The resurgence of violence in the Middle East brings into focus the intention and the ability of Washington to promote a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Three months after the terrorist strikes in the USA and the announcement of the American crusade against global terrorism, the mobilization of the USA in the Mideast arena is in no way similar to the striking changes in the region which took place after the invasion by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Kuwait in August 1990. A look at the history of the broader Mideast region during the 20th century mandates more leniency in assessing the history of US interventionism… Today, 10 years after the Bush-Baker declaration of a New Order, the question emerges as to whether these high expectations actually corresponded to genuine capabilities. The US mediating monopoly – for the first time a great power was unchallenged by conflicting visions of regional order – was accompanied by the emancipation of the local protagonists: Israel, Iran, even Syria, and a defeated Iraq demonstrated its ability to delay or even perplex efforts when it deemed that the proposed solution bypassed its vital interests. Ten years after Operation Desert Storm and a year after the eruption of fresh violence between Israel and the Palestinians, the American interventionist monopoly emerges as a relatively precious advantage. Unfortunately, the ultimate solution to the problem – which lies with creating the economic conditions that will encourage migrants to remain in their own countries – cannot be undertaken by small countries like Greece. It is a long-term vision, and the international community does not appear to be moving in that direction.

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