Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
If the American era in the Middle East is ending, as argued by some analysts, what is likely to replace it? Chaos? Self-determination? Iranian hegemony? A new caliphate?
- David Ignatius & Fareed Zakaria
First, let me say that the American era in the Middle East is not ending, and the mentioned analysts are wrong.
America is having problems and clearly needs to change and adjust some of her policies, but her Middle East era is not ending precisely for the answers sought to the question asked by Messrs. Ignatius and Zakaria: there is no regional or global player nearly as strong as the US to fill the void. The possibility of chaos is very real. However, the moral dilemmas faced by the US if it were to leave the Middle East to burn in chaos must be enough reason to keep her involved. As to self-determination, I don't see the American involvement in the Middle East as a hurdle, but an aid to that end: Even in Iraq, which is host to a few hundred thousand American and allied forces, it is not self-determination which is threatened, but security, and that only by ideology-driven terrorists, disgruntled Sunnis, and angry Shiites. If anything, the American presence has brought elections that are the primary tools for self-determination.
American era is not ending, and for the better.