By Soosan M Alemansoor, Attorney at Law, Irvine, California
As the second American presidential term begins, trepidation permeates pages of daily lives. National problems abound: from secession petition of the ignorant to the soap opera of propinquity of marriage, sex and lust. The blistering defeat of the American right left in its trail the wreckage of the Grand Old Party whose grandiloquence views of national and of global concern resulted in the near paralysis of the legislative branch of the American government. Domestically, recalibration of the American political machinery is warranted.
On the platform of the world stage however, the need for reassessment of America’s investments takes center stage. Is America over invested or under invested? Where and to what extent? What remedial measure can be taken and how?
Clearly, global slowdown of manufacturing, machinery and production yields urgent call for precise shift in policies, practices and procedures. Survival of the agile is the new world order and while historically, the “fittest” survived through violence and war, the changing landscape of the art of offense and defense merit measured shift aimed at hostility and protection.
The need for expedited measures aimed at stabilization of variations and correction of policy deviation is inescapable. Such remedial measures however, must be relevant to the core problems about which one complains. There must be a logical correlation between American interest, the perceived problem and the proposed solution. This is true nationally as well as internationally. No one can and no one should paint with one brush the totality of the American interest accentuated by the belief that one policy will fit all. There must be identification of problems which are capable of self correction and of those likely to engulf a nation. The approach must be methodical concentration on the least urgent to the most pressing.
In the Middle East, the tired and old wars of Israel and Hamas take precedent, again. As with four years ago when Obama’s Clinton took office, the new incoming secretary of state must immediately deal with this war. In the interim, while the region continues its struggle toward neutralization of extreme ideologies, in an ironic twist, Hamas and Hezballah have now come face to face with the ultra conservative salafists whose ideology is governed by principles different than those endorsed by Hamas or Hizballah. The besieging of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and to some extent Turkey by the salafist ideology is clear evidence of the fast encroachment of this ultra conservative movement. Unless managed now, the salafist will play decisive role in global security concerns of the upcoming decades while Israel’s target assassination of select Hamas members with alleged ties to the salfist will have long lasting regional ramification.
In the Middle East, there are problems capable of self correction and there are problems with wide ranging regional implication. Identification of these is crucial. For example, issues relating to the Egyptian parliament and its judiciary are capable of self correction. Saudi’s military support of Bahrain’s violence is a problem with wide ranging regional consequences. Qatar’s extravagant indulgences and incestuous business enterprises with international reach is a problem eventually capable of self correction. Its exportation of ultra conservative ideology is a problem with wide regional impact.
The incoming secretary of state knows that any proposed solutions to the pending Middle East problems must be tailored specifically to the needs of the regional population. Solutions proposed for the Arab’s blatant violation of the rights of women and girls is unlike the solution proposed for the problems of the opposed Jordanian monarch. Solutions to the Syrian Civil War fueled by the salafist are different than the solutions to the Persian dilemma. Amelioration of the encroaching extremism must be based first on principles of inclusion in political decision making process then backed by financial and political incentives. Then again, unless America can control and manage wave of ideological extremism on its soil, little hope remains as to its effectiveness in the management of extremism abroad.
Any financial aid committed to by America must be first related directly to a tangible American interest, then tied directly to measures aimed at social improvement within specific time tables. Failure to implement remedial measures must result in forfeiture of aid. For example, during the ongoing Israel Hamas warfare and perhaps as a test to the Egyptian Morsi’s willingness and ability to include all regional powers in cease fire negotiations, America is poised to infuse an estimated four hundred fifty million dollars in aid to Egypt. An immediate assessment of America’s interest is in order. How will this aid assist the Middle East? What time table for performance is acceptable? How will America know when the goals have been reached? Who will provide the oversight for the expenditure of the aid? Are Egypt’s problems capable of self correction or do they require American financial intervention? Will intervention ingratiate America to the populace or will American involvement fuel the fires of the next generation of Arab extremists?
On the comparison scale, as compared to Syria, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and the Arab nations, the country of Iran is the least troublesome of the countries. Any solution to the perceived threat posed by Iran must be in proportion with the emergency nature of the alleged threat. America’s policy toward Iran summarized in present punishment for what might occur in the future is unsound. Imposition of sanctions on Iran, now, hoping to deter Iran from using future nuclear capabilities, not yet recognized, is counter intuitive. There is no evidence that punitive measures have any deterring effect; perhaps hindering effects but not deterring effects. Perpetual sanctioning of one country for its ambitions while rewarding other nations despite demonstrated extremism with international reach is redolent of faulty policy. Any country whose survival is threatened is unable to assist in the management of regional emergencies. Then again, a nation’s instinct to survive will manifest itself in fueling the ideological warfare of the extremists the beatitude of which lies in its promise of eternal salvation through present sacrifices of extreme nature.
America must set its priorities and act accordingly.
In the interim, in declaring Iran this administration’s “immediate priority”, the venerable Henry Kissinger believes that “A creative diplomacy, allied to a determined strategy, may still be able to prevent a crisis provided the United States plays a decisive role in defining permissible outcomes.”
Ultimately, the foundational path upon which the incoming Secretary of State must walk is the renewed identification of American interest and implementation of policies in furtherance of those interests.
© copywrite 2012, Soosan M Alemansoor
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