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Time for Arabs to ‘Reduce Dependency’ on the United States (China Daily, People’s Republic of China)


Given the changes taking place in the Arab world and the way the interests of Arab states were harmed by the results of the Iraq War, is it time for Arab countries to start distancing themselves from Washington? This editorial from China’s state-run China Daily advises Arabs that in a fast changing world, they would be better off ending their traditional dependence on America.




April 23, 2012


People’s Republic of China - China Daily – Original Article (English)

President Obama shakes hands with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, at the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, March 26.


NO COMMENT TV: Tightrope walker conquers China's Enshi Grand Canyon, April 22, 00:00:57RealVideo

There is a general impression around the world that Arab peoples do not like the United States. At a national level, it could be said that Arab countries both “hate” and “like” America.


Their interests are not completely aligned


Most observers generally believe that the U.S. has five major interests in the Middle East: first, guaranteeing Israel’s security; second, making sure oil supplies and prices are stable; third, cracking down on terrorism; fourth, preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and becoming a regional hegemon; and fifth, spreading the values of democracy and human rights.


For their part, the key concern of Arab countries is to have a peaceful and stable external environment which would allow them to boost economic development and revive the wider “Arab nation.” There are times that Arab nations and the United States have common interests. For example, to guarantee a steady oil price, the United States uses its powerful naval fleet to safeguard navigation in the Persian Gulf, and since many Arab countries rely on the petrol-dollar, they are more than willing to see convoys of U.S. ships. And with Arab states concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, they are very supportive of strict U.S. sanctions against Iran and even the use of military force to threaten it.


But there are also deep contradictions between America and the Arab countries. One is the way the United States invariably stands alongside Israel, whereas most Arab countries support Palestine. America’s unprincipled protection of Israel aggravates many Arabs.


On other occasions, Arab nations and the United States appear to share interests but in fact, they do not. The latest example was the Iraq War launched in 2003. Under the pretexts that the Saddam regime possessed weapons of mass destruction and supported terrorism, the United States invaded Iraq, with the tacit support of most Arab countries.


But after the Saddam government was overthrown, Iraq failed to achieve stability and development. After the Iraq War, the United States oversaw a democratic election in Iraq and established a Shiite administration. This was a great disappointed to Arab states which are for the most part dominated by Sunnis.


Even Saudi Arabia considers the Iraq War a complete failure. Because bound up with the war was America’s initiative for a “Greater Middle East.” In the meantime, Iraq’s democratic “model” is extremely fragile, completely unconvincing and has failed to result in any positive effects.


Reducing dependence on the United States


Regarding Syria, relations between the U.S. and Arab countries again have shown two sides. The Arab League originally proposed the “Arab peace initiative,” which was bad for Syria President Bashar al-Assad and almost completely in sync with the narrative of the West. However, at the recently held Arab League Summit, the tone of most attendees became more conciliatory, supporting the mission to find a peaceful resolution by Kofi Annan, special envoy of the U.N. and Arab League. This is a step back from the standpoint of the West. The Gulf countries continue to work closely with the United States to overthrow the Assad government, but other Arab states don’t want to see external intervention result in chaos in Syria.



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Korean Central, North Korea: The U.S. 'Should Be Cursed' By All Koreans

Korean Central, North Korea: 'Japanese Militarists' Prepare for Reinvasion of Korea

BBC News, U.K.: Xi Jinping and America's Nostalgic Self Indulgence

Telegraph, U.K.: China’s Leader: Wined, Dined ... and Warned

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Taipei Times, Taiwan: Despite a Renewed U.S. Pledge, Asia Arms Race Heats Up

Global Times, China: U.S. and Beijing Disagree on Obama's Chinese Name

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Taiwan News: Inadequate U.S. Arms Deal Shows Failure of Taiwan President

Global Times, China: U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan 'Not Necessarily Bad'

Die Tageszeitung, Germany: Taiwan Arms Sales a Gut Check for U.S.

Rceczpospolita, Poland: China Feels Her Oats at America's Expense

China Daily, China: U.S. Weapons Sale to Taiwan will 'Sour Ties'
Taiwan News, Taiwan: Taiwan Leader Welcomes American Weapons Deal  



Right now, Western countries led by the United States want to topple the Assad government, but not by themselves. Arab countries want the international community, particularly the United States, to pressure Syria, but not directly intervene militarily. This situation is actually the result of a chronic problem: Arab countries lack an independent diplomatic strategy.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Regarding the structure of the Middle East, Arab states have a common rival in Iran, and therefore they need the help of the U.S. to contain Iran. Meanwhile, Arab nations also have a common enemy in Israel, and therefore they are dissatisfied with a U.S. that always takes Israel's side.


This “like-hate” relationship with the U.S. will continue in the short term. But 2011 was full of changes and opportunity. The United States killed Osama bin Laden and withdrew its forces from Iraq; and its dependence on Middle East oil dropped to less than 15 percent of its annual imports. In addition, the tremendous changes taking place in Arab states greatly reduced American enthusiasm for exporting democracy to the region. The interests and presence of the U.S. in the Middle East are gradually diminishing. This is therefore a good time for Arab countries to foster their own independent diplomatic strategies and gradually reduce their dependence on the United States.



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[Posted by Worldmeets.US April 25, 5:09pm]



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