Thursday, May 19, 2011

American Retreat, BRIC Ambivalence, and Turkey’s Rise

By Richard Falk, MWC News, May 19, 2011

As the American president, Barack Obama, sets forth his views on the future of the Middle East it seems a good time to take stock of the leadership vacuum in world affairs, and whether there are alternatives to the role the United States has played ever since World War II. While Obama welcomed the regional moves toward democracy and deplored those regimes that hold onto power by using violence against their own people, there was little cause given in the speech for either American balance with respect to the Israel/Palestine conflict or commitment to a more equitable world economy. In other words, the speech was mainly a courtly exercise in cheerleading for democracy in North Africa and the Middle East but not an attempt to be a creative and innovative global leader with respect to regional problem-solving.

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