When the Middle East is mentioned most Americans just shake their heads and make some indistinguishable sounds……
It all began with the Sykes-Picot Agreement……https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Sykes-Picot_Agreement ……..and but it was the Balfour Declaration that made most of the problems today…..a short but sweet statement…..
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
And so it begins…….
Fast forward to the desk of FDR…….
There is no question that the Middle East Arab-Israeli-oil situation is one of the world’s most enduring and vexing problems. Almost every economically significant country in the world has a major stake in how this scenario plays out and most countries orient and arrange a large part of their foreign policy and energy strategy with Middle East considerations front and center in their planning.
What if the United States had been presented with the opportunity to circumvent the Mid-East Jewish-Arab-oil crisis before it had a chance to metastasize into the worldwide scourge it is today? The opportunity did, in fact, present itself in 1945. Unfortunately, the United States—under FDR—failed to capitalize on it and thus the world today lives in constant danger caused by the flashpoint of those seemingly unending, unsolvable regional tensions.
The missed opportunity was the result of FDR’s mishandling of his historic meeting with King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud of Arabia on Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal on Feb. 14, 1945. FDR’s actions here essentially created the 70+ year economic and political tensions and conflicts regarding oil that continue to afflict international relationships and define the national security and oil acquisition strategy of virtually every developed country in the world today. Most of the damaging international energy related circumstances in the present-day world were set in motion by FDR’s actions at that meeting.
And then there is another view……
But again, the European powers were the ones who actually divided the region that once existed as the Ottoman Empire. After the first World War, the victors went on to partition the large Islamic State into several smaller nations. The problem was not only that there was no natural boundary, such as rivers and mountains, that separated the very similar groups of people, but also the direct and indirect colonization of those states by Britain and France. People who shared a common history, religion, language and culture had to live within those arbitrarily drawn boundaries, and under foreign control. In addition, the British promise to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, as well as the free movement of a large number of Jews from Europe to the region, further infuriated the Arab people. The Jews were seen as rivals who took Arab’s land and jobs.
At this point, the United States had a benevolent image in the Middle East, because it had restrained itself from interfering in the region in the name of national and economic interests. Instead, the U.S. entered the region as a diplomatic ally with several lucrative characteristics, such as industrialization, economic expansion and western systems of market and economy. The Middle Eastern nations believed these would improve their lives. The Arab nations saw hope in the United States in the aftermath of WWI and leading into WWII.
Yada….Yada…..and then there is Donald Trump and he had/has a plan (put a invoice his son-in-law in charge of finding a Middle East peace)……with tht said what is Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s “Big” plan?
That’s not to say their respective policies are remotely the same. Beneath these continuities lie significant shifts in emphasis that, unless corrected, risk doing serious damage to America’s interests and position. As Trump embarks on his first trip to the Middle East as president and the region wonders what to expect, I see four trends—one encouraging, and three worrying—that have emerged:
There are some that think they have the answer to a region that has few true answers……(I do not agree with most of this op-ed)…..
This is how the United States can pursue its interests in the Middle East and make the region safer for America and its allies.
The United States is a global power with global interests and responsibilities. Protecting these interests hinges on access to the commons (sea, space, air, cyberspace) and stability in Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific region (the great trading centers).
In some ways the Middle East is the most important of these three regions. It is the intersection of commercial air and sea travel between the other key regions. It is a global energy hub, a lynchpin of international financial networks and a crossroads for human migration. Much of what is good (and evil) in the world is based in the Middle East or passes through it.
One of the most out there solutions was one that the MSM overlooked to focus on something else……Trump will ask the Saudis to pay for his “deal of the Century”……
For an administration not exactly famed for strategic patience and deliberative policymaking, President Trump’s push for an impending Middle East “deal of the century” could be a notable outlier.
Trump administration officials have spent the past two years quietly pursuing back-channel communications with wealthy Gulf Arab powers and Palestinian business leaders in preparation for the much-anticipated rollout of a major peace plan aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all.
Just a short look at what is the Middle East and why it is such a complicated mess.