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The Middle East: Understanding The Legacies of The Past. February 2012. Overview. T he Birth Of Islam and its implications The Cold War and Pan-Arabism The 1967 War The 1973 War and Camp David The Oil Revolution and Gulf Politics in the 1970’s

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  • The Birth Of Islam and its implications

  • The Cold War and Pan-Arabism

  • The 1967 War

  • The 1973 War and Camp David

  • The Oil Revolution and Gulf Politics in the 1970’s

  • The Iranian Revolution and the “Return” of Islam

  • The Gulf War, 1990-91

  • The Peace Process: 1990-2001

  • Usama Bin Laden and the Origins of al-Qaeda

Islam perfect fusion of religious and political authority
Islam: Perfect fusion of religious and political authority

  • The Prophet Mohamed: 570-birth;610 – first revelation; 622 – hijra to Medina;630-conquest of Mecca; 632-death.

    • Leadership Struggle:AbuBakr – 632-34(Rida Wars); Umar – 634-44; Uthman – 644-56 (old Meccan elite); Ali – 656-661(Battle of Siffin – 657 Ali v. Mu’awiya); Umayyad Dynasty – 661-750(Battle of Karbala, Death of Hussein – 680).

    • Sunni and Shia: Sunni – sunna (way, tradition) of the Prophet-Leadership: most competent (male) member of the umma (Muslim community); Shia – shi’at Ali (the party of Ali)-Leadership: most able and deserving descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

      Saudi Arabia Imam Ali and Imam Hussein Ashura procession 2007, Imam Hussein Mosque, Karbala

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Expansion and Fragmentation of Islam

  • Expansion of Islam: 635: Damascus;637: Battle of Qadasiyya – defeat of Sassanids; 638: Jerusalem; 641: Egypt; 732: All of North Africa and Spain, entrance into Indian subcontinent; 732: Battle of Poitiers

Expansion of Islam

Umayyad Mosque Damascus

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem 687-691

Political expansion was very fast, but

conversion was a slow process

Political Fragmentation of Islam

Abbasid Dynasty(750-1258)-Baghdad-by the end, authority very localized and fragmented;Umayyad caliphate in Spain (750);Fatimid Dynasty(900-1170)- North Africa, Egypt, Shia; Crusades-1099 to 1244; Mongol Connquests-1200’s to 1300’s,followed by extreme fragmentation

The rise and fall of empires in the middle east
The Rise and Fall Of Empires in The Middle East

  • The Ottoman model of single regional State: Beginnings in eastern Anatolia ; 1453-Conquest of Constantinople; 1520-1566 – Suleiman the Magnificent; Sunni Turkish dynasty; Millet system

  • Rise of the Safavid Empire: Turkic sufi order; 1501: Shah Ismail establishes state with capture of Tabriz; In ten years, all of modern Iran and beyond under dynasty’s control; Shah Abbas the Great (1588-1629): conversion of Iran to Shi’ism

    • The European Era – Ottomans: Ottoman Decline: Wars with Safavids; Loss of control of trade with East Asia; Spread of gunpowder technology. Military Defeat: Carlowitz (Habsburgs) – 1699; KujukKainardji (Russia) – 1774; French invasion of Egypt – 1798

    • The European Era – Iran: Safavid Decline: Various Ottoman wars; Revolts from Afghanistan; Military pressure from Russia (Caucasus, Caspian, Central Asia); Internal infighting. 1720’s: Collapse of Safavid Dynasty; Late 1700’s: Qajar Dynasty – weak and decentralized

    • The Eastern Question:Management of Ottoman decline: Russians and Austrians pushing for territory; French and British supporting Ottomans against Russia, but taking Middle East territory; Independence of Balkan states (Greece 1829, other Balkan states subsequently); European financial control by end of 1800’s. British acquisitions: Aden: 1829; Gulf protectorates: 1830’s: Cyprus: 1878; Egypt: 1882. French Acquisitions: Algeria: 1830;Tunisia: 1881; 1860 military expedition to Lebanon

    • Europe and Persia: Dynamic of Russian-British rivalry; Qajars play the two sides off(Russian military advice , British oil concession in 1901) ; 1907 Anglo-Russian Entente – spheres of influence

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The Cold War and Pan-Arabism: The 1950’s and 1960’s

