04 August, 2021

"US Preaches One Thing, Does Another"

Prof Edward Said talks to Rahul Sagar about the US role in West Asia and the burden a history of suffering places on the Palestinians.

"US Preaches One Thing, Does Another"
You have identified arrogance and amnesia as the central features of US foreign policy. Now take, for example, the American establishment's recent love affair with the 'democratic peace thesis'. Why, in an amnesiac sense, is this preaching never directed towards the Middle East?
It is quite clear that the US has made its peace with an Arab state-system that is basically undemocratic and oligarchical. On the other hand, there are considerable currents in the Arab world that are pro-democracy. While those currents remain, many undemocratic regimes—which the US has been supporting because it desires stability and cheap oil—continue to prevail in the Middle East. The result is that there now exists a more profound anti-Americanism in the Arab world, and I don't just mean street demonstrations. There is now a critical understanding of America, of American attitudes on issues ranging from the Kyoto Protocol to the Landmines Treaty. So, is the current state of affairs in the Middle East sustainable? I don't think it is. There is a growing awareness of this tremendously...

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