The New Arab Oz

(Foreign Policy) Aaron David Miller - In little more than a year, a powerful tsunami of rebellion and revolt has washed away much of what was familiar to America in the Middle East. Once upon a time there were those authoritarian presidents and kings on whom America depended to help protect its interests. In exchange for their cooperation in matters of war, peace, oil, and security, the U.S. supported them and looked past their human rights abuses. America's traditional friends are either gone, trying to get by, or increasingly unhappy with Washington's policies. The oil-for-security bargain that cemented the U.S.-Saudi relationship has been weakened, and the recent brouhaha over the NGOs and military aid to Egypt heralds troubled days ahead. The Palestinians, who have no strategy themselves to gain a state, have all but given up on the possibility that Barack Obama has one. The Arabs still want America's security assistance and military hardware. And the Iranian bogeyman guarantees that the Gulf states still want and need American protection. The writer is a distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

2012-04-20 00:00:00

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