    • Entrance of US and USSR into the region: The Cold War in the Middle East: WW II – Soviets and Americans in Iran; centrality of oil/US-Saudi relationship : WWII: oil as strategic commodity, Lend-Lease, Dhahran airbase, ARAMCO expansion, 50-50 Deal; Involvement in Arab-Israeli conflict (1947-49); First Cold War crises:Azerbaijan crisis (1946);Turkish crisis/Greek civil war (1947); Mossadegh coup (1953)

    • Arab Nationalism and the Challenge to the Status Quo: New generation of politicians: Rejection of cooperation with Britain and France; Emerged from defeat of Arab armies in 1948-49; Not tied to economic status-quo (nationalizations); Arab nationalist in ideology. End of British/French power opens up possibility of regional change.

    • Nasser and Height of Arab Nationalism – the 1950’s:Baghdad Pact fight – 1954-55; Czech arms deal – 1955; Suez War – 1956; United Arab Republic – 1958; Iraqi coup/Lebanese civil war – 1958.

    • The Decline of Nasserist Pan-Arabism – the 1960’s: US and British interventions (1958); Challenge of Abd al-KarimQasim; Syrian secession from UAR (1961); Yemen civil war; Failure of 1963 Syrian-Iraqi-Egyptian unity talks; King Faysal’s (Feisal) “Islamic Conference” proposal (1966).

    • Why did the Nasserist project fail? Realist reasons : balance of power dynamics in the region (overcoming ideological similarity – Iraq 1958, Ba’th); Israel as a physical block to Egyptian military power in the Arab East, then 1967 defeat; US and USSR opposition at key points. Ideological competition: Among “progressives,” from Islamist sources. Domestic politics: beginning of strengthening of state structures (particularly domestic security).

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The Cold War and Pan-Arabism: Take-Aways

  • Power of identity/ideas/ideology to mobilize support across borders – foreign policy as an issue of domestic regime security

  • Balance of power logics at state level, even within similar ideological movements

  • Outside power role in frustrating regional hegemons

  • Difficulty in directing domestic politics for outsiders:US (Syria coup), Egypt (UAR break-up, Yemen)

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The 1967 War

  • Why did Nasser escalate the crisis?Syrian connection(narrow social/political; base of regime; close relations with USSR; confrontational policy toward Israel) ; Soviet “message”; Lack of early response from Israel; Success in rallying Arab opinion

  • Time-Line of The Conflict:Feb. 1966 – Jadid takes power in Syria; Nov. 1966 – Egyptian-Syrian treaty; April 1967 – Israeli air attacks on Syria; May 13: Soviet “warning” to Egypt; May 14: Egyptian military mobilization; May 18: Egypt demands withdrawal of UNEF; May 22: Egyptian troops in Sharm al-Shaykh, closing of Strait of Tiran; May 23: Israel sends FM Eban to US; May 27: Israeli military tells Eshkol that delay costs lives, pressure in cabinet to appoint Dayan Defense Minister; May 28: USSR tells Nasser it will “neutralize” any American involvement; May 29: Nasser says stakes of crisis are “rights of the Palestinian people – complete.”; May 30: Jordanian-Egyptian joint command, Meir Amit visit to Washington, Egypt agrees to send VP to Washington for Talks; June 1: Dayan becomes Defense Minister; June 5: Israel attacks Egypt, Jordan, later Syria; June 10: fighting ends.

    • The Wartime Policy: Egypt went on the offensive despite May 27 direct warning from Soviets to Nasser not to initiate the hositilies, and the Belief that Egyptians could withstand a first strike from Israel. Israel hesitate at the outset of the crisis due to Cabinet split and American caution, then switched to offensive due to a push from the military, a Rebellion in cabinet and party, and American signals in late May.

    • Consequences of the War:Change in the map: Israel takes Sinai, Gaza, West Bank and Golan Heights; territories has become as major political issue in Israel; End to Nasserist Pan-Arab appeal in region and rise of Islamism and Palestinian nationalism; Strengthening US-Israeli relationship, Soviet-Egyptian and Syrian relationships.

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

The 1973 War, Camp David and Lebanon War of 1982

  • 1973 War: how is 1973 different from 1967? :Different Context : Inter-Arab politics(Cairo-Damascus-Riyadh); US-Israel not open to Sadat’s diplomatic feelers. Why Fight an Unwinnable War? : Domestic pressures on Sadat and Asad; Saudi commitment to use “oil weapon”; Different strategy than 1967 (Not seeking total victory against Israel; tactical gains and political process; Left out Jordan -fear that Hussein would tell Israelis; Left out PLO: state interests, not Palestinian cause).

