On global trade and the middle east

In case you've missed:
August 7, 2006
Baghdad, Beirut, Doha
Trade-talks failure a blow
to US strategy in Mideast

by Leon Hadar
In addition to being the capitals of three Middle Eastern countries, Baghdad (Iraq), Beirut (Lebanon), and Doha (Qatar) have something else in common, and it's President George W. Bush's global policy. While the violence taking place in Baghdad and Beirut is a direct consequence of the collapse of Bush's Middle East policy and much of its geo-strategic approach, the breakdown of the Doha round of trade talks is a reflection of the failure of the Bush administration to project U.S. leadership in the global economic arena. If Washington does not take immediate steps to reevaluate and re-energize its role in global affairs, then not only the United States but the entire international system could be threatened.(read the rest)
American Proscenium

After Zarqawi: The New Thirty Years’ War
by Leon T. Hadar

When the U.S. government toppled Sad­dam Hussein in 2003, it thought regime change would help bring democracy to Iraq, and then to the rest of the region. President Bush and his aides based their expectations on the premise that politics in the Middle East revolves around the relationship between individuals and the state, as it does in the West, and failed to recognize that, in that part of the world, people see politics as the balance of power among communities, as Vali Nasr, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in a recent issue of Foreign Affairs.(read the rest)


globetrader said…

In "After Zarqawi" you suggest Washington should try to work with regional powers, including Tehran, to preserve the current power structure and encourage liberalization.

What Iranian interest would encourage this? The bit of Nasr's article that you quote suggests the threat of a U.S. attack and its potential consequences would be a motivator. Do you share this view or is there another motive for Iran's cooperation that you have in mind?
I've written quite extensively on the topic of U.S.-Iran relationship (see links to articles). My main point is that the U.S should try a realopolitik Nixon-goes-to-china approach to Iran and see if we they are open for cooperation in trying to bring stability to Iraq, the Levant and Afghanistan. I think the Iranians have an interest in achieving that goal out of self-interest. as far as democracy, if and when we have ties with Iran, trade and engagement should help produce change in Iran (again, China is the model)
Anonymous said…
What about this plan?


This might discourage liberalization though.

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