chapter  11
12 Pages

September 11 and American policy in the Middle East

WithTareq Y Ismael, Jacqueline S Ismael

This chapter argues that US policy in the Middle East reflects the tension between two inter-twined themes – racism and unilateralism. It examines how this tension has played itself out in the unfolding of American policy in the Middle East since September 11. The chapter argues that racism reinforces unilateralism in domestic US politics; and it creates obstacles to the acceptance of US unilateralism internationally. In the context of domestic politics, the quick response of the Bush Administration to September 11 represented a virtual coup d'etat in government. American policy in the Middle East was increasingly criticised by America's allies in the war on terrorism in the spring of 2002 as European politicians sharply questioned the US on diverse issues across the region. In spite of US efforts and public pronouncements to the contrary, the Palestinian and Iraqi issues were increasingly conjoined.