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The Empire in Decline by Gilbert Achcar | ZNet Article

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Thoughtful and insightful commentary on the decline of the US Empire’s influence in the Middle East, and its consequences for regional conflict and uprisings.

Achcar discusses the Israel Palestine situation and the recent UN vote, Syrian and Libyan unrest and the fragile hijacking of Egypt’s Arab Spring by the US’ new favourite Middle Eastern proxy, the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The Empire in Decline By Gilbert Achcar

GILBERT ACHCAR IS professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. His most recent book was The Arabs and the Holocaust. The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (New York: Metropolitan, 2010). His next book, The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising, is scheduled for publication in June 2013 (Los Angeles: University of California Press). He was interviewed by David Finkel from the Against the Current editorial board.

Against the Current: From your vantage point both in Europe and the Middle East, can you describe how the U.S. election was viewed from abroad?

Gilbert Achcar: As you may imagine, reactions were different in Europe and the Middle East. In Europe, there was a kind of sigh of relief at the reelection of Obama. Because Romney was seen in a very negative light by most people, the most common comment was satisfaction that he wasn’t elected.

In the Middle East there was much indifference this time — unlike in 2008, when there was so much enthusiasm for Obama for the obvious reasons of his color and background compared to the tradition of U.S. presidents. This had given way as Obama came to be seen as, at best, very weak in relation to the political establishment in the United States and especially Israel — in the way his administration bowed down in the face of Israeli arrogance and provocations. This created huge disappointment because people had illusions that things would be different.

Also in general, this administration has actually had to run the empire at the time when it’s at its lowest point of prestige in the region. It came in the wake of the disastrous George W. Bush administration — disastrous from the point of view of the U.S. empire.

The neoconservative writer Charles Krauthammer had announced a “unipolar moment” in 1990 [unchallenged U.S. power as the Soviet bloc collapsed —ed.]. But not long after 9/11/2001, from 2003 onward with the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration managed to dissipate all the political capital the United States had accumulated since 1990.

Read More: ZCommunications | The Empire in Decline by Gilbert Achcar | ZNet Article

(Via ZCommunications.)

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Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 7, 2013 at 12:14

Posted in Repost

Tagged with , , , , , ,

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