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Politics of the Middle East Pan-Arabism and The Arab Cold War.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics of the Middle East Pan-Arabism and The Arab Cold War."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics of the Middle East Pan-Arabism and The Arab Cold War

2 Sati' al-Husri “How Strange” We rebelled against the English; we rebelled against the French...We rebelled against those who colonized our land and tried to enslave us...We repeated the red revolutions many times, and we continued with our white revolutions over a number of years...And for this we endured so much suffering, sustained so many losses, and sacrificed so many lives...But, When we finally gained our liberty, we began to sanctify the borders that they had instituted after they had divided our land...And we forgot that these borders were but the boundaries of the "solitary confinement" and the "house arrest" which they had imposed on us!

3 Origins In 1911, Muslim intellectuals and politicians formed al-Fatat ("the Young Arab Society") Arab Congress of 1913 in Paris, discuss desired reforms with other dissenting individuals from the Arab world Arab Revolt during the First World War Damascus became the center of the Arab nationalist movement the seat of Faysal—the first Arab "sovereign" after nearly 400 years of Turkish suzerainty

4 Ideology “ unite all the Arabic-speaking peoples within a single country.” Arab specific doctrine of liberation end of Western influence removal of Arab governments dependent on the West “Arab nationalism represents the "Arabs' consciousness of their specific characteristics as well as their endeavor to build a modern state capable of representing the common will of the nation and all its constituent parts.“ the Arabian Peninsula as the homeland of the Semitic peoples (the Canaanites and Aramaeans of the Levant and the Assyrians and Babylonians of Mesopotamia) who migrated throughout the Middle East in ancient times Islam as an Arab gift to the world

5 Egypt, Nasserism Three Circles Theory: Africa Midle East, the World Socialism, independence, non-alignment Arab unity under Egyptian hegemony circumstances contributing to the rise of Nasserism weak legitimacy of the post-Ottoman states surge in pan-Arab sentiments wave of decolonization through the developing world waning British imperial power power vacuum in the Middle East immense personal charisma of Nasser

6 Super Power Competition The success of Nasserism depended upon 4 conditions – 1) advanced weaponry – 2) healthy, independent economy – 3) ideology of transnational appeal – 4) influence on the world stage. Marshall Tito: maximize foreign aid and political clout in the context of the Cold War Avoid dependence on either of the competing powers, play one off against the other. Neutralism Egypt belonged to no defense pact, hosted no foreign bases, and professed neither capitalism nor communism

7 The Egyptian Position Dis-advantagesAdvantages lack of oil short on arable land weighed down by a rapidly growing population Egypt’s cultural and political centrality strategic geographical position US foreign Aide, Soviet Weapons 1956 Suez Crisis Cult of Personality, Nasser

8 Nasser’s Strategy Limitations (Soviet Model) Agriculture was to be transformed from above into an industrial powerhouse substituting state enterprise for private property and local production for foreign imports Manipulate super powers through neutrality Appeal to the regional and global masses Undermine conservative regimes army that was magnificent in parade but impotent in battle gulf between the regime’s rhetoric and its approach to implementation inconsistency between limited resources and the limitless ambitions Created economic tensions that foreign aid could not make up for Failure to limit government expenditures

9 Jordan Abdullah of Jordan dreamed of uniting Syria, Palestine, and Jordan under his leadership in what he would call Greater Syria distrust of Abdallah's expansionist aspirations was one of the principal reasons for the founding of the Arab League in 1945 Abdallah assassinated Arab Federation, Jordan and Iraq. Collapsed due to tensions with the UAR and the 14 July Revolution

10 Syria, Iraq, Ba’athism Abd al-Karim Qasim, "Iraq first" policy; emphasizing the country's historical status as the cradle of great pre-Arab civilizations Hussein: “When we talk about the Arab homeland, we should not neglect to educate the Iraqi to take pride in the piece of land in which he lives.” Syria; objectives more local than regional. (Greater Syria) UAR Syrian delegation "We need to exploit your excellency's name that's all there is to it.“ Hafez al-Assad, regional and international policies were tailored to Syria's own interests.

11 Termination of the Unification Cause 1967 Six Day War Presidency of Anwar al Sadat, Camp David Accords 1978 “only Egypt and Egyptians are my responsibility”

12 Sources of Failure Common distrust and hegemonic ambitions UAR, Syrian army officers carried out a coup d'état and withdrew from the union Failure of economic mobilization Skepticism from Shi’ite Arabs, ethnic minorities 1967 Six Day War Political weakness, common to the Ottoman Empire’s Arab successor states deficit of legitimacy.

