OPINION

Geopolitics in the Middle East

There is every indication that the American military attack on Iraq is just a few weeks away. Washington is not concealing its intentions, which are not simply to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, but to control and completely reshape that oil-rich country. It is hinting that Iraq is the first link in a broader politico-military operation that will affect other countries in the region. Among these may be Saudi Arabia, which has recently been in the firing line of American criticism. The prime objective is not just to reinforce the imperial role of the United States, but to find a new outlet for its ailing economy. Europeans expressed their opposition at the outset, because they realized that what is really at stake politically is the overthrow of the geopolitical and geoeconomic structure of the Middle East, and whether American hegemony will follow any rules. The Europeans… want their rights as equal allies respected. The Bush presidency is completing a process that began after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. As the sole political, military and economic superpower, the USA deems that the international institutional framework built up in the time of bipolarity does not correspond to the current balance of power. But it does not aim at imposing new international laws favorable to itself; it plans to deconstruct them. Confident in its ability to impose, it is unwilling to undertake any commitments, preferring a fluid situation which allows freedom of maneuver. Not only has the USA proclaimed its «right» to take unilateral «preventive» military action, but it also claims privileged status, as was apparent from its opposition to the new International Criminal Tribunal. The proposed new international order is nothing but a Pax Americana.