They however fail to see the strategic linkage in the U.S. foreign policy. Israel is the most trusted ally of United States in the region. It has the same strategic interest as the United States and has a firm foundation of democratic support.
The Arab governments on the other hand are unpopular, non-democratic and are in power due to the western interest in maintaining the status quo. Overthrow of the Shah of Iran, a most trusted ally of United States shows that the governments maintained in power by western support without the popular support could not be relied upon for maintaining U.S. strategic interests in the region.
Saddam Hussein of Iraq is another example of a government following pro-U.S. policy and then working against its strategic interests in the region. Dictator Saddam Hussein was a virtual proxy in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) and protector of the pro-American dynastic regimes. His involvement in activities detrimental to U.S. strategic interests has destabilized the region for the last two decades and has been the cause of two wars.
US Foreign Policy and Israel-Arab Countries
United States has long recognized Israel as its prime ally in the region. United States saw Israel and Iran (in the days of the Shah) as its proxy in the region. New York Times in its June 1966 issue wrote, "The United States has come to the conclusion that it can no longer respond to every incident around the world, that it must rely on local power, the deterrent of a friendly power as a first line to stave off America's direct involvement. Israel feels that it fits this definition." A spokesman for the Israeli foreign office expressed that readiness on 11 June 1966. Israel, a trusted ally has always been willing to play that role. When Egypt and Syria formed the United Arab Republic (UAR), United States saw it as an 'obstacle to peace'. A congressional Committee declared UAR as the principal obstacle to peace in April 1967 just before the Six Day War, which resulted in Israel occupying large areas of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Nixon doctrine of using strategic consensus to use local surrogates supports Israel role in U.S. foreign policy.
The 1967 Arab-Israel war was a great success for Israel. It also helped U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East by forcing the Arab countries to recognize that they cannot continue with the policy of isolating Israel and refusing to recognize Israel. The war forced Palestinian Liberation Authority (PLO) to finally recognize that in return for control over the territories of West Bank and Gaza they could accept the existence of the State of Israel. President Sadaat of Egypt made peace with Israel in return for most of the territories occupied by Israel. Jordan gave up claim on the West Bank territory occupied by Israel for use as a future Palestinian State and recognized Israel. All of these changes took place with the active support of United States.
Israel-U.S. relationship is the most important and reliable part of the U.S. foreign policy. The Arab countries, even those, which have recognized Israel, remain in the hands of autocratic government and the political arrangement in these countries remains subject to U.S. pleasure and suppression of democracy. It still has little support from the masses and the role of Israel as the policeman of the region and proxy of United States remains an important part of U.S. foreign policy for the region.
US Foreign Policy in the Middle East and Western Europe
During the Cold War, United States foreign policy needed allies and a multilateral approach to the world issues. After World War 2, NATO, World Bank and United Nations were the instruments of choice for implementing U.S. foreign policy. United States started moving away from the multilateral policy after the end of the Cold War.
Saddam Hussein's unprovoked attack on U.S. ally Kuwait and launching of Scud missiles on Israel required U.S. To take action to remove this ally turned belligerent ruler from power. When 11 years of sanctions failed to remove Saddam from power, United States had to take necessary action to remove him from power. Like other Arab rulers supporting U.S. policies in the region, Saddam Hussein had been in power for close to 20 years. Ten more years of rule under UN imposed sanctions also failed to dislodge him.
The U.S. allies in Western Europe wanted to give the sanctions more time to work but years of searches for weapons of mass destruction had not resulted in any discoveries. United States in its impatience decided to go it alone. [Prestowitz, 2003] says, "U.S. moved away from multilateral actions in 1991 after the break up of the Soviet Union and the first Gulf war. Since 9/11, America's unilateral actions have become rampant. Now, we have coalitions of the willing." [Prestowitz, 2003] blames the fundamentalist Christian influence for preventing in resolving the Middle East problem. "The Christian right is more Israeli that the Israelis.
When United States decided to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Germany and France opposed the move. Britain being a traditional ally joined the coalition of willing as did many other countries not a part of traditional alliance. The Iraq War has proved somewhat embarrassing for U.S. And UK foreign policy as all reasons for attacking Iraq have been proved incorrect. Moreover, the war, which was supposed to end in a short campaign, has developed into a quagmire. All kinds of fundamentalists, terrorists and anti-American Arabs have joined the war to create terror in the country and keep the United States involved in this war.
The Arab population sees U.S. policy in the Middle East as anti-Arab [Nakhoul, 2002], support for dictators and kings to retain status quo is also seen as the reason for prolonging unrepresentative rulers upon these countries. Al Qaeda the terrorist organization founded by Osama Bin Laden recruited its sympathizers from these fanatics. Middle East has seen more than its fair share of terrorists due to the desire to retain status quo, as peaceful and democratic elements in the Arab countries have been suppressed as communist sympathizers and enemies of the government.
The present support of Israel attack for Lebanon may eliminate many Hezbollah fighters but as European countries and many of the Western European nations fear, it may convert the present moderates into radicals and in effect leave a worse situation for the Middle East.
The present support of Bush government for Israeli attack on Lebanon to eliminate Hezbollah terrorist may end leaving more problems for U.S. foreign policy to solve.
Aruri, N., The U.S. And the Arabs: a woeful history - U.S. Middle East policy, Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), 1997
Nakhoul, S., Arabs Seethe with Anger at U.S. Mideast Policy, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Volume: 21. Issue: 9. Publication Date: December 2002.
Nixon's State of the World Message, The New York Times, 4 November 1969
Prestowitz, C., Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions, 2003, Cited by Pasquini, E., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Volume 22, Issue 8, October 2003.
The Eisenhower Doctrine, The Department of State Bulletin, XXXV1, No. 917 (January 21, 1957), pp. 83-87.
Wikipedia Encyclopedia, History of the Middle East, 2006, Retrieved from " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Middle_East"
Yaqub, S., Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004
On the other hand many, if not all, of the nations of the Middle East are aware of the danger that stems from International Communism and welcome closer cooperation with the United States to realize for themselves the United Nations goals of independence, economic well-being and spiritual growth
In his doctrine, Eisenhower sought approval from the Congress for, first of all, authorize the United States to cooperate with and assist any nation or group of nations in the general area of the Middle East in the development of economic strength dedicated to the maintenance of national independence.
In the second place, authorize the Executive to undertake in the same region programs of military assistance and cooperation with any nation or group of nations, which desires such aid. In the third place, authorize such assistance and cooperation to include the employment of the armed forces of the United States to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid, against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by International Communism.
Kennedy devised a new strategy of "flexible response" to deal with the U.S.S.R. Crafted with the aid of foreign policy veteran Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara, the flexible response doctrine was meant to allow the president to combat Soviet advances around the world through a variety of means. In other words, Kennedy could send money or troops to fight Communist insurgents, authorize the CIA to topple an…