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How the USA Committed Hara Kiri in Middle East
The Plight of the USA
The end of the Second World War saw the rise of two super powers the USA and the USSR. The USA feeling a morbid fear of communism decided to contain the Soviet ejmpire. They thus set up defense pacts all around the Soviet Union. One of these was the Baghdad pact. It mattered little to the US that most of the countries who became members of the Baghdad pact were obscurantist regimes, steeped in Fascism. Countries like Iraq, Jordan, Iran and Saudi Arabia became members of the Baghdad pact.
The Sand Castle
The first nail in the coffin of American thinking happened in 1958 when a military coup ousted the Iraqi Royal family with all its members butchered and the prime Minister, an American supporter Nuri el Said lynched in Baghdad. Iraq withdrew from the Baghdad pact and the pact had to be recast and named CENTO. Still the light did not dawn on American thinking and it continued to back despotic regimes like the Shah of Iran.
A revolution in Egypt further ousted King Farrukh and Gamel Nasser who entered the arena was no friend of the USA. The Shah who had been propped by the USA also had to flee Iran and a hard line Islamic regime inimical to the USA took over. In 1978 this regime reduced the USA to a toothless tiger when it captured and held as hostage all America soldiers and diplomats of the US embassy in Tehran. A botched rescue attempt authorized by Jimmy Carter did not enhance American prestige.
The USA Backs Despots
The USA was now at its nadir and it opted to back regimes that were not only Fascist in nature but also obscurantist in the extreme. Thus they cultivated the succors of Nasser in Sadat and Mubarak in Egypt and the Saudi dynasty in Saudi Arabia, not forgetting the King of Jordan. The American so intent on containing the Soviet union forgot that these regimes had no mandate to govern and were centers of nepotism and corruption. Also countries like Saudi Arabia were living in a medieval age where there was no freedom and blatant sex discrimination was practiced, yet the USA allied with them.
The inevitable has happened and Hosni Mubarak is toppled and a regime is likely to be ushered in that will spell doom for the USA policy there. A start is made as violent demonstrations which have resulted in the Israeli Ambassador fleeing like a rat from Cairo. The Muslim brotherhood is raising its head and the USA can’t be happy about it.
Iraq which was attacked in an ill advised war by George Bush is now afire.It is rocked by sectarian violence and thousands have died and the day when the American leave Iraq, the Islamic anti Americans may well take over.
All these can’t be comforting thoughts. But the thread of the US Middle east policy is for the last 6 decades of backing dictatorships and regimes that are living in the 16th century have come home to roost. Who is to blame for this? In another decade US influence could well finish in the Middle East and this can be pinpointed to an irrational fear of Communism and choosing any body even if he is a killer as an ally so long as he towed the US line against Russia. Take the case of Saudi Arabia. How does a regime that executes people by stoning and beheading and awards 90 lashes to a woman for driving a car becomes a US partner and strategic ally? Surely once this regime is replaced the new dispensation will regard the USA as an enemy.
The fat is now in the fire and Obama has a real task on his hands to negate the effect of the folly of at least 6 Presidents before him.