There’s been no shortage of cultural and political figures over the last couple of centuries who would show interest towards the incredibly rich history of the Middle East. Essentially, this region gave birth to economy as we know it, a handful of ancient civilizations on top of three of world’s major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The United States started showing interest towards the Greater Middle East (that includes North Africa, Iran and Afghanistan on top of the Levant) as early as in the 19th century, when 20% of its maritime trade was with the Middle East.
However, a lot has changed since those days, both in Washington’s assessment of the role that the Middle East plays in the global affairs and in the way it approaches individual players of this region.
In the aftermath of WWII, in a bid to win trust of the people of Asia and Africa, Washington opposed attempts made to preserve the British Empire and ousted the UK from the Middle East. This resulted in the Arabs taking Washington’s peaceful intentions at face value, as they assumed that it would try to bring stability to the region. However, it didn’t take long for the United States to start subjugating Israel to its will, and then proceeding with attempts to push the USSR out of the Arab world, in spite of the latter remaining a principal advocate of the socio-economic transformation of a great many of Middle Eastern states.
These days, with a grand total of 52 American bases scattered across the region, there’s no arguing that the United States is hell-bent to dominate the region and its policies, with the local governments being treated as obedient puppets that are only there to wilfully provide a resource base for the sole hegemone. This determination results in Washington finding itself unable to compromise on a number of objectives that can hardly be achieved independently, while one’s desire to secure them all at the same time can only be described as a dangerous delusion. Among those objectives are ensuring America’s control over the entirety of hydrocarbon production of the region, preserving Israel’s primacy in regional affairs, limiting Iran’s role and the influence it enjoys, ensuring that those wealthy regional players carry on buying American weapons in large quantities.