- Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 04:45
This article, written by Michael C Hudson and Rana B Khoury, appeared on Al Jazeera on September 17,2012
If you have been following the presidential campaigns lately, you would be excused for missing the candidates' ideas about foreign policy. America is still conducting the longest war in its history, is witnessing a shift in global power eastwards, is apparently impotent in the face of an imminent collapse of the Eurozone, is paying historically high commodity prices, and is standing by as the Middle East transforms. But in both the Republican and Democratic Party conventions, all that and more seemed to matter little in the face of one thing: the Economy. But foreign policy also matters, especially in a global environment that is challenging American hegemony; and Middle East policy matters a lot - a region important not just for its oil but because it is undergoing seismic social and political transformations.
Does it make any difference, as far as the Middle East is concerned, which party wins? Democrats and Republicans compete vigorously to be the most pro-Israel. Both parties are strong on combating Islamist terrorism and issue the same tough line on Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Both "support our troops" in Afghanistan - though Mitt Romney somehow neglected to mention this during their convention. As for the Arab uprisings, Republicans and Democrats alike produce soaring rhetoric in favour of freedom.
Yet beneath the surface there are nuances to be observed.
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