Politeía Digest

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Reuters: New limits for U.S. influence in Middle East

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(Reuters) – Events in Egypt, Bahrain and Syria illustrate the limits of U.S. influence in the Middle East following the Arab Spring and a U.S. reluctance, at times, to exercise such clout as it has. Court rulings in Egypt and in Bahrain this week, analysts say, show the ruling authorities’ desire to maintain their grip on power and the United States’ limited ability to shape events despite its general support for democracy. After decades in which Washington has been the region’s dominant outside player, deploying its military to guarantee the flow of oil and its diplomatic muscle to advance peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the pro-democracy demonstrations of the Arab Spring appear to have changed the equation. President Barack Obama’s early hopes of brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal have foundered. And U.S. blunders in Iraq, where violence persists nine years after a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, have also eroded U.S. credibility, Middle East analysts said. “When questions become ones of life and death, people are less interested in what the United States has to say,” said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington. “We have had a long relationship with the Egyptian military and when it comes to existential issues, they will listen politely but they strongly believe that they understand both their population and their national interest better than well-meaning Americans,” Alterman added. Read more  –  Reuters portal.

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Written by Theophyle

June 18, 2012 at 8:45 am

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