  • Course of the War: Oct. 6: Egyptian and Syrian attacks; Oct. 8-10: unsuccessful Israeli counter-attacks; Oct. 12: US airlift (Israeli nuclear warnings?); unsuccessful Egyptian push to Sinai passes; Oct. 15: Israelis cross canal, cut off Egyptian forces in Sinai; Oct. 18: Sadat authorizes Soviets to seek cease-fire; Oct. 20: Saudis announce oil embargo; Kissinger arrives in Moscow; Oct. 22: UNSC 338; Oct. 24: Sadat invites Soviet forces; US nuclear alert; cease-fire.

  • Post-War Diplomacy: Nov. 11: Egyptian-Israeli “Kilometer 101” deal; Dec. 21: Geneva Conference; Jan. 1974: First Egyptian-Israeli disengagement; May 1974: Syrian-Israeli disengagement; Oct. 1974: Arab League recognizes PLO as “sole legitimate representative of Palestinian people”; June 1975: Suez Canal reopens; September 1975: Second Egyptian-Israeli disengagement.

  • Outcomes of 1973 War:New US commitment to Arab-Israeli peace (oil connection); Reduced Soviet role (losing Egypt); New strategic dynamic in Arab-Israeli negotiations: land, Arab credibility; Stability of Arab regimes that fought the war; End of Labor Party dominance of Israeli politics – Likud-led government in 1977; New regional role for Saudi Arabia(oil revolution).

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Camp David

    • Why Did Sadat Go to Jerusalem? Diplomatic stalemate-US Geneva proposal; Outflank Likud government; Sadat’s love for the dramatic gesture; Sadat’s political economy Strategy.

    • Camp David: Two agreements: Egyptian-Israeli peace; Framework for Palestinian autonomy. No relationship between the two. Why no Arab Support? Syria: no Golan; weakened bargaining position; no Palestinian state; Other options: Iraq, USSR. PLO: No role; Jordan as West Bank interlocutor. Saudi Arabia and Jordan: Changed geopolitical picture (Iranian Revolution, Syrian-Iraqi “unity”) and Domestic political implications.

  • Consequences of Camp David: Changed Arab-Israeli strategic picture: No credible Arab state war option; Greater Israeli freedom of maneuver (West Bank settlements; Lebanon War of 1982); Easier later for other Arab states. Egyptian-US strategic alliance:Aid (about $2.5 billion per year); Egyptian isolation from Arab world (briefly); What did NOT happen: comprehensive peace.

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Lebanon War of 1982

    • Lebanese civil war from 1975: Lebanese Forces (most of Maronite militias); PLO, Druze (Kamal Jumblatt), ideological parties (SSNP, Communists), some Sunni and Shi’a sectarian groups.

    • Syrian intervention in 1976 to protect Maronites from defeat: Long-term Syrian presence; LF shifts to Israeli alliance; Syria to supporting Muslim groups.

    • American Presence:American, British, French and Italian troops sent to Beirut to supervise PLO withdrawal(Return after Sabra/Shatilla massacre); American forces support Gemayel government, come under fire from opposition; US embassy bombing April 1983; Marine barracks suicide attack in Oct. 1983; US withdrawal from Lebanon in Feb. 1984.

    • Consequences of The War: Israelis retreat to south, eventually leave even the “security zone” in 2000; Syria regains dominant position, which it holds until Cedar Revolution of 2005; Hizballah founded by Iran in Shi’a community, takes leading role in fighting Israelis; Lebanon remains a relatively weak state with a political system based on sectarian identity.

