What to Do in the Middle East
A Proposal for a General Settlement
Western policy in the Middle East has for the moment come to a dead end. Twelve months ago the Suez debacle eliminated Britain and France as active influences in the Arab world. Now the Syrian crisis has destroyed whatever utility the Eisenhower Doctrine ever had as a foundation for American activity. If the main aim of Western policies, as their sponsors claimed, was to keep the Russians out of the Middle East, they have achieved the opposite: for the first time since the end of the war, all the Arab states have lined up with Russia against the West.
Indeed the situation is even worse than it seems. After Suez all the Western governments swore that they would never again allow themselves to tread different paths in the Middle East. But what has happened? Each of the major Western powers (except Germany) has picked on a different Middle Eastern state as its own particular client, and is committed to pursue its client’s special interests against the rest. America has chosen Saudi Arabia, Britain sticks to Iraq, France has settled on Israel, and now Italy has turned to Iran. There is no sign that the Western powers are trying to harmonize either their own policies in the Middle East, or those of their clients.
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