Jewish World Review Aug 30, 2012/ 12 Elul, 5772
The Humpty-Dumpty Middle East
By Victor Davis Hanson
America is in the midst of the greatest domestic gas and oil revolution since the early 20th century. If even guarded predictions about new North American reserves are accurate, over the next decade the entire continent may become energy-independent, without much need of petroleum imports from the
America's diminishing reliance on the Persian Gulf coincides with mounting Chinese dependency on Middle Eastern oil and gas. So as the Persian Gulf becomes less important to us, it grows even more critical to the oil-hungry, cash-laden -- and opportunistic -- Chinese.
After two wars in the
The usual Arab complaint against
After the Gulf War of 2003, there was widespread new anger about the use of American arms to force-feed democracy down the throat of
Let's get this all straight. America has been damned for its Machiavellian shenanigans in supporting authoritarian governments; for its naive idealism in using force to implant democracies; for its ambivalence in not using force to protect democratic protestors; and for its recent isolationism in ignoring ongoing Arab violence. Why, then, bother?
There are other growing fault lines. The old conventional wisdom was that Sunni Muslims shared Israeli fears of a Persian bomb on the horizon. The new conventional wisdom is that the Arab masses that are propelling the Muslim Brotherhood into power in
The subtext of Middle Eastern anti-Americanism is that the region, if given a chance, will embrace its own brand of freedom But that does not appear to be happening in
Newly elected Egyptian President
Note that anti-Americanism was often attributed to the unique unpopularity of Texan
Yet recent polls show that Obama is even less popular in the
Staggering U.S. debt also explains the impending divorce. With
Perhaps soon the problem will be that we simply will not have enough power to use it for much of anything -- and would have to ask the U.N. for permission if we did.
Usually nothing good comes from American isolationism, especially given our key support for a vulnerable democratic
And no one knows how to -- or whether we even should -- put it together again.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2012, TMS