    • ,

    • Marine barracks bombing, October 1983

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

Oil measured in millions of barrels per day

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Oil Revolution 1970-1974

  • Qaddafi “coup” of 1970

  • The “ratchet”

  • Gulf committee meeting of Oct. 1973

  • Arab-Israeli War, production cuts and embargo

  • Oil Production – 1973 Crisis

  • Oil Revolution – 1978-1981: Dec. 1978: Iranian oil strikes; Feb. 1979: Khomeini returns to Iran; Nov. 1979: Hostage crisis; Sept. 1980: Iran-Iraq War

  • Crude oil prices 1861 – 2008

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The Oil Revolution and Gulf Politics in the 1970’s(cont)

  • Gulf Regional Politics: Post-British Order: Saudi-Iranian understanding; Bahrain independent; Qatar independent; UAE formed from 7 emirates; Abu Musa and Tunbs issue; US Gulf Policy underpinned by the Twin Pillars of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    • Algiers Accord to Iranian Revolution: Algiers Accord : March 1975; Iran ends support for Iraqi Kurds; Iraq concedes Shatt al-Arab border dispute

    • Why no Gulf War in the 1970’s? Favorable distribution of power for status-quo states (Iran and Saudi Arabia); Acceptance of regime legitimacy by all parties after 1975

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Regional Consequences of Iranian Revolution: Wave of Shi’a unrest in 1979-80: Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia; Iran-Hizballah link from 1983; more general involvement of Iran in Arab-Israeli affairs; End of Iranian-American alliance and Twin Pillar policy; more direct US involvement; Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (Dec. 1979); Second Oil Shock (1979-80)

    • Iran-Iraq War: Revolution as a cause of Iran-Iraq War: Offensive incentives for Saddam: Iran appears weaker; Threat posed by revolution: transnational appeal of Iran to Iraqi Shi’a. Failure of Iraqi offensive: Militarily inept; No local support among Arabs in Iran; Strengthens revolutionary government.

    • International Alignments: Superpowers: US not particularly involved at first, after 1982 leans toward Iraq (with caveat of Iran-contra); USSR leans a bit toward Iran at outset, but after 1982 back to support for Iraq. Region: Pro-Iraq: Saudi/GCC, Jordan, Egypt; Pro-Iran: Syria, Israel to some extent

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Iran-Iraq War

  • Course of the War:

  • Phase I:Sept. 1980-April 1982 – Iraq in Iran

  • Phase II: summer 1982-1986 – Iran on the offensive

    • Phase III: 1987-summer 1988 – Iraq on offensive, US involvement: Failure of Basra offensive in early 1987; March 1987: US reflagging; July 1987: UNSC 598; Fall 1987: US-Iranian naval engagements; March 1988: Iraqi missile attacks on Tehran; April 1988: Iraq recaptures Faw Peninsula; US attacks on Iran in Gulf; July 1988: US shoots down Iran Air flight; August 1988: cease-fire

    • American Policy: Why did the US stay out for so long?

    • Iran-contra:Geopolitical element: line to Iran; Covert element: support for contras; Personal element: Reagan’s desire to get US hostages out of Lebanon.

    • Oil Issues during Iran-Iraq War:

    • Why no “third oil shock” at beginning of Iran-Iraq War?

    • Increased Saudi production; demand decrease

    • Long-term trend of 1980’s: falling prices

    • 1985 Saudi decision to end swing-producer role

    • 1986 price crash (US reaction)

    • Some OPEC and non-OPEC cooperation in late 1980’s

    • Helps explain why it took US so long to intervene directly

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The Gulf War, 1990-91

  • Saddam’s decision-making:

    • Saddam’s Decision to Invade: Realist Interpretation: Easy target; Increase Iraqi power, wealth; Help Saddam over domestic economic problems. Questions: Timing – Why then? Why not wait for nuclear program?; Why not just take money when offered?; Why not withdraw in face of superior forces?. Regime Security Interpretation: Saddam’s own understanding of the situation; Internal problems: economic problems, coup attempts; External changes: collapse of Soviet empire, regional distancing from Saddam, U.S. steps toward Iraq. Problems: Were domestic threats real? Constructivist element – transnational ideologies: Saddam thought other Arab states could not survive if they cooperated with US against him; Used both Arabism and Islam to try to destabilize Arab states in the coalition; No success: Arab members of coalition able to maintain stability. Glaspie Interview: Too much attention paid to it in literature on war; Good indications that is was bluff on Saddam’s part. Why Not Withdraw?: To January 1991, thought he could hold out; From mid-January 1991, did not believe withdrawal would end efforts to unseat him; Comparison to 1975 Algiers Agreement: accepted international retreat to strengthen domestic position.

