A Middle East Without America?

By Pat Buchanan   

The fever sweeping the Middle East is now coursing through Libya, Yemen, Iran and Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based.

In all four nations, state violence is being used to crush the rebels, and regime survival hangs on whether security forces and the army stand behind the government or stand aside.

A new Middle East is dawning. What will it look like?

Perhaps the nation to study is Turkey, which has already gone through a democratic and dramatic transformation.

In 2000, Turkey was a reliable U.S. ally, a friend to Israel, an aspiring candidate for membership in the EU. Since then, Turkey has set a different course, welcomed by her people, that has measurably enhanced her prestige.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime is far more Islamic than any Turkish government since the caliphate. He and his Justice and Development Party have effected constitutional reforms to curb the power of the judiciary and military, guardians of the secular state established by Kemal Ataturk in 1923. Scores of generals have been indicted for treason.

Turkey refused President George W. Bush permission to use its territory to invade Iraq. Denied a fast track to membership in the EU, Turkey now looks to the south and east. Relations with Syria have been repaired. Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been welcomed in Istanbul.

To the rage of Hillary Clinton, the Turks and Brazil cut a deal with Iran to transfer half the low-enriched uranium at Natanz out of the country. This was seen as undercutting U.S. policy. When the U.N. imposed the latest sanctions on Iran, Turkey voted no.

“The Turks are out of their lane,” said a U.S. diplomat.

Indeed they are. And as Turkey moves out of America’s orbit, she is moving back into a Muslim world much of which she ruled for centuries. A sure sign is the bristling hostility to Israel, with which Turkey has had close political and military ties.

At Davos in 2009, in a debate with Shimon Peres about the Gaza war, Erdogan shouted at Israel’s president, “You know well how to kill,” stormed out and flew home to a hero’s welcome.

Eight of the nine dissidents shot by Israeli commandos in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla trying to run the blockade were Turks. Erdogan’s backing of the flotilla and condemnation of Israel for a “bloody massacre” made him and Turkey more admired in Gaza than are Iran and Ahmadinejad.

After that first week of demonstrations in Cairo, when Hosni Mubarak announced he would not run again for president, America dithered, but Erdogan declared that Mubarak should resign immediately.

“The (Egyptian) people expect a very different decision from Mubarak,” Erdogan said. “The current administration does not inspire trust so far as the democratic change wanted by the population is concerned.”

Erdogan abruptly canceled his February visit to Egypt.

What, then, are the crucial elements of the new Turkish policy?

First, a new deference and respect for Islam. Second, make Turkey the champion of the causes of the Arab and Muslim masses, foremost among which is the cause of the Palestinian people. Third, defy the United States and denounce Israel.

What the Turks are about has been called “neo-Ottomanism,” a 21st century policy to reclaim the position they held for centuries.

As the British elbowed aside the Ottoman Turks and the Americans shouldered aside the British after Suez, now it is America that appears to be the receding power in the Middle East and Turkey the rising power.

Indeed, the American hour seems to be rapidly approaching its end.

In weeks, President Ben Ali, our man in Tunis, was overthrown. Mubarak, our man in Egypt for 30 years, was overthrown. Hezbollah became the real power in the Lebanese government. The king of Jordan dismissed his prime minister and cabinet. For the first time, voices are speaking against the royal family, especially the king’s wife.

The Palestinian Authority has been discredited by Wikileaks documents revealing the concessions it was prepared to make for a tiny rump state on the West Bank. Benjamin Netanyahu forced President Obama to back down completely from his demands that Israel halt new construction in East Jerusalem and all expansion of settlements on the West Bank. The Middle East peace process is dead.

Our ally, the king of Bahrain, is now under siege. President Saleh of Yemen, our ally against al-Qaida, has been forced to pledge he will not run again in 2013, nor will his son. Pakistan is aflame with anti-Americanism.

By year’s end, all U.S. troops are to be out of Iraq, where the influence of Iran is rising and the man behind the throne is the anti-American Muqtada al-Sadr.

The U.S. press is transfixed by all this, but a question arises: What vital interest of a United States staring at bankruptcy would be imperiled if we got out of the way, stopped fighting these countries’ wars and paying these countries’ bills and let these people determine their own future for good or ill?

(Patrick Joseph “Pat” Buchanan is an American conservative political commentatorauthorsyndicated columnistpolitician andbroadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard NixonGerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN‘sCrossfire. He sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996. He ran on the Reform Party ticket in the 2000 presidential election).

Note:This is a cross post from  www.creators.com .

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Comments

  • Archie Haase  On February 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Either the United States change it’s course in this region of the Islamic world with dignified grace, or it will be forced upon them with less dignity.

    • BS Detector  On February 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Europe is working with the US quietly to change course in the Mideast. The question most are asking how does a safe and secure Israel fit into a new Mideast model?

  • AM  On February 24, 2011 at 1:28 am

    While reading at the tail end it need to be written that he is also the jew, who has tried to twist the facts even in this article
    am

  • Javed Chaudhry  On February 24, 2011 at 1:30 am

    It would have been more appropriate to title Buchanan’s narrative as: A Middle East without American Compradors. Better yet, The Muslim countries without American installed Puppet Rulers.

    The major difference between the psyche of the Turks and other Muslim countries in the Middle East is that the Turks have not been enslaved by the Western colonial masters, while most of the Middle east has been British or French colonies after WWI. Same applies to the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

    Turkey went through major ideological makeover under Kamal Ata Turk while in India, Nehru putting a lid on feudal system and jageerdars, put the country on democratic footings. The countries in Middle East and Pakistan have not been fortunate enough to adapt a system like Turkey or India.

