US meddling in Middle East creates more problems than it solves

George W. Bush unveiled his plan to spread democracy in the Middle East – from Pakistan to Morocco – in 2004. The United States decided to implement the plan despite the criticism from many other Western countries. The propaganda of democracy resulted in blood shed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bush did not achieve his goal; Barack Obama has not suggested anything new yet. If the US administration does not change its politics, both the Middle East and the United States will have to face a serious dangerPravda.Ru reports.

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Hardly had Barack Obama come to power, he said that stabilizing the situation in the Middle East was one of the first priorities of his team. When George W. Bush presented his plan to enforce democracy in the region, then-President of France Jacques Chirac stated that it was up for the countries of the Middle East to decide if they needed “missionaries of democracy.” The majority of other G8 leaders shared Chirac’s opinion on the matter.

That Washington has its umbilical chord tied firmly to Tel Aviv, let there be no doubt. That Washington’s foreign policy is to a large extent controlled by Tel Aviv, probably. Therefore the power of the Jewish lobby right through American society, from Hollywood to the financial markets, is bound to have a pay-back and this is patently obvious from Washington’s Middle East policy which is at best unilateral, at worst outright biased.

When will Washington learn that there are two sides, that there are two sets of interests and two peoples? When will Washington learn that Hamas was democratically elected and enjoys widespread support in Gaza at least? And when will Washington see that Israel’s policy of stealing lands that never belonged to it and building colonies creates more suicide bombers than any donations from Al Qaeda?

When will Washington tell Israel, its puppy-dog, to fall back behind the frontiers originally drawn up for it by the UNO and to leave all occupied lands? Or is Israel the master and Washington the puppy dog?

This reality has led many American commentators across the political spectrum to side enthusiastically with the rioters. A prestigious working group on Egypt formed in recent months by Middle East experts from Left and Right issued a statement over the weekend calling for the Obama administration to dump Mubarak and withdraw its support for the Egyptian regime. It recommended further that the administration force Mubarak to abdicate and his regime to fall by suspending all economic and military assistance to Egypt for the duration.

According to a Pew opinion survey of Egyptians from June 2010, 59 percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics. When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.
Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves. 84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion.
Understanding this, Israeli officials and commentators have been nearly unanimous in their negative responses to what is happening in Egypt. The IDF, the national security council, all intelligence agencies and the government as well as the media have all agreed that Israel’s entire regional approach will have to change dramatically in the event that Egypt’s regime is overthrown.
None of the scenarios under discussion are positive.
What has most confounded Israeli officials and commentators alike has not been the strength of the anti-regime protests, but the American response to them. Outside the far Left, commentators from all major newspapers, radio and television stations have variously characterized the US response to events in Egypt as irrational, irresponsible, catastrophic, stupid, blind, treacherous, and terrifying.
They have pointed out that the Obama administration’s behavior – as well as that of many of its prominent conservative critics – is liable to have disastrous consequences for the US’s other authoritarian Arab allies, for Israel and for the US itself.

Here are the top five challenges.

1. Political Islam;The big winners have been groups like Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood — Islamist parties. While we should not be too optimistic about the prospects of democracy in all of these countries just yet, some news out of places like Tunisia and Egypt show that elected leaders are beginning to behave like democratic politicians by pandering to their constituencies.

2. Public Diplomacy;While many policy choices of the past cannot be undone (read: the war in Iraq), continuing and emerging issues must be handled with care; such as the continued use of drone strikes and the existence of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

3. Pull out of Afghanistan;Lessons must be learned from our drawdown from Iraq and U.S. national security and the security of the Afghan people must take priority over political capital. A quick aside: our veterans must be given better care and attention upon returning home — it’s quite literally the least we can do.

4. Iran;U.S. must stand by principles of nuclear non-proliferation. Of course, Israel’s Netanyahu has not made anything easier, either. A preemptive strike by Israel would be irresponsible and dangerous for the entire region.

5. Syria;Syria appears to be the last major armed conflict of the Arab Spring — a conflict in which over 20,000 people have died. On the one hand it is hard to imagine a scenario in which the international community continues to tolerate President Assad as the leader of Syria. On the other, the stubborn Assad has no incentive to step down or flea. If he does, or is overthrown, there lingers the risk of a sectarian struggle in which the minority Alawi (which includes the Assad family) would be in grave danger.

Governments across the Arab world are also nervous at what the events of the last 18 months have unleased, in particular the danger that a sectarian conflict in Syria could get out of hand. The likes of Saudi Arabia also worry that pro-democracy uprisings will not stop at dictatorships but spread to monarchies.

Syria is in possession of chemical and biological weapons, and if the government falls, those weapons could foreseeably fall into the wrong hands. A protracted, unstable Syria will put strain — in the form of refugees and border control — on countries like Lebanon and Iraq, countries that have enough problems of their own right now. Many of the issues discussed above, political Islam, regional stability, and weapons non-proliferation, all come to a head in how the next president must approach the evolving conflict in Syria.

 

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