What is so Inherently Wrong with the US Economic – Political Model Towards the Middle East?

Machiavelli once wrote that princes should see to it that they are either respected or feared; what they must avoid at all cost is to be despised. To have made itself despised as irrelevant: That is the legacy of US faithlessness and willful blindness in the Middle East.

It is obvious to anyone out there today that America has long supported dictators, instead of democracies in the Middle East; simply because our “economic model” in the region always supported strong men who will ensure that their country always acts as a “client state” and by the same token moves to crush countries which refuse to act as satellites to us.

I believe this “godlike” attitude has got to change if we are ever to dream having any presence in the Middle East one day.


Let’s face the facts:

1. We are today a bankrupt nation and so is the majority of our citizens. Most importantly, we are certainly in no position to impose to a Middle East bloc of 370 million people controlling over $5 trillion in capital and growing how to manage their house, elect their leaders or otherwise as frankly we are clearly no role model to follow neither on the fiscal nor foreign policy side.

2. The US’s entire frame of reference in the region is hopelessly outdated, and no longer has any meaning. It is a fact that the street protesters anywhere in the Middle East could possibly care less today of what the US thinks or what the US State Department says; as if the political and economic reform which US Presidents urge on those countries leaders while they are burning could possibly satisfy those risking their lives to overcome decades of repression and American support to dictatorships throughout the region…Sometimes I wonder if our spokesmen have any clue of what they are talking about.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Time to wake up folks. Our “folie de grandeur” has got to stop no matter what. At this point, it is not a matter of choice anymore but a matter of our survival and access to The Middle East’s huge resources in the years to come.

What led to this mess and hatred for America? In my humble opinion, it is simply “hubris” and a very “flawed” US economic model used to justify our historic support for dictators and looking for “client states” to suck off their natural, financial and human capital resources..

How naïve and potentially dangerous can that be?

Having long told ourselves that the people of the region are not ready to shoulder the burdens of freedom, having convinced ourselves that Muslim culture or religion stands in the way of democracy, suddenly the US has nothing it can credibly say as people take to the streets to try to seize control of their collective destiny.

As George Bernard Shaw once said: “Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force.”

Share your thoughts.


Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.