13 Arab Cold War Malcolm Kerr sought “to dispel the notion of Arab politics as a projection of decisions made in Washington, London, Moscow, and Jerusalem.” Arab cold war cemented alliances between the revolutionary republics\USSR and the Monarchies\ US

14 The decline of Egypt and the rise of Saudi Arabia, the twilight of Arab nationalism and the dawn of political Islam the end of decolonization the fate of the Cold War in the Middle East

15 Republics vs Monarchs Revolutionary Republics Iraq, Syria, Egypt Nasser champion of secular pan-Arabism Conservative Monarchies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Kingdoms King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, guardian of the holy sites of Islam,

16 Yemen Civil War September 1962, a coup d’état in Sana ˙military officers succeeded in overthrowing the Imamate, a dynastic institution of Zaydi religious rulers – 1967 Egyptian Expeditionary Force 70,000, extensive military costs End of UAR Increased Egyptian isolation from Republican partners

17 Economic Consequences Loss of US aid, increased debt to USSR (3 Billion by 1965) income taxes raised "defense tax" on all sales cost of luxury goods up 25% raised workers' compulsory monthly savings by 50%,, curtailed major industrial programs. Only military expenditures were increased, by $140 million to an estimated $1 billion increased the price of, long-distance bus and railroad fares and admission to movies. Egypt was losing $5,000,000 a week in revenues from the closing of the Suez Canal and Israeli occupation 1967

18 Yemen Civil War Republican victory 1967 Egypt forced to redeploy troops to Sinai 1967 – 71 Disengagement Casualties SA, 1,000 Egypt 26,000

19 The End of The Arab Cold War 1967 reduced Egyptian capabilities as the van guard of Arab Nationalism 1970 Death of Nasser leads Sadat to follow similar national interest policies as Syria, Iraq Shift of partnership away from USSR

20 Politics of the Middle East Iran Iraq War

21 Tensions Territorial disputes in the Straits of Hormuz Shatt al Arab Waterway Iranian Revolution Anti Ba’ath riots Attempted assassination of Tariq Aziz Expulsion of 70,000 Shi’ites Instigation of riots in Khuzestan

22 Resources Iraq possessed 200,000 soldiers, 2,000 tanks and 450 aircraft 1979 Oil boom 33 Billion$ Extensive loans from Kuwait $20 million from Saudi Arabia Extensive US aid Sale of weapons Officer purges 85 senior general 12,000 officers 60% desertion Lack of spare parts for US made equipment 1000 tanks 200 aircraft

23 Saddam’s mis-calculation, Revolutionary disorder or revolutionary fervor Protracted war: Iran unwilling to cease fighting, Iraq unable Highly asymmetrical due to Iraqi access to advanced weaponry indiscriminate ballistic-missile attacks on cities by both sides, mostly by Iraq; extensive use of chemical weapons (mostly by Iraq); and some 520 attacks on third-country oil tankers

24 Trench Warfare both armies had a large number of infantry with modern small arms little armor, aircraft, or training in combined operations

25 Iran’s Position Absent of advanced weapons Deprived of experienced military officers that had been purged Population of 40 million as opposed to Iraq’s 13 Only available strategy relied on mass infantry attacks High population moral

26 Human Wave Attacks Used as mine sweeping and to absorb artillery fire 95,000 Child soldiers Iraq strategy “defense in depth”

27 Tanker War and the War on the Cities Attacks on 3 rd country oil tankers leaving Iranian ports Attacks on cities inflicting damage on civilian population February ,000 Iranian civilian casualties

28 Years of failed attempts to penetrate Iraqi defenses Iraq maintained an entrenched position until 1988 Large scale Iraqi counter attack in April leading to the reluctant acceptance of a UN sponsored ceasefire.

29 Foreign Aid Iraq directly supported with arms and finances by Kuwait, SA, US US, China, Brazil, USSR, major sales of weapons to both Israel supports Iran

30 Iran – Contra Affair began as an operation to free 7 American hostages in Lebanon help by Hezbollah Israel would ship weapons to Iran, United States would resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to help with release of hostages. plan deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme portion of the proceeds diverted to fund anti- communist rebels in Nicaragua 5 of 7 eventually released

31 Weapons of Mass Destruction US exported $500 million of dual use exports to Iraq Among them were advanced computers, some of which were used in Iraq's nuclear program. The non-profit American Type Culture Collection and the Centers for Disease Control sold or sent biological samples of anthrax, West Nile virus and botulism to Iraq up until 1989

32 Operation Anfal Campaign against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq 1986 – 1989 Halabja Massacre March 16, 1988, Iraqi attempt to repel the Iranian and Kurdish forces. 48 hours after the fall of the town 3,200 and 5,000 deaths 7,000 to 10,000 casualties mostly civilians. Thousands more died of, diseases, and birth defects after largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-population in history w

33 Iran Air 655 Previous incidents with both belligerents July 3, 1988 USS Vincennes 290 Killed 1996 "...the United States recognizes the aerial incident of 3 July 1988 as a terrible human tragedy and expressed deep regret over the loss of lives caused by the incident.. $61 Million compensation

34 Outcomes UN Resolution 598 War ends July 20, ,000 Deaths 1 million permanent invalids, $228 billion expended $400 billion in damage Inconsequential gains exclusive Iraqi sovereignty over the Shatt-el-Arab waterway Hussein surrendered that gain in need of Iran’s neutrality in anticipation of the 1991 Gulf War.

35 Effects on Regional and International Relations Cements the Iranian Islamic Revolution Entrenches hostility between the US and Iran Increased sectarianism Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq Gulf War I


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