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1 Dec, 2012

China: Five reasons why US universal values are not working in Mideast

People's Daily Online Commentary

December 01, 2012 – In 2012, the United States has been suffering repeated setbacks in its strategies in the Middle East.

Firstly, it has a decline in the soft power and a loss of support of local people.

According to mass observation of U.S. Zogby Company, 78 percent of Arabians hate the United States and 80 percent regard the United States and Israel as their biggest security threat.

Secondly, Islamic forces rose in the Middle East. With the political turmoil sweeping through countries in the region, the Islamic forces especially Muslim Brotherhood become more and more active. Making use of the popularization of U.S.-style democracy, they have won power or got the upper hand in the parliaments of Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen and other countries, thus changing the political map of the Middle East.

They make use of the U.S.-style democracy but oppose such democracy. They hate the United States’ dominating the international affairs and adhere to independence and non-alignment.

In addition, Iran gradually grows strong and insubordinate. In the face of the threat of the United States over the past one year, it carried out arms expansion and war preparations, developed military enterprises, increased national defense strength and held a series of military exercises.

Facing the economic sanctions of Western countries, Tehran implemented a series of measures to crack down on the behavior of storing up goods and raising their prices within the state and launched a diplomatic offensive and made friends widely outside the state.

As a whole, the United States is stronger than Iran, but Iran has a favorable climatic and geographical condition in the gulf area.

Fourth, the four transforming Arabic countries start to keep their distance from the United States. The new regimes of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen draw lessons from the past and consecutively adjust their foreign policies from pro-American to relatively independent, balanced, and non-aligned.

Fifth, the United States lost its “boilerplate” effect in Iraq.

Washington spent nine years promoting Western-style democracy in Iraq. The effort to build a “boilerplate” in the Middle East cost the United States 1 trillion dollars and about 40,000 casualties.

But since the U.S. troops left Iraq by the end of 2011, the United States’ boilerplate has become an empty shell. The upper classes, sectarian and ethnic groups, local forces, and the central government in Iraq fight fiercely; terrorist bombings, major or fatal events occur frequently; and the society is in turmoil.

Besides, Baghdad deliberately acts contrary to the United States on the matters of Syria and Iran and gives the Americans a bitter taste.

The “universal values” propagated by the United States are not working, with only itself to blame.