Two Middle East Outlooks

Moon of Alabama (MoA)

Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor and dimwit, had written a laudation of his own and his bosses foreign policy for the November print edition of Foreign Affairs. The piece was finalized before the war in Palestine had begun.

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Indeed, although the Middle East remains beset with perennial challenges, the region is quieter than it has been for decades.The progress is fragile, to be sure. But it is also not an accident.

[The president’s] approach returns discipline to U.S. policy. It emphasizes deterring aggression, de-escalating conflicts, and integrating the region through joint infrastructure projects and new partnerships, including between Israel and its Arab neighbors. And it is bearing fruit.

This disciplined approach frees up resources for other global priorities, reduces the risk of new Middle Eastern conflicts, and ensures that U.S. interests are protected on a far more sustainable basis. Challenges remain. The Israeli-Palestinian situation is tense, particularly in the West Bank, but in the face of serious frictions, we have de-escalated crises in Gaza and restored direct diplomacy between the parties after years of its absence.

Alastair Crooke, who has personally negotiated prisoner exchanges between Hamas and Israel, has published a rather bleak outlook.

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The reality of the necessity of war is permeating widely the consciousness of the Arabic and Islamic world.

It is no coincidence that Netanyahu flourished a map of Israel during his General Assembly address last month in which Israel dominated from the River to the Sea – and Palestine (indeed any Palestinian territory) was non-existent.Tom Friedman in his NYT reflections may fear that just as NATO’s impaired performance in Ukraine has ruptured ‘the NATO myth’, so too the 7 October Israeli military and intelligence collapse and what happens in its wake in Gaza ‘might explode the entire pro-American alliance structure’ in the Middle East.

The confluence of two such humiliations might break the spine of western primacy. This seems to be the gist to Friedman’s analysis. (He likely is correct).


This is what worries the White House Team. They are deeply unconfident that an Israeli invasion of Gaza will put ‘Humpty’ together again. Rather, they fear that events may go badly for the IDF, and further, that the images relayed across the Middle East of Israel using overwhelming force in a civilian urban setting will revolt the Islamic sphere.

In spite of western scepticism, there are signs that this insurrection in the Arab sphere is different, and resembles more the 1916 Arab Revolt that overthrew the Ottoman Empire. It is taking on a distinct ‘edge’ as both Shi’a and Sunni religious authorities state the duty of Muslims to stand with Palestinians. In other words, as the Israeli polity becomes plainly ‘Prophetical’, so the Islamic mood is turning eschatological, in its turn.

Taliban celebrates anniversery of American withdrawal from Afghanistan with military equipment gifted to them by Biden Administration.

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