POL326Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Christian Fundamentalism, Saddam Hussein, Marshall Plan

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15 Mar 2018
Final exam
IDs exclusively on second term
Essays also focus on second term material
However any relevant material covered in first term should be included to enhance/strength your answer
Part 1: US FP in the Middle East
Review of last class
The history of involvement in the ME by the US is considerably shorter than in LA
o Historically mostly involved missionaries (converting to Christianity)
US did not become a major player in this part of the world
However Roosevelt built close ties with Saudi Arabia
US interventions during WW1 prevented a direct colonization of the former Ottoman Empire
o Initiated a League of Nations mandate
Modern boundaries of the ME
Intention not to create stable democracies but states that would be easy for Western powers to
manipulate and support their foreign interests
But by the end of WW2, the ME represented an area for great interest for US FP makers
o Middle Eastern oil was seen as the greatest strategic asset on the planet for the US
o Thus it became crucial for the US and its allies to control this resource (also given the emerging CW)
Note that it was not US dependence on ME oil that made it important (they didn't import a lot from ME oil,
Europe was more dependent on ME oil imports who would not have been able to eostut if it as’t fo
their access to ME energy sources) but for the US it became a strategic geo-political strategy
o It became crucial to the US because of its geo-economic and political interests of maintaining stability in
While the US as a out did’t ipot uh ME oil, Aeia oil opaies hoee ee esposile fo
extracting over half of ME oil
o Therefore it was also in the interests of Americans companies to develop relations with the ME
The US, from an economic perspective, shared interests of the previously dominated powers in the region,
France and GB, which in turn pre-disposed them towards emphasizing stability in the region
o Very little effort was made since WW2 to democratize the ME
o Instead the regimes established by GB and France suited the interests of the US and GB/French that
established that system
Fist lens: geo-strategic lens of the CW
US FP in the region during the CW was complicated
US viewed the ME not just through an economic lens but also through a geo-strategic lens and through the
prisms of its own American political culture
Viewed the ME as an arena of conflict between the USSR and its allies and the Western alliance system and were
worried about USSR approaching the region that would threaten Western access to these energy sources and
thus Western stability
The net result the US (somewhat simplistically) tended to view any threat to stability in the ME as one that
reflected the CW tensions of the region
To understand US FP, we can take a look at some of these major challenges to stability in the region
Challenge for stability in the region:
o Willigess of go.’s i the egio to epot thei atual esoues ad use the poeeded i ode to
finance their imports
Hoee go.’s eeged that tied to hage this asi elatioship
o major challenge: Iran
Iran was enormously important, particularly to GB
All of the oil extracted from Iran was extracted by the Iranian oil company which paid little or nothing to
the Iranian state
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By the end of WW2, the collapse of the monarchy in Iran and establishment of democratic institutions
New leader was a secular leader, largely a nationalist, determined to bring about the modernization and
industrialization of Iran (unlike the old monarchy that relied on GB)
His first goal was to get greater shares of the profits of oil extraction and exportation wanted to
guarantee at least 50% of the proceeds of the oil industry
British rejected so Iran leader nationalized the oil company and GB declared this augments to
While the British were not capable of taking care of this problem, the US was
The US destabilized the gov. and brought a coup against him, bringing back the previous ruler?
Shortly after taking power, the new Shah of Iran was forced to sign the 50/50 agreement
So the whole destruction of Iranian democracy could have been avoided if GB agreed to sign the deal
before, under the previous ruler
Was this a rational response to a communist threat?
o Scholars argue there was no evidence the Iranian elected leader was inspired by communism, he was rather
described as a secular nationalist
o He was committed to pursuing Iranian national interests, without regard to the context of the CW
Another challenge: came from many secular leaders Egypt
Nasser saw himself as a modernizer, to industrialize Egypt
He came out of the military and saw the military as the ideal institution to modernize a backward country
This has enormous implications in Egypt to this day
o The military is the largest owner of private industries
Signifying the role of the state and the corrupt military in the process of industrialization
Industrialization of Egypt required access to resources
o They are a primary exporter of things like cotton, not oil
Among the most important thing required for industrialisation was power
o Established hydroelectric capacities
To this end, Nasser received credits to help him build the damn, especially from the US (Eisenhower
administration) but simultaneously negotiated some arms purchases from Czechoslovakia
What this demonstrated to Eisenhower was that Nasser was trying to play the superpowers off against
each other
This was something the US could not tolerate
o NAM US always see the NAM as a threat to democracy and increasing the spread of communism
o As a result, the Eishenhower administration stopped sending funding for the development of the dam
To counter the independence of Egypt, the British and French collaborated with Israel to launch an invasion of
Egypt in 1986? To overthrow Nasser and restore the monarchy and British and French dominance over the Suez
o This failed badly
o Failed badly in party by virtue of the fact, the British, Drench and Israelis did not consult with the Eisenhower
administration about their plans
Eisenhower was furious and denied both countries the credit they required to stabilize their currencies
o Watershed moment in terms of external control over the ME
Prior to the Suez cries, British and French were dominant powers over the region, after this incident, they were
replaced by the US
Secular nationalism, like Nasser, represented a threat to Western European and American economic interests
o This inspired a movement that resulted in the overthrow of the Iraqi gov. established by the British
Beginning of what became known as the Baathist movement
I Ia, Ia, ad “ia, the foe oloial poes tied to eate go.’s that ee depedet on Western Europe
ut eatig ioit go.’s E: “ui ioit go. ulig oe a “hia ajoit populatio ad ie esa
Stability could only be created by creating a common denominator among these groups = secular nationalism
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