Friday, April 15, 2011

Wallerstein: “The Middle East: Allies in Disarray”

Immanuel Wallerstein, Commentary No. 303, April 15, 2011

For the last fifty years, United States policy in the Middle East has been built around its very close links with three countries: Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. In 2011, it is at odds with all three, and in very fundamental ways. It is also in public discord with Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Brazil over its current policies in the region. It seems almost no one agrees with or follows the lead of the United States. One can hear the agonizing frustration of the president, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA, all of whom see a situation careening out of control.

Why the United States has created such an incredibly close alliance with Israel is a matter of much debate. But it is clear that for many years the relationship has been getting ever tighter, and more and more on Israeli terms. Israel has been able to count on financial and military aid and the never-failing veto of the United States in the U.N. Security Council.

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