Tunis, August 25, 2016
The United States of America had always been an important factor inside the MENA region. After the recent development and incidents that the regions witnessed and the conflict of interests the role of us became more significant and influential. Within this framework, the Center for the Studies of Islam and Democracy organized a national seminar entitled «The Policies of the United States in the MENA Regions after the Arabic spring » Thursday 25 of August 2016 at CSID headquarters with a participation of Dr. Mark Lynch senior lecturer at George Town University specialized in Middle East affairs.
The seminar started with a presentation by the in the session by the president of the center, Dr. Radwan Masmoudi, who said that this seminar comes in in order to understand the context of the Arab Spring countries and to find answers for the role of the US within this context. Dr. Masmoudi stressed also that the coming US election results will have a direct impact on the situation in the Arab world, which will be the subject of the seminar.
Professor Mark Lynch started his intervention by stressing that the United States sets its policies according its key priorities namely the oil resources, the interests of Israel and the sovereignty of American unity and the relationship with its allies adding that not everything the United States comes out of this circle of these major interests. After that, he determined the major paths taken by both US President Clinton, Bush, and the difference between them and Obama’s policy and the implications of the two presidents on US policy in the region.
Marc Lynch confirmed that Bush administration was differed from that of President Clinton in the war on terrorism which led to the events of September 11, as well as on the agenda of liberalization trend and spreading democracy in order to eradicate terrorism, he also talked about the balance of power during the Bush rule changed during the preparation for the occupation of Iraq in order to protect the oil wells and restrictions on the Iranian threat, but the implications were negative and Iraq have become more loyal to Iran. Professor Marc confirmed that President Obama criticized Bush and said that the policy of the occupation of Iraq was a strategic mistake and it is necessary to be redressed. Obama has already succeeded to make the final withdrawal from Iraq in 2010 and reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, in addition to the successive attempts to find peace and a resumption of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
Professor Marc stressed that the Arab revolutions have made Obama change his policies in the Middle East and thus led the United States to support democracy and freedom wave and choose to be an ally of the forces of freedom in the Arab world imposed by the populations. This situation made Obama refuse supporting Hosni Mubarak at the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution. After that, things have changed due to the rejection of America’s allies in the region, such as the Arab Gulf countries and Israel of democracy and decided to finish it by supporting the coup in Egypt…
In the same vein, the professor added that the US was committed to non-interference in Syria and that and that Obama rejected the syrian opposition but he did not prevent his allies from that.
Concerning his expectations for the results of the upcoming US presidential election Mr. Lynch emphasized that the opinion polls show that Hillary Clinton is the closest to win. She is a cautious candidate with similar policies of Obama’s and has no intention to do a radical change, which is committed to protecting democracies and the resumption of the peace process between Israel and Palestine. As for the candidate Trump he is an unknown politician with no foreign affairs background, he believes that radical Islam is the first danger on the US and his reign may be disastrous for the whole world.
During the debate, the present participants asked about the American position towards the Tunisian revolution and the current situation of the country, and the role played by America in Turkish coup attempt and whether there was an intention from the United States to defeat the experience of Turkish democracy.
Other interveners also said that America wants to impose a given kind of democracy and not the democracy that people want. In interaction with the questions raised, Dr. Mark said that America supports the Tunisian revolution and does not see anything wrong with the Tunisian democratic transition because it does not affect the US national security and conventions. He added that the United States does not want to surmount peoples, but the logic of interests and alliances is the main determinant of the motives of the political game in the world.