The ambiguous and cautious position adopted by Washington towards the ongoing developments in Egypt has raised many questions regarding what the United States is really looking for in the most populated Arab country.
Historically speaking, the current imperialist system is a product of continuous chaos in various parts of the world. The capitalist states have always tried to create crises in other countries to guarantee their political life. Since the start of the Arab Spring, the United States and its allies have revived their old doctrine of establishing the Greater Middle East. In the eyes of the U.S. government Arab’s journey towards a democratic political system is a controlled process which should not harm Washington’s interests in the region.
The rise of Islamists to power in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, which happened in a completely democratic way, was not in line with U.S. policies, although U.S. officials pretended that they support the will of the people for change. Even after Mohammed Morsi won the election in Egypt, the then U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton declared Washington’s full support for Morsi and explicitly called on generals to give up power and return to barracks. However, it later became clear that the support was only a trap to undermine the popularity of the Islamists and show that they lack the capability, or better to say the external support, to rule a country. Egypt, as the mother of all Arab states, paid the price for such malicious plot and repeated Algeria’s bitter experience of disrespect to democracy and repression of Islamists in 1992.
U.S. President Barack Obama seems to be paying a huge price because he has refused to call Morsi’s fall from power a coup and this is in contradiction with Washington’s call for democracy. Like Turkey and Pakistan, the U.S. enjoys great influence over the army in Egypt and many Egyptian generals and officers, who have received training in the U.S., are still loyal to Washington and respect its security commitments to Israel. Since the peace agreement was signed between Cairo and Tel Aviv in late 1970s, Egypt has received the largest U.S. financial and military assistance after Israel.
Obama is quite known for his dubious and careful stance on foreign policy issues. Since starting his job at the White House, Obama started to adopt ambiguous positions to the issues of Iraq and Afghanistan which gave him the freedom to advance his policies in the two countries. In case of Egypt and Syria, and even Iran, Washington is perusing the same policy in order to protect U.S. interests in the region and keep the fundamentals of its foreign policy unchanged.
Ali Bigdeli is a professor of international relations at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran
This article originally appeared in Persian on Khabaronline.ir.
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