Arabs and Muslims of the Mid-East rejoice! Obama has your back: Kinda, sorta…ok, maybe not.
Many a person has been left scratching their head wondering, “what on Earth is John Kerry doing?” The Secretary of State is traipsing around the Middle Eastern region making a fool of himself as he attempts to bring back the ‘Peace Process’ and do outreach to the Muslim states who are turning him away. His claim that ‘the window is closing for peace’ is amazing seeing as Israel is in the strongest position it has been in since its independence in 1948. His request to Erdogan not to visit the Hamas controlled Gaza strip was brutally turned down. One wonders what, if anything, Kerry has managed to accomplish. The only answer I see is, “he’s keeping the Middle East alive as a stage for foreign policy.”
The reasons for keeping the Middle East afloat in the world eye are uncertain. Benefits can be as minor as the ability to claim that the Obama Administration left things upon its exit in as good a position as when Obama took office or as big as the belief that the best way to prevent another world war is to keep the proxy war between Russia and the US going. Lives of the citizens of the superpowers are saved, you see; albeit at the cost of a few thousand Muslims.
Whatever the reason, perhaps even a humanitarian one that I failed to see, Obama and his administration have been getting states of the Middle East into the spotlight of foreign policy. They have Egypt mediate the cease-fire between Hamas and Israel. They have the Arab Initiative, improved by 7 members of the Arab league, spotlighted in the news and hailed by Kerry. They have done their best to push a new ‘Peace Process,’ putting the Palestinian Authority back into the spotlight.
Here’s the problem, the Middle East is not ready for foreign policy. The states with newly formed government are struggling to stabilize their position locally. Putting them in the spotlight is stunting their growth.
If the Obama Administration were competent, they would step back. They would give aid to the countries that back the rights of their citizens and improve those governments’ standing on a local ground. These countries need to regrow their economies, and they can’t. Not while in the spotlight.
Obama should realize that the old Middle East is dead and a new one is forming. He should let the growth continue and focus his foreign policy elsewhere; China for instance.
When the new Middle East is ready, the countries will make foreign policy decisions on their own.