Martin Kramer is an authority on political governance throughout the Near East, he has written an interesting essay contrasting contemporary liberal Neo-Marxian view of hegemony with realism in the Tablet.
“In the Middle East, power is a zero sum game, domination by a benevolent hegemon creates order, and the regional balance of power is the foundation for peace and wealth creation. It is none other than the Pax Americana, and while it may be stressful to uphold, the alternative is more stressful still. As the impression of American power gains ascendancy we in the West will get a foretaste of ‘post American’ disorder. A struggle has now begun among the middle powers like Iran, Turkey and Israel to fill the vacuum. Iran floods Lebanon with rockets, Turkey sends a flotilla to Gaza, Israel sends an assassination squad to Dubai, these are all signs of an accelerating regional cold war.
The response in Washington from the Obama administration is to talk of settlement freezes or crippling sanctions. This is the illusion of power, not its substance. The Obama administration is bringing the U.S. out of the Middle East, to a position from which it believes it can ‘contain’ threats with diplomacy, deterrence and drones. As the United States decamps, its allies will feel greater insecurity, its enemies emboldened.”
THE MIDDLE EAST STRESS TEST HAS BEGUN!
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