Drunk Driver from Washington

Written by Dani Reshef


March 9, 2011 Maalot, Israel

It is hard to believe that a world super power like the United States behaves so capriciously when they come to their own interests, the so called free world's interests and the destiny of other nations. US foreign policy always was swinging between aggressive interests and naïve idealism alienated to the political reality. US has its fair share in calamities of other nations after world War II but also an important role in promoting freedom and democracy in parts of Easter Europe, and, much to late, in parts of Latin America. 

Generally it was relatively clear what were the goals and the priorities of the deferent administrations in the US. It was clear who were the enemies, the opponents, the allies and the friends of America and the rules of the game where understood by the different participants, whether they liked it or not. All was changed when a drunk driver took the wheel in Washington. 

It began when President Obama decided that the right policy toward the Middle East is appeasement and reconciliation with US foes in the region. It is hard to argue against such an approach since dialog and reconciliation are always preferable to bitter confrontation. It is still hard to understand why reaching out to enemies is linked to turning a cold shoulder to long time allies of US in the Middle East such as the pro-American "14 March Coalition" in Lebanon or Ayad Alawy's al-Iraqiya party in Iraq. 

The Annapolis talks between Israel and the Palestinians, in 2008, that according to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas himself, in an interview to Jackson Diehl from the Washington Post, published oh 05/29/2009, failed not because of territorial dispute since he confirmed Israel offered him 97% of the alleged Palestinian territories but because a possible peace agreement "would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees". But since the Annapolis process was Bush's administration policy - it was enough to throw it away and to reinvent the delicate peace process by imposing on Israel the territorial expected outcome of the peace negotiation with the Palestinians, the 1967 green lines with Jordan, as a precondition to what was supposed to be talks without any preconditions. Since US president already defined the geographical outcome, the Palestinians have no motivation to really negotiate "peace for land" deal since they already have the land anyhow, even without peace. But even this disastrous approach to the relations between Israelis and Palestinians was abandoned without any explanation, in late 11/2010, only after all possible damage to prospect of peace in the Middle East was already done.                      

"Let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other" President Barack Obama said to his audience in his famous Cairo speech, on 06/04/1999. A lot of water from the Nile ran under Cairo bridges since as President Obama and his staff appear in the world Media, announcing, time and again, which Arab leader should leave his office "now", who should leave "soon", who should "listen" to his people, who should promote "reforms" and who should not use power against his opponents. The blunt showoff of American patronization of the Arab World will, in the future, be very costly to USA. Today, 2011, it is almost impossible to find genuine supporters of America in the Middle East, even among the most liberals. 

It is obvious US failed to set its priorities between either to consolidate a firm pro-American coalition to contain the Iranian nuclear proliferation threat under its leadership with some graduate reforms in the non-Democratic Arab regimes, or the policy of promoting democracy under any circumstances no matter the regional stability, Iranian threat or world economy. 

Only after USA removed the cover from the boiling pot of the Middle East America found out that an uncontrolled demon is jumping out from the pot. The pro-Iranian alliance in the Middle East is encouraging, under the title of "democracy", large waves of Shiites in the Gulf to turn the control on the world's largest oil reservoir from anti-Iranian Sunni domination to Shiaa supremacy and the Arabian Gulf into an Iranian Gulf. Bahrain's unrest is just the pilot run with the courtesy of USA. Eventually the pro Iranian alliance is passing through the Middle East quake relatively smoothly while all pro-American countries are struggling with extreme crises and growing chaos. President Barack Obama positioned himself as an existential threat to all moderate Arab regimes in the Middle East. While the prospect of democracy is slim, partial and way long ahead, may be in Tunisia or Egypt, the prospect of civilian wars in Yemen and Libya, sectarian violence in Iraq, religious confrontations in the Gulf and a lot of bloodshed is times higher. The rise of oil prices already endanger the economic recovery of the USA with a real possibility that Saudi Arabia is the next to test "democracy" to the dismay of America and Europe.     

Just few days ago, after the Middle East was encouraged to reshuffle their regimes, after Iran gained more points, after all Arab regimes refer to USA as a dangerous threat, after Al Qaeda tightened its grip on parts of Yemen and the Middle East entered to total chaos shaking global economy and putting USA on a verge of another military confrontation with a Muslim country –Libya, there was another twist in USA policy. Now USA is no longer advocating revolutions as the short way to democracy but graduate "reforms" undefined by time or by direction. Probably it is not too late to save the Saudi regime from collapse but too late to restore USA position and leadership in the region. This to the full satisfaction of Iran and with full guarantee to ongoing turmoil in the Middle East in the near future at least. 

No doubt, on the winding roads of the Middle East a driver from Washington is driving a heavy trailer drunk and possibly on dope. He sees no traffic lights, no junctions, no by-passers, not road signs and he does not know his direction. He is dangerous and it must end with an accident.




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