Empire, Power, and People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 7

Empire in the Arab World

EPPTaking a look at the historical realities of Western imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa following World War II allows us to place current conflicts in a wider context and understanding. Briefly looking at the coup in Iran in 1953, the Egyptian Suez Crisis in 1956, the Syrian Crisis in 1957, and the independence struggles in North Africa against the French during the same period, we are able to see a recurring focus on the same major states as to this very day being strategically important for Western interests in a region of vast import for the United States. As one key U.S. adviser in the State Department acknowledged in 1945, Middle Eastern oil is "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history."

With research drawing from declassified State Department, Pentagon, CIA, National Security Council and White House documents from the era, the American Empire following World War II sought to define for itself a more pragmatic strategy aimed at domination, which simultaneously sought to separate itself from the formal colonial empires of France and Britain, while still serving their interests, and in supporting "moderate" and pro-Western Arab nationalists in the region in order to undermine the "extremist nationalists" like Nasser in Egypt, acknowledging that national liberation was a force of history through which the United States would have to navigate if it had any hope of maintaining itself as an imperial power.

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