being (here and here the links to Volume 1; presently, we're in the process of putting finishing touches on Volume 5, which is to cover the first few days of October 1973 Arab-Israeli war and is due out in late October this year).

To my big surprise, it turned out this story began with the USA. Why? After Nasser rose to power, he opened peace negotiations with Israel, and negotiated a withdrawal of British troops out of Egypt. Talks with Israel were going on when the clique around Ben Gurion decided to sabotage these negotiations through a series of terrorist attacks on US and British representatives in Egypt (see 'Lavon Affair'). After that, pursuing Ben Gurion's policy of Zionist expansionism (nicely and frankly described to US representatives already in 1947), the Israeli military launched a series of raids against Egyptian border posts too. Under pressure to protect his country, Nasser turned to USA with request for arms (plus economic aid). Washington conditioned delivery of these on Egyptians providing bases for US military. This condition was something Nasser simply could not accept.

Why? Egypt was just about to get rid of British bases and nearly a century of British influence (plus few mileniums of foreign occupation in total). Nobody in Egypt wanted foreign troops in the country any more and thus no sane Egyptian politician could afford letting any other foreign power station its troops in the country.

Result: when Americans turned him down, and British refused to deliver, Nasser turned to China. When China proved unable to deliver, he turned to Czechoslovakia - because this was the very same party that was arming Israel during the 1947-1949 Arab-Israeli War. The Czechoslovaks agreed to deliver, yet what they had to deliver were 'only' locally-manufactured variants of MiG-15s etc. And so the story of 'Arab MiGs' (a title that symbolises a period of - more or less 'intensive' Soviet involvement- and thus the Cold War in the Middle East too) began. Not trough Egyptian, not through Soviet, but through ill-advised foreign policy of the USA.

Would you describe such negotiations of the administration in the DC for 'clever' or 'well-advised'? Am I 'wrong', perhaps even 'anti-USA' (and, oh, what a horror: 'anti-Israel') if I frankly state that I do not think they were 'clever' or 'well-advised'?

And must I be 'omnipotent' to research, assemble and put this story within its proper context, and draw corresponding conclusions?

Last edited by CrowBat; 08-27-2014 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 08-27-2014   #13
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I wouldn't know about omnipotent, but if you're seriously claiming to be able to deduce the totality of US policy in the Middle East purely by studying obscure air forces, that could be interpreted as a claim of omniscience... or as a few other things.
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Old 08-27-2014   #14
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One thing is sure: I definitely have no trace of comparable skills in denying the obvious - like you do.
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Old 03-18-2016   #15
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Default Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria

A different article and by an American, not a Syrian, not an Arab or anyone else from the region, but Robert J. Kennedy (the son of the late RJK). The article's sub-title:
Quote:
They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil.
Link:http://www.politico.eu/article/why-t...-intervention/

He starts with:
Quote:
In part because my father was murdered by an Arab, I’ve made an effort to understand the impact of U.S. policy in the Mideast and particularly the factors that sometimes motivate bloodthirsty responses from the Islamic world against our country. As we focus on the rise of the Islamic State and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology. Instead we should examine the more complex rationales of history and oil — and how they often point the finger of blame back at our own shores. America’s unsavory record of violent interventions in Syria — little-known to the American people yet well-known to Syrians — sowed fertile ground for the violent Islamic jihadism that now complicates any effective response by our government to address the challenge of ISIL. So long as the American public and policymakers are unaware of this past, further interventions are likely only to compound the crisis.
Worth a read, although you may pause and argue with points he makes.

I've never heard of him before. Wiki hs this:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy,_Jr.
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Old 04-14-2017   #16
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A few threads have been merged here, all concern general points on the USA's relationship with the Middle East region. If not strategic points and is prompted by the following post.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-14-2017 at 01:16 PM. Reason: 21,657v
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Old 04-14-2017   #17
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Default The US cannot win the Middle East: six reasons why

Via Open Democracy an article by an Arab heritage academic based in the UK and it starts with:
Quote:
This article explores why realist views alone cannot explain the complexity of insecurity in the Middle East and why internal and regional conflicts in the Middle East, since 2003, look endless. What are the alternatives to advocating a single international relations theory to explain different regions with different socio-cultural, political, historical, economic, and security specificities? The Middle East’s particularities can prove the United States wrong in addressing the region’s problems by adopting hard-power policies, at least so far, as it did in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

(Ends with) Borders and states might be artificially created but they are contested. Bombing and launching missiles may be considered a strong political message which serves a politician’s domestic interests, but they can never resolve the regional security complex in the Middle East. So far, and for so long, international powers have been serving and seeking their national, economic, military, and political security, but hardly ever pursuing human security.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/alam-saleh/us-cannot-win-middle-east-war-military-six-reasons-why?
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Old 05-24-2017   #18
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Default Israeli Officers: You’re Doing ISIS Wrong

A curious article via Twitter via Politico by a reporter after a visit to Israel and apparently multiple conversations with IDF officers. It is rare for me to spot such comments. Added here as this thread is general enough to include it, even though the focus is within Syria.
Link:http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...s-wrong-215172
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