    • American Policy in the Crisis: Decision to Go to War(Over-determined): Oil Interest; International norms; No fear of superpower confrontation. Balancing Act – domestic and foreign audiences (“two-level game”): Reassure domestic audiences that there is no rush to war, while preparing public opinion for war; Work to keep coalition together internationally(Enough diplomacy to keep USSR and France on board; Not too much diplomacy, to make Arab allies think US was going to cut a deal; Keep Israel quiet but not alienate its American supporters). Israel:Prevent “linkage” to Palestinian issue, but give indications of willingness to deal with Arab-Israeli issues after the war; Keep Israel out of the war, even after missile attacks: military aid, financial aid, strong pressure to stay out. UNSC 678:November 1990; Authorizes use of force; Sets January 15, 1991 deadline.

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The Gulf War, 1990-91(Cont)

  • Regional Alignments – Coalition

  • Egypt: over-determined (balancing, US tie, financial aid)

  • Saudi Arabia and GCC: over-determined (balancing, regime security)

  • Syria: regime security (intra-Ba’thist rivalry) and regional balancing

  • Turkey: U.S. tie, aid and trade (but significant domestic elite opposition

  • Jordan: domestic politics

  • Yemen: regional balancing (Saudi), domestic politics ambiguous

  • PLO: linkage issue, domestic politics

    • Iran: Neutrality, which benefits the coalition-Stronger Saddam more worrisome than a stronger U.S.

    • American Decision to Stop the War: Why not continue the war until the fall of Saddam? Belief that he would fall eventually; Fear of loss of international support; Powell Doctrine (exit strategy); Fear that popular uprisings would benefit Iran – most important factor

    • Post-War Situation: In Iraq: Kurdish autonomous zone under American, British, French protection (eventually just American); Crippling sanctions regime on Iraq – UNSC 687; No fly zone in the south, but no “autonomous zone” on model of north; American forces in GCC states – “Dual Containment”. Dual Containment and American Military in the Gulf:Shift in GCC attitudes about American military bases; New American basing structure:Kuwait: Camp Doha, Camp Arifjan, 5,000 troops, pre-positioning; Bahrain: Fifth Fleet, aircraft carrier group; Qatar: al-Udayd airbase, pre-positioning;UAE: access to Jebel Ali, airbases; Oman: access to Thamarit airbase, other facilities. American Military in Saudi Arabia:Southern Watch – Dhahran; June 1996: Khobar Towers bombing; Increasing criticism by Usama bin Laden of American forces in Saudi Arabia

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The Peace Process: 1990-2001

    • Intifada and Madrid: Intifada: Emergence of Hamas; Revival of PLO fortunes internationally; Raising cost of occupation for Israel; End of “Jordanian option”. Madrid Conference: Big, symbolic opening (October 1991); Bilateral and multilateral talks:Regional: water, security, tourism, economics; Syria-Israel; Jordan-Israel; Palestinians-Israel.

    • Oslo Breakthrough: Israel: Failure of Likud strategy; Cost of intifada; 1992 election. PLO:

    • Weakness: end of USSR, Arab alignments, rise of Hamas, possibility of being sidelined in Madrid process; Intifada: new emphasis on territories rather than refugees; only international address to deal with.

    • Peace Process Timeline: Sept. 1993: Declaration of Principles; May 1994: Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho; Oct. 1994: Jordanian-Israeli treaty; Dec. 1995: further Israeli WB withdrawals; Jan. 1996: Palestinian elections; March/April 1996: suicide bombings, Grapes of Wrath; May 1996: Likud wins Israeli election; Oct. 1998: Wye Plantation; Feb. 1999: Death of King Hussein; May 1999: Labor wins Israeli election.

    • Syrian Track: Timeline: Dec. 1999: Shar’a-Barak White House meeting; Jan. 2000: Shepardstown; Jan. 2000: leak of draft agreement to Haaretz; March 2000: Clinton-Asad Geneva summit; May 2000: Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, breakdown of SLA; June 2000: death of Hafez al-Asad. Syrian Track Failure: Border issue was the key(1923 international border; June 4, 1967 line; Water issues in Sea of Galilee).The domestic politics factor: Asad ready to move in Dec-Jan, but Barak not; Barak ready to move in March, but Asad not.

