Obama Outlines Mideast’s ‘To Do List’ – OpEd


By Mohyeddin Sajedi

President Obama has recently nominated important goals for the revolutions of the Middle East. Addressing the Jewish community in Miami the American President said the revolutions of the Middle East served America and presented it with great opportunities; adding that the revolts expanded horizons for future generations.

It seems the president’s remarks about the Middle East revolutions serving the US were mostly the president’s wish as opposed to his reflection. There is no question about the fact that movement toward democratic establishments in the Middle East will result in these countries playing a more important role in international affairs. It would appear that cooperation with democratic governments would be better for the US than forging an alliance with dictators whose expiration dates are being shown through the deadly protests of nation. Yet, the idea of independent governments coming to power in the Middle East is a source of concern for the United States.

History has shown that the US hasn’t traditionally struggled with summoning Arab support in the region. In the early 90s, US President George Bush was able to garner Arab support to attack Iraq and liberate Kuwait and drag them symbolically into the war. Ten years later, his son was able to align Arabs alongside himself to fight the so-called war on terror; even though some of these nations supported terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda. He did not face trouble forming the ‘axis of moderation’ with the objective of confronting Iran and siding with Israel.

Nowadays, one no longer hears the term ‘axis of moderation’ in news on the Middle East. The US alliance in the war on terror has faced complicated challenges that show that the al-Qaeda network, which was so seriously referred to, is merely a good tool for Gaddafi to rally support with from Arab nations. In an interview with France24, Gaddafi said the world needed his cooperation in the war on terror.

One cannot deny the fact that this network is active in Yemen or that they blow up civilians with package bombs but they are they have no noticeable influence when compared to the mass wave of popular unrest. The last sign of al-Qaeda was on New Year’s Eve when a car bomb blew up in front of a Coptic church in Cairo. Recent documents from Egypt’s security ministry show that a minister from Mubarak’s era was in fact responsible for the explosion and not al-Qaeda.

An important point in Obama’s speech addressing worried Jewish donors in Miami was him stating that the forces that ousted Mubarak must cooperate with the United States and Israel. Must?!! Why?

Perhaps Obama wanted to comfort the Israeli Lobby in the US and clear away their worries by using the term ‘must’ for the changing forces in Egypt. The word “must” had a meaning in the era of Mubarak and Ben Ali. Mubarak was so keen on cooperating with the US and Israel to a point where his country lost its historic role in mediating regional disputes. Even weak African nations near the Nile now allow themselves to take from Egypt’s share of water from the Nile.

Nobody expects the new Egypt to go to war with Israel but what is clear is that Egypt will no longer side with Israel in wars. At best, it will follow Turkey’s path and will continue to be a US ally but the new Egyptian governments will not be able to follow all US decisions considering the country’s parliament and public opinion.

A few hours prior to Obama’s speech the Whitehouse spokesman said Washington expected any new government in Egypt to abide by the Israeli peace agreement as, according to the spokesman, the treaty is not signed with any particular president, but it was signed with the Egyptian people and nation.

The Camp David accord was signed During Anwar Sadat’s era in the early 70s, but public opinion was never brought into consideration. All the people who opposed the accord have resigned, been removed, or relocated to far posts away from the center. No party, aside from the ruling party, has ever been willing to support the accord. Egypt’s economic relationship with Israel started based on a condition set by the US government that Egypt had to make production facilities in joint cooperation with Israel in order to be able to export to the US market free of tariffs and customs charges. There have been no cultural exchanges between Israel and Egypt over the past 30 years and Egyptian artists who have traveled to Israel faced isolation at home. Israeli tourists would travel to Egypt and would return the same day without any stops. Taba is a city where one can see social intermingling between Egyptians and Israelis; it has become a place for gambling.

Even Israelis themselves admit that the peace accord with Israel never went beyond a “cold peace” agreement and the reason for this was the lack of acceptance among the Egyptian population. Even Mubarak was never ready to go to Israel.

Press TV

Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *