When a militarily powerful country tries to govern the affairs of millions of people on the other side of the planet, we shouldn’t be surprised that chaos results …
That’s of the grab from my latest piece in Inside Story, commenting on the utter incoherence of US (and therefore Australian) policy in the Middle East. An extended version:
How could it be otherwise? A rich and militarily powerful country has taken it upon itself to govern the affairs of millions of people on the other side of the planet, of whom it knows nothing. Its emissaries routinely elevate particular individuals, ethnic groups, religious sects and political parties as favourites, then just as quickly dump them in favour of new friends. Its tools vary randomly from overwhelming force to plaintive exhortation, with no clear or consistent rationale.
The key observation is that, with the exception of slavish obedience to the whims of the Netanyahu government, the US has switched sides on almost every conflict in the Middle East in the space of a couple of years.
My policy recommendation to the US is
an announcement that, from now on, the people of the Middle East would be left to sort out their problems for themselves. In particular, it would be useful to state that the United States has no strategic concern with Middle Eastern oil, and that energy policy is a matter for individual countries to determine according to their own priorities.
Inside Story doesn’t appear to take comments so read there (lots of other interesting stuff) and comment here.