NEWS BLOG (WSAU) We’re impotent in the Middle East. Our ability to manage events in that part of the world, which was limited when we carried the big stick, is now almost nothing.
We provide no shelter for our friends. Israel openly says it will go-it-alone to stop Iran’s nuclear program. We spar in public with our best ally, and the only democracy, in the region.
Gone are the strong men who, for better or worse, kept a lid on violence. Surely the Egyptian street would have scaled our embassy walls many times in the past if it weren’t for Hosni Bubark or the military that collects $8-billion in foreign aid from the U.S. It’s significant that the latest violence comes from Egypt and Libya, the two nations we reached out to. Egypt was Barack Obama’s first foreign trip, where he gave his outreach speech to the Muslim world. Less than a year ago, Libya was where American ammunition and NATO planes stopped a massacre.
Now we are better at apologizing for offending than we are for articulating our values of free-speech and free-expression.
Why would any of these nations want to be our ally? We’re unpopular with their populations, and we don’t bring the muscle or diplomacy to offer any umbrella to any government there.
In the middle east, we’ve been reduced to shoppers in a store. They sell oil. We buy it. Our influence there doesn’t go much beyond ‘customer’.