The Daily Star is one of a handful of outstanding English-language newspapers in the Middle East, and does not have an anti-Western bias. When it criticizes the United States, or Europe, its comments are directed at policies. The following editorial consequently merits close attention, because its caustic judgments come from writers who live in the vortex of events in the region and yet are not ill-disposed to the United States as a country.
Editorial, “Incoherent policy,” Yhe Daily Star, July 17, 2013 (12:43 AM).
The editorial is cogent, and makes its telling points in a few words:
Over the last two years, many have waited with bated breath over U.S. foreign policy in the region, and where exactly it was headed. But now it appears that all along there was no grand plan, and it is precisely as haphazard and shortsighted as it has seemed since the start of the Arab Spring.
Where once it seemed as if the American vagueness was based on calm and reasoned wisdom, a pragmatic approach gained after decades of experiences and learning in the Middle East, it now appears that its foreign policy, or lack thereof, actually stems from a gross misunderstanding of events on the ground.
This policy wavering would be a luxury if it were not for the thousands of lives being lost in the region, 5,000 a month in Syria alone, the U.N. said Tuesday. On this issue, the U.S. has flagrantly procrastinated and dithered….American “support” for the opposition, which transpires as little more than words, is perhaps more harmful to the rebels, and civilians than Russian arms handed to the regime.
This same tangled foreign policy approach has been witnessed in Egypt, where, three weeks after the ousting of Mursi and the U.S. still appears as lost and befuddled as ever, clearly not knowing what to do or who to ally with….
The only good that can come from this confused and incoherent policy is that now the veil has been removed. The people of this region can see the U.S. for what it is, and while the election of President Barack Obama once seemed to symbolize a future full of hope for the Middle East, his presidencies now stand for a nightmare.
These are words worth reflecting on and which call for taking urgent remedial action.
The Trenchant Observer