U.S. Advocating Middle East Democracy
Financial interests and foreign policy
Some critics argue that America>s policy of advocating democracy may be ineffective and even counterproductive. George W. Bush>s attempts to use democracy as an instrument against terrorism were risky and dangerous; imposing democracy from scratch was unwise, and didn>t work.
The Bush administration was heavily involved in writing Iraq>s oil law which will allow Western oil companies to pump oil out of Iraq up to 30 years without paying tax on their profits. Whether motivated by oil or not, U.S. foreign policy appeared to much of the world to have been motivated by oil.
President Bush has been criticized for neglecting democracy and human rights and focusing exclusively on the fight against terrorism. The US has been criticized for alleged prisoner abuse at Guantánamo Bay, Iraq, and for secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe. In response, the US government claimed these incidents of abuse were isolated and did not reflect U.S. policy.
Some Americans believe that their country’s responsibility is limited to protecting its own citizens and that Washington should deal with other governments on that basis alone. After World War Two, the United States came to consider the Middle East as the most strategically important area in the world and one of the greatest material prizes in world history. At this time, the region was undergoing great social, economic and political change and was in turmoil as a result. Politically, the Middle East experienced an upsurge in the popularity of nationalistic politics and an increase in the number of nationalistic political groups across the region.
The Europeans could not hold these lands indefinitely in the face of Arab nationalism. By the end of 1946, Palestine was the last remaining mandate, but it posed a major problem. This nationalistic political trend clashed with American interests in the Middle East. U.S. involvement with the Middle East before World War I was minimal. Moreover, in comparison to European powers such as Britain and France, which had managed to colonize almost all of the Middle East region after defeating the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the United States was popular and respected throughout the Middle East. Americans were seen as good people, untainted by the selfishness and duplicity associated with the Europeans. Moreover, American had brought modern medicine and set up educational institutions all over the Middle East and provided the Middle East with highly skilled petroleum engineers.