The Gulf War and the New World Order: International Relations of the Middle East

By Tareq Y. Ismael; Jacqueline S. Ismael | Go to book overview
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14
Israel and the New World Order

Meir Porat

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the ensuing economic, social, and political crises that preoccupied its political successors created the perception that the United States came out of the cold war as a victorious and powerful state. This perception was reinforced by the role it played during the Gulf crisis and the conduct and conclusion of the Gulf War.

In an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on 11 September 1990, George Bush declared that out of the troubled times: "a new world order can emerge: a new era, freer from the threat of teimr, stronger in the pursuit of Justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, east and west, north and south, can prosper and live in harmony." 1

After the conclusion of the Gulf War, President Bush delivered a similar message. On 6 March 1991, he stated to a joint session of Congress that

Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play . . . protect the weak against the strong. . . ." A world where the United Nations freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations. The Gulf War put this new world to its first test, and my fellow Americans, we passed the test. 2

Most of the cliches contained in the two addresses were repeated in the past, but never translated into actions or results. The phrase "new world order" caught the attention of many, however, and provided a fertile ground for interpretations, elaborations, and commentaries. In fact, these words assumed the status of a concept and the

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