Ideas and ideologies carry large weight, especially if one takes the Arab world in political context. As citizens of the twenty first century, we often overlook the cause of the Arab region’s political distress and tension that seems to be so ubiquitous.
The United States needs a new perspective toward the Middle East. President Rohani gave a powerful sign that currents in Iranian politics could enable some degree of mutually agreeable negotiations with the United States. It is now time for the United States to break itself free from the mindset that has limited American foreign policy for the better part of the past two decades.
At present, the Egyptian political scene sees the negotiations over its constitution as its primary struggle for the future. The political climate, nonetheless, that will emerge is not bound by new laws: It is an ethos that will characterize how the country expresses its pluralistic interests for years to come.
The short-term goal of halting Iran’s nuclear program can and should be coupled with the long term goal of fostering a more democratic, open Iran, if only because the sanctions that target those worth targeting and a diplomacy that offers Iran a path to legitimacy are ultimately the solutions to both these issues.
For progress to be made, Lieberman must get over his distaste for Abbas, who is Israel’s best chance for a peace partner, and continue to craft unprecedented proposals. Ultimately, Prime Minister Netanyahu must show a willingness to negotiate on West Bank settlements if he desires a comprehensive peace.
Only progress on the basis of strength can weather the severe geopolitical and socioeconomic pressures that Iran faces. The only reasonable policy reformulations are those that ensure an internally strong state able to coordinate and direct the instruments of foreign and domestic policy at the level of state bureaucracies, especially in the realm of security.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been accused of many things throughout her political career. Yet until her visit to Egypt this past July, being a “Secret Islamist” was not one of them. Pulling up to the Four Seasons in Cairo, however, Clinton encountered a number of surprising allegations.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s rather literal interpretation the concept of a “red line” at the United Nations last month puzzled many, but it should draw as much worry as it draws laughter. It is no secret that Israel and the United States would prefer an Iran without nuclear weapons. Yet, the Obama administration’s disapproval of a unilateral Israeli strike and its lack of interest in initiating its own strike leave Israel in a rather awkward situation.
Just a little over a year has passed since the outset of the massive uprisings that shook Egypt and deposed one of the longest-ruling Middle Eastern leaders in modern history, and they are quickly passing from the realm of current events into history.