    • Palestinian Track:Timeline: July 2000:Camp David II; September 2000: Intifada II; January 2001:Taba negotiations,Clinton parameters; February 2001: Sharon defeats Barak in PM elections. Failure of the Palestinian Track: Borders(Fairly close at Taba: 94-96% of WB with compensating swaps);Security(3 year transition, international forces); Right of Return(Differences on principle and implementation).Jerusalem(Principle of unity and divided sovereignty, but differences on implementation

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • Usama bin Laden and the Origins of al-Qaeda

  • Bin Laden, salafijihadism and the origins of al-Qaeda:

  • Usama Bin Laden:Son of Muhammad bin Laden; Pious but not politically active as youth; Afghanistan experience changes his life and his outlook.

  • Origins of al-Qaeda: Irony of al-Qaeda: origins in the two great successes of Saudi-American relations:

    • Afghanistan: Saudi-American-Pakistani coordination of support for jihad against USSR

    • Gulf War of 1990-91: Saudi-American cooperation to reverse Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and restore regional status quo

    • Afghanistan and al-Qaeda: Bin Laden and AbdallahAzzam organizing Arab volunteers in Peshawar (مكتب الخدمات); Recruiting networks: internationalization of jihad (Arab, South Asian, Central Asian, South-East Asian); Fundraising networks.

    • Afghanistan and al-Qaeda:

    • Ideological Basis of al-Qaeda (salafijihadism) developed in Afghanistan conflict

    • Centrality of jihad as a Muslim obligation

    • SayyidQutb idea of “modern jahiliyya” and centrality of takfir (تكفير) as political concept

    • Social conservatism, intolerance and historical roots of takfir from Saudi Wahhabism

    • International nature of assault on Islam

    • This mix produces modern salafi jihadist ideology

  • The most important element of the Afghan experience for development of al-Qaeda:Victory

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • al-Qaeda After Afghanistan

    • After Afghanistan: United States: does not pay much attention to what is happening there; Saudi Arabia: networks of recruiting, funding and ideological legitimation are redirected to other areas – Chechnya, Bosnia, Kashmir, to a lesser extent Palestine; Saudi government chooses to not confront or monitor very well the movement.

    • Gulf War and al-Qaeda:American troops in Saudi Arabia just after Soviets leave Afghanistan;Bin Laden offer to Saudi leadership;Salafi opposition re-emerging in Saudi Arabia.

    • Bin Laden in the 1990’s:1989: begins to establish presence in Sudan; 1992-93: Somali involvement; 1994-95: breaks with Saudi rulers; 1996: returns to Afghanistan, issues Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; 1998: formation of International Islamic Front for Jihad against Crusaders and Zionists.

    • The “near enemy” and the “far enemy”:

    • Immediate post-Afghanistan concentration on the “near enemy” – all failures: Algeria: civil war of 1990’s; Egypt: jihadist uprising of mid-1990’s;Saudi Arabia: mostly peaceful opposition, but 1995 attack on SANG office.

    • Idea that “far enemy” was the key to getting rid of the “near enemy”

    • Targeting the U.S.: 1998: Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; 2000: USS Cole bombed in Aden; September 11, 2001: bombings of World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The middle east understanding the legacies of the past

  • The 9/11 attacks and its aftermath

  • American Diagnoses of 9/11:

  • Unintentional byproduct of US policy?

    • Difficult to make that argument in political atmosphere

    • A lucky shot by a fringe group?

    • Enormity of what happened on 9/11 does not seem to fit such a small-bore explanation

    • Product of profound pathologies in Middle East/Muslim world

    • “Muslim rage”; Wahhabism; political culture of dictatorship; social culture of jihad

    • Saudi-American Relations and 9/11:

    • Tensions in lead-up: Saudi anger at Bush Administration policy on Arab-Israeli issues; American anger at Saudi Arabia on Khobar Towers investigation, lack of cooperation on al-Qaeda

    • A relationship conducted by elites now thrust into the public eye, both publics negative about the other: Americans upset at Saudi denials; Saudis upset at American “campaign” against them

  • Saudi-American Relationship and 9/11: Both governments work to prevent a crisis: Increased Saudi oil production after 9/11; Saudi peace plan March 2002; Crawford summit April 2002; AQAP attacks in Saudi Arabia from May 2003 improve cooperation; Crawford summit of April 2005;In Saudi-American relationship, the more things change, the more they stay the same; U.S. needs Saudi Arabia, with Iran increasing its regional influence; U.S. needs Saudi Arabia with gyrations in world oil market; Saudi Arabia needs the U.S. with Iran increasing its regional role and future of Iraq uncertain