All the unrest in the Middle East is interconnected
CAIRO: US senator for Massachusetts and former American presidential candidate John Kerry told reporters on a visit to Cairo last week that more people should have heeded Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s statement in 2002 that the invasion of Iraq would lead to disaster.
“Frankly, more people should have listened to him, Kerry said.
Kerry’s statements echoed those of some American political commentators before the war, according to Atef El Ghamry, an expert in American affairs. “American commentators said “we’ll win the war but not the peace . The Iraqi regime was not changed, but just destroyed, he told The Daily Star Egypt.
“This, Ghamry said, “created chaos and a security void which was filled by terrorism from abroad. They [the Americans] didn’t fulfill their promise .
According to Ghamry, American president George Bush’s neoconservative plan for the Middle East was based on a military victory in Iraq to achieve hegemony over the region.
Kerry, on a nine day trip to the Middle East with stops scheduled in Iraq and Syria, also called for an initiation of dialogue with Syria and Iran to solve the pervasive problems the region is facing.
He told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif: “It’s very important for countries to talk to each other, even when you disagree. We have serious differences with Syria right now, we have serious differences with Iran, but you can’t begin to resolve those differences if you’re not willing to try to understand. I think it’s important to begin a discussion .
Ghamry concurs. “Many Americans said not solving the Palestinian problem would lead to violence in the region. The Baker-Hamilton report assured that all the issues were connected, and that a solution must be comprehensive.
This is something the current Bush administration failed to see, according to Ghamry. “When Bush came to power, he said, “there was an intifada (uprising) in Palestine. But the Bush administration pursued a hands-off policy unlike previous administrations, whether under Clinton or Bush the father.
Ghamry believes the solution lies in regaining the confidence of the people of the Middle East and ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but more importantly in the realization that everything is interconnected in the Middle East.
“The Americans need to focus on solving the Palestinian-Israeli issue from its roots. And they need to regain the confidence of the people in the region. US interests lie not in a military war on terror, but in realizing that the issues in the region cannot be separated, he told The Daily Star Egypt