Friday, July 23, 2010
21 July '10
American policy toward the Middle East has been traditionally split between the Stabilizers and the Radicals.
The Stabilizers were old foreign policy hands in the State Department, the Pentagon or the CIA, sometimes tied in with the oil industry. They advocated maintaining stability in the Middle East by putting American support behind "our friends", the dictators. The US would supply them with weapons and military backing in case they were ever invaded or overthrown, and in exchange we would have reliable access to oil. From the Eisenhower interventions to the Gulf War, the United States protected Arab Muslim tyrannies in order to maintain stability in the region.
The Radicals were often academics, part time journalists or old line leftists. They insisted that everything wrong in the Middle East was caused by Western colonialism and imperialism, and the healing could only begin when the United States stopped backing the tyrants and began backing Marxist and Islamist terrorists in taking over their respective countries. The Radicals believed that if the United States would only abandon the dictators and throw their support behind the Marxists and the Islamists, a wonderful new age would dawn in the Middle East.
Until the Carter Administration, the Stabilizers held sway over foreign policy. With Carter though, the Radicals had their first taste of power. Following the doctrine of the Radicals, the Carter Administration helped bring Islamists to power in Iran, and began providing aid to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan. Its Green Belt strategy was focused on creating an alliance of Islamists to ally with the US against the Soviet Union. The real result was the same one you get when you try to breed poisonous snakes in order to get a bear off your land. You might succeed in getting rid of the bear, but now you'll have a whole other problem on your hands. That's exactly what happened with the US and the Islamists.
Neither the Stabilizers nor the Radicals were utilizing new ideas in their approach to the Middle East. The Stabilizers were echoing the British Empire's attempts to maintain control of the region through puppet sheikdoms and princedoms. The problem was that it hadn't worked too well for the British, who found themselves entangled in internal Arab and Muslim conflicts and coups. Like the British had before them, United States diplomats and oil company executives would cultivate a tyrant or two, only to discover that they were also completely untrustworthy. The House of Saud wound up seizing the same oil companies, and reversing the power relationship by doling out the oil on their terms, and using the money to begin the Islamization of the United States and Europe, while bribing half the foreign policy establishment to do it.
(Read full article)
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