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snap shot of the Middle East « Previous | |Next »
April 27, 2007

Its many a long year since I've read the New Left Review. I stumbled into its website with a link to Frederic Jameson on postmodernism. In the latest issue I came Tarig Ali's editorial entitled 'Mid-Point in the Middle East.' It offers a snapshot that you rarely come across in Australia.

Ali sums up his editorial thus:

The crisis in the Middle East that began in 2001 is not in sight of any dénouement. At best, we are perhaps only at mid-point in the unfolding drama......A radical wind is blowing from the alleys and shacks of the latter-day wretched of the earth, surrounded by the fabulous wealth of petroleum. The limits of this radicalism, so long as it remains captured by the Koran, are clear enough. The impulses of charity and solidarity are infinitely better than those of imperial greed and comprador submission, but so long as what they offer is social alleviation rather than reconstruction, they are sooner or later liable to recuperation by the existing order.

Ali argues that the current turmoil is still confined to those areas of the Middle East where for twenty years or more American power never really penetrated: the West Bank, Ba’athist Iraq, Khomeinist Iran. He says that the real us anchorage in the region lies elsewhere: in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Jordan. There its traditional clients have held the line, and are on hand to help out with regional problems. So it is too soon to count on imperial defeat.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:21 PM |