    The compradors or the puppets running the Middle East countries have never made an effort to build their nations, they are only interested to build their clans and extended families to enable them to rule as long as practically possible. Pakistan is an example of that.

    Recently when the American terrorist Davis issue came up, the clan ruling in Islamabad were quick to declare Davis’s immunity – quite understandable for the puppets to please their masters in Washington completely ignoring Pakistan’s national interests.

    Jumping into the American war on terror in 2001 was another very unwise decision made by Musharraf whose primary interest was self preservation rather than weigh up the situation in terms of national interests. The present regime is carrying out the same policies with even more vigor to show their worth as compliant puppets to those who put them in power through NRO.

    Observing what has happened since 9/11, Gen. Hamid Gul is quite right in saying that 9/11 was an excuse, Afghanistan is the place the Americans want to stay and Pakistan is the main target as has the potential to progress and be economically and technologically independent. American took care of its potential to do better.

    Let us hope that all the countries currently being run by American puppets will soon stand up and take what is theirs’. They will have to, no doubt struggle as have Tunisians and Egyptians.

  • Parvez Amin  On February 24, 2011 at 1:55 am

    The US would gain immeasurably if it got out of the way and stopped supporting its puppets. Each country must be left alone and may seek and accept help if it chooses to do so.

  • Syed Idrees  On February 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

    jo bhi America per TRUST kera ga wo aik din isi tera berbad ho ga

  • Tanvir  On February 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Its a LOve and Hate..hate & Love ..Hate Hate Love Love..Curse Curse Praise Praise Erratic windy and breezee Realtionship..at the face dial of seasons..

  • Salimullah  On February 24, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Selfish Americans

  • Admiral Iftikhar Sirohey  On February 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

    The people have decided to change and recast their own destiny. May be this generation will shake the inferiority complex embedded in their psyche of centuries old slavery, subjugation and passivity. The oppression of the colonial ruler had been sustained by their chosen rulers of the nominally freed, mostly Islamic countries. Algeria started the movement and have spread Eastward. It shall not stop till all the alien influences are eliminated. I see it not too far away.

    Where nominal, though poisonous and sham, democracy does exist it will be forced to change by true democracy. The Islamic world shall revert to its true faith and rise to greatness exponentially. The Western world including the US shall have to restrict themselves to their own problems. They are in serious economic melt down and there may be major changes in their boundaries, organisations and election mechanism.

    Our pervasive corruption has taken a great toll on the lives of the majority. It has reached a point beyond tolerance. The younger generation is awakening motivated by what has been going on the ME. The consequence here could be very dangerous.

    IAS

  • K.B Khawaja  On February 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Thanks. Very thought provoking.

    K. Bajwa

  • Rafiq  On February 25, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Quite frankly, I find comments on these circuits so idiotic, I do not even wish to put a comment. Well, let me try some today:

    “jo bhi America per TRUST kera ga wo aik din isi tera berbad ho ga” – Quite frankly, I will trust America more against you.

    “Love and Hate” – Find your dear endearments, forget about US;Concentrate on bijli, paani, gas, pyyaz, daal; come on; raise your antena.

    “Selfish Americans” – Oh my God – Give me an angels out here – quite frankly, I will trust a westerner better than a Pakistani.

    I am not anti Pakistan/US – I only believe in “Khudi ko kar bulund itna —–“ ~ Iqbal

    • Tanvir Siddiqui  On February 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

      Mian Sb: I now know quite well about how your antena is raised…Come back Home and lets try to make it together…Nice talking about Khudee while sitting in your cool & cozy places..The Heat not that what at time for your works you face out there in deserts the actual heat is within…

      • Rafiq Mian  On February 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

        Tanvir Bhaii: Zahay Naseeb !!!!! Aap jessa qadar-dan – aor hum ko kyya mangta?

        Lekin, dost ab iss Reymond ki chutee kara deo. Aor bhee bHaaree takaleef haiN – iss humari tHakee huuee, dar ba-dar kee tHokareN kHayee huui qaom kay daman main.

        I think we waste our energies in useless avenues and ignore our life saving essential causes.

        Pakistan aanay ka to rehta hay, this time InshaAllah, in mid year. Next month, I am off to the US for a month. We shall get together, InshaAllah.

        Adios !

      • Tanvir Siddiqui  On February 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

        For God sake dont be so sadist…aap ki nuzur mein Jo kooch iss Ray Daaoos Mallaoon ne kya hai wo kooch bhi nahee? Bhaeejee Aap k Khayallat jaanannay k baad moojhay aap se milnay ka ub wo ishtiaaq nahi raha..Khoosh Rahyay Muggunn Rahiyay upnay khurchay pe.lol

      • Rafiq Mian  On February 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

        “Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.” W. H. Auden

        “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Thomas Jefferson

        Hamara ishtiiaq kuch zyyada he ho gaya – Tanvir Bhaii – muskoraya kareN !!!!!!

      • Tanvir Siddiqui  On February 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

        Mian sb: love you from the North West Corner of my Heart…

  • Archie Haase  On February 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Good for Pat. Although I am at opposite ends of most of his thinking he gets some things right. To those that might wonder Pat is not a Jew he is a traditional Catholic.

    Listen —- I am a flag waving American patriot. However it does not take a PhD in middle east studies to understand something is wrong with American policy in the region. It seems to me it fails in understanding the reality on the ground. It has to be, or at least incompetent. I can think of no other reason why American resources are being poured into Afghanistan, and the worthless war in Iraq. . Just the fact this man Ray Davis is in trouble has to expose US foreign policy failures. The great black hope for many of us Americans Obama has shown he is in a job far above his understandings, and it seems capability.

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