The Arab World Today

The Arab World Today

The Arab World Today

The Arab World Today

Excerpt

Though the Middle East has seen its fate linked to Western influence for centuries, never before has the West—and particularly its current principal actor, the United States—been so directly involved in shaping the course of events in the Arab world. Throughout the region, virtually all aspects of communal life—from macropolicies involving long-term strategies for national security, regime maintenance, and economic development to tactical decisions taken by Arab governments struggling with immediate problems-now respond to a chain of calculations that quickly link Arab decisions to Arab expectations, fears, hopes, and analytical judgments regarding Western, primarily U.S., reactions. In this way, through the mediating filter of existing regimes, the vast populace of the Arab world finds its own daily life now influenced by the external world as never before.

Thoughtful Westerners who understand this—again, particularly those in the United States—must find something awesome, indeed frightening, in the situation. To be a determining factor in the lives of others is not a comfortable position, especially when one knows little of those lives. Yet, this is precisely the situation that faces the populations and governments of the West.

A Welcome Casualty

Both Western and non-Western students of the Arab world have long ruefully recognized that their area of concern stubbornly remained a terra incognita to most beyond its borders. Myths, biases, and—perhaps above all—simple indifference were hallmarks of the Western perspective on the Arab world. The crucial and probably inevitable point, given the preva-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.