American Politics And The Middle East

2190 words - 9 pages

Unlike most Europeans countries, the United States of America enjoyed a rather healthy relationship with Middle East nations during the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Possibly, this was due to the fact that the US had little or no interest in colonizing countries in the region. On the contrary, it largely participated in philanthropic and educational activities therefore attracting positive perception among the Middle East people. However, after the world war II the situation begun to change. The US, after fully appreciating the strategic value of the region, opted to increase its interest there. Particular to ensure it does not lose control of the region’s natural resources (chiefly oil), protecting Israel (which was a newly established state and possibly are strategic America ally), and finally, prevent the Soviet Union from dominating the nation (Russel & Ghabra 2003).
Background of Middle East-America Resentment
America’s role in the establishing of Israel marked the beginning of resentment among many Arabs and Muslims communities (Evara, Stratmann & Natta 2007). With this political stand, the US was forced to adopt policies that conflicted with major political movements in the region, namely secular pan-Arabism and Islamic fundamentalism. Egypt was on the forefront pushing for the first movement; it described its position on the Middle East and the rest of the world. Both the movements called for unity among the Muslim and Arabic community. Consequently they alienated the western countries, to an extent of advocating for violence. In 1991 the relationship was complicated further when the US led the gulf war against Iraq. However the more recent September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America soil highlighted the full scale of the resentment US participation in the Middle East had attracted (Russel & Ghabra 2003). According to Chapman & Fareed (2007) it pointed out that such actions by the US Government can put its citizen at a risk of being attacked by disgruntled individuals and or nations. In response, the administration at the time resolved to use its military might to combat terrorism. Without wasting time, it launched attacked overthrowing any regime that was perceived to be favoring terrorism. The Taliban, in Afghanistan, and Sadaam Hussein regime, in Iraqi were the major causality (Chapman & Fareed 2007).
Not every one was in agreement with the response the US administration adopted. Major criticism begun to emerge when it was clear these actions were provoking more Islamist radical groups into action. Possibly to justify their position, the Bush administration argued that its main priority was to promote democracy in the Middle East region. With the region enjoying an increase freedom and a functioning administration, the then US government hoped it would build an alliance that would help reduce greatly the activities of these radical groups. Nevertheless, critiques cited that imposing western style...

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