A major “house-cleaning” of the US’s Middle East policy, whereby the old arrogant approach gives way to post-hegemonist behavior that is marked with full respect for the sovereign rights of the region’s nation-states, is desperately needed and, again, one hopes that your administration will be able to introduce the significant changes that are required in this respect.
The Middle East, a cradle of civilizations, birthplace of three of the world’s greatest monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and a fulcrum of the world’s energy supply, is already broad enough and the misleading terms such as “broader Middle East” or “greater Middle East” carry the false connotation that the region is not broad or great enough, or that the outside world has a special mandate for social engineering vis-a-vis this region.
That is 19th-century Western colonialism still talking, and a real change toward the Middle East must not be limited to the policy level but also the underlying epistemological assumptions, linguistic jargons and semantics that cement neo-imperialist intentions. A wholesale change of vocabulary, to sanitize the policies infected by implicitly disparaging, even downgrading, paternalistic behavior seen on the US’s part so far, is an important prerequisite of a qualitative improvement in the US’s relationship with the region, away from the furnace of clashing civilizations.
Indeed, rhetoric and rhetorical…