Obama’s New Colonial Vision for the Middle East
US President Barack Obama’s speech on US policy towards the Middle East was trailed as a landmark speech.
To most Muslims Obama’s speech will have seemed like the same deceitful American rhetoric, which does not match the reality of their killing of innocent people, support for dictators and exploitation of resources.
Obama’s speech was surely for a domestic audience. The latest Pew Public Opinion poll in Jordan, Turkey, Egypt + Palestine – after the uprisings in the Middle East – shows only 20%, or less of people are favourable to the United States. Obama cannot have believed he would affect this with such a speech.
Instead, he addressed his domestic audience explaining why America needed to stay engaged in the Middle East, and justifying why the US tax payer would be paying for aid in the region.
He was unashamed that the US policy for the region was for US interests first and foremost – and these interests were securing Israel, securing Oil supplies and preventing the rise of Islam [using the lies about preventing ‘terrorism’.]
He said: For decades, the United States has pursued a set of core interests in the region: countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel’s security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace. We will continue to do these things…We believe that no one benefits from a nuclear arms race in the region, or al Qaeda’s brutal attacks. We believe people everywhere would see their economies crippled by a cut-off in energy supplies.
He highlighted Egypt and Tunisia saying:
First, it will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy. That effort begins in Egypt and Tunisia, where the stakes are high -– as Tunisia was at the vanguard of this democratic wave, and Egypt is both a longstanding partner and the Arab world’s largest nation.
He seemed to be implying America wanted to try to steal Tunisia away from its traditional British and European colonial subjugation for its own interests.
Regarding Egypt, he stressed the importance of staying engaged and helping with funding. However, Stratfor the US analytical think tank confirmed on the same day the cosmetic nature of the changes: “It bears repeating that what happened in Egypt in January and February did not constitute a revolution. There was no regime change; there was regime preservation, through a carefully orchestrated military coup that used the 19 days of popular demonstrations against Mubarak as a smokescreen for achieving its objective….What changed was that for the first time since the 1960s, Egypt’s military found itself not just ruling, but actually governing, despite the existence of an interim government (which the SCAF itself appointed).”
Obama raised the spectre of sectarianism and religious conflict whilst ignoring the fact that under Khilafah people of different religions lived side by side in the region with justice and security,
Obama talked about the change sweeping the region but then threatened to ‘support’ the region with loans from the IMF and World Bank – something that has been disastrous for other regions of the world.
The speech strongly suggested the US wanted to engage in these countries for economic opportunities, liberalising the markets and thus maintaining their exploitation. Crucially he said
…it’s important to focus on trade, not just aid; on investment, not just assistance. The goal must be a model in which protectionism gives way to openness…. America’s support for democracy will therefore be based on ensuring financial stability, promoting reform, and integrating competitive markets with each other and the global economy. And we’re going to start with Tunisia and Egypt
First, we’ve asked the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to present a plan at next week’s G8 summit for what needs to be done to stabilize and modernize the economies of Tunisia and Egypt….
Second….we will relieve a democratic Egypt of up to $1 billion in debt, and work with our Egyptian partners to invest these resources to foster growth and entrepreneurship. We will help Egypt regain access to markets by guaranteeing $1 billion in borrowing that is needed to finance infrastructure and job creation. …
Third, we’re working with Congress to create Enterprise Funds to invest in Tunisia and Egypt. …
Many people have talked about a Marshal Plan for the Middle East without recalling that the post world war II plan for Europe and Japan left these nations indebted to America for half a century.
He hypocritically ignored US support for Mubarak, Assad, al-Khalifa and others for decades, whilst pleading that he was on the side of the people!
He also repeated the same proposal for occupied Palestine – a so-called ‘two-state solution’ – on condition the Palestinians recognise Israel – also mentioning Israel had a right to maintain its own security but the future Palestine should be demilitarised.
The lies of Obama’s speech can be exposed by looking at US policy towards Pakistan – where the US still bombs, immerses its security forces, and maintains corrupt politicians for its own ends. It can be exposed by the US support for the fascist Hassina government in Bangladesh.
The people of the Muslim world should see Obama’s solutions for the region as threats – because surely that is what they are. That is the United States intervening to maintain its control and exploitation for its own ends.
We should not allow this, and instead look to real change under the Khilafah state – that would replace these tyrants and dictators, remove the occupation of Muslim land, and rule in the interests of the people – by the Kitab and Sunnah.