Analysis: The stability of the Middle East and Washington’s rapid exit from it is an American strategic interest Analysis: The stability of the Middle East and Washington’s rapid exit from it is an American strategic interest

Analysis: The stability of the Middle East and Washington’s rapid exit from it is an American strategic interest

Analysis: The stability of the Middle East and Washington’s rapid exit from it is an American strategic interest

Washington: Political analyst Andreas Kluth says that it is truly terrifying to watch a person set himself on fire and remain standing with the fire burning in him for as long as possible until he turns into a pile of human remains. This is what young US Air Force member Aaron Bushnell did at the beginning of this week, when he set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, in protest against the Israeli “genocide” in Gaza, and kept chanting “Free Palestine” until he was shot.

The writer adds that this scene is extremely cruel, embodying the nature of the volatile situation in the Middle East, and the need for the United States to become deeply involved in it, even though it is most in need of stability in the region so that it can exit it quickly, and to mobilize its forces to confront major threats in other regions.

In the swing state of Michigan, voters whose votes Biden needs in the upcoming elections believe that the American president bears responsibility for the devastating Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.

Andreas Kluth says in an analysis published by Bloomberg News Agency that the conflict in the Middle East may impose itself completely on the election campaign of US President Joe Biden, who is seeking to win a second term. In the swing state of Michigan, voters whose votes Biden needs in next November’s elections believe that the American president bears responsibility for the devastating Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, which Bushnell protested, and which Biden himself described as “random.” These voters, including Arab Americans and African Americans, along with the left wing of the Democratic Party and young people in general, are putting pressure on Biden to force Israel to cease fire.

The danger threatening Biden is that these Americans will remain at home and not go out to vote in the upcoming elections, and not vote for his potential opponent, Donald Trump. On the other hand, the Trump camp accuses Biden of not supporting Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enough. They say that the reason for any problem in the Middle East is Biden’s “weakness,” as they claim.

But Kluth believes that the position of both sides is unfair, because since the attacks of last October 7 and perhaps before them, Biden’s policy was not ideal, but it was also far from weak. Overall, it was balanced and wise.

Biden did not create conflicts in the region. The hostility between the United States and Iran has existed for 45 years, and between the Palestinians and Israelis for 75 years and perhaps more. The truth is that Biden, as a member of the Senate, and then as US Vice President during the era of Barack Obama, was part of the American practices that exacerbated these conflicts, but now as the leader of the most powerful country in the world, he has made every effort to develop a correct American grand strategy.

Before the October attacks, Biden tried to arrange a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel with the aim of gradually calming the Middle East region and besieging Iran. This was supposed to allow the United States to reduce its presence in the Middle East and to consolidate its power in the Asia-Pacific, where its geopolitical interests are clearer.

Since last October 7, Biden's main goal has been to prevent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from turning into a regional, and perhaps global, conflict. This danger is real, because many of Israel's enemies, including Hamas, are supported by Iran, which is aligned with Russia and China.

To prevent this massive conflagration, Biden had to prevent the outbreak of a direct and major war between Washington and Tehran. The other strategic goal was to ensure that the Israeli response to the Palestinian attack did not destroy opportunities for a future settlement, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state living in peace with Israel. The most urgent goal is to reduce the suffering of civilians in the Gaza Strip as well as in the occupied West Bank, and to rescue those detained in Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

Andreas Kluth believes that Biden is moving well with regard to the goal of preventing the expansion of the conflict on the one hand, and curbing Iranian hostilities on the other hand. For months, Iranian agents from Syria and Iraq to Yemen have been attacking American targets, and the Biden administration responds to these attacks with proportionate attacks, which confirm the American deterrence capacity on the one hand, and do not allow the limited conflict to be transformed into a comprehensive war with Iran and its allies in the region. This goal has been largely achieved so far, as the Iranians have realized the seriousness of the consequences of seeking escalation in the region.

Biden must take tougher positions with Netanyahu, and must use the UN Security Council to create international legal facts and force Israel to reduce its war in Gaza and its settlements in the West Bank, in addition to accepting an independent Palestinian state.

As for the second strategic goal of the US administration, which is to curb the enthusiasm of Netanyahu and his far-right partners, Biden’s moves seem less convincing. The US President and his Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, relied on the Israelis themselves to limit harm to civilians in Gaza and recommit to the two-state solution in the long term. But Netanyahu ignored the American calls. About 30,000 were killed and about 70,000 Palestinians were injured in the Gaza Strip. Almost the entire population of the Gaza Strip, numbering about two million people, was displaced, suffering from hunger and disease as a result of the Israeli siege.

However, Biden appears to be changing sides. It imposed sanctions on a number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Blinken also abandoned a Trump-era policy and returned to the long-standing US policy that Israeli settlements violate international law and destroy any chance of lasting peace.

Kluth believes that Biden must take tougher positions with Netanyahu, and must use the UN Security Council to create international legal facts and force Israel to reduce its war in Gaza and its settlements in the West Bank, in addition to accepting an independent Palestinian state in the future.

At the same time, Biden should continue talks with the Saudis regarding a tripartite US-Israeli-Saudi agreement, which was being discussed before last October 7 as a good idea. He must also continue to deter Iran's mullahs without sparking a direct war. While doing all this, he must not forget Russia and what it is doing in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and China and what it is doing with Taiwan and the South China Sea, as well as North Korea on the Korean Peninsula.

Kluth stresses that the responsibility of whoever occupies the Oval Office is to monitor the comprehensive global order as one of the aspects of American national interest, and therefore Biden's ultimate goal in the Middle East must be to achieve stability in the region, and then exit it because it needs to be present elsewhere. This may happen during the Biden era or after, but it will be considered a positive conclusion to a story that witnessed many tragic aspects, including the incident of young Aaron Bushnell sacrificing himself in protest against what Israel is doing in Gaza.

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