ARAB NATIONALISM AS A FACTOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST SITUATION

Created: 8/12/1958

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ARAB NATIONALISMACTOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST SITUATION

THI PROBLEM

JlSSS^ rtb naUorutllamactor In the Middle

DISCUSSION

PRESENT SITUATIONith toonaatng rapidity onr thi put three yean, tha Wsstern-supported conservative governments of tha Middle Stat his*b influence and authority slip away. Tha revolution In Iraq brought ths strohfast of tha conservative Arab state* into Najjar'san-Arab camp. This left its partner In tha Arab Union, Jordan, so unsUbla that oven tha praaanca of UK troops may ba lniufflslant to maintain King Husaaln on tha throne. Lab. anon, onoa tha Arab otate having tha cloiaat corrections with tho Wast, has sxperienced an Insurrection, tha outcome of which appears almost certain to ba tha adoptionosition of nautrailty and of accommodation with Nasser. In Baudl Arabia, Crown Prlnco Faisal, now tho dominant figure In thaonni toward closer relations with the CAR as the result of bis own Pan-Arab incllna-ttone end his belief that to swim with the tide Is the beet means of praserrtng the Saudi dynasty, Navarthaless. the likelihood of ft political upheaval in Saudi Arabia is consld-erebls. The Ruler of Kuwait, aware erf the popular feeling toward Arab nationalism and Nasser in his own state and desirous of reaching an accommodation with these forcee, iaormula which would permit both eloatr Arab nd etention ofwith the UK. The govsrnmenta of

both Libya and the Sudan, which havs bean friendly to the West, are threatened by in-oreased Egyptian subversion and radicalooupi.1

nd UK integration In Lebanon and Jordanegree of temporaryln those countries and may have eervad to deter Nasser and his supporters fromImmedlete revolt* elsewhere In tha area for fear of becoming Involved with Watt-em foroes. sTowrrar, the net result of the Iraqi revolt and other recent events hastrengthening of the radical Pan-Arab position.

oreover the loEg-continulng opposition between the radical nationalist regimes end the Weetern-backod conservative regimss has opened the way for the USSR to secureexpanding influence In the area by becking the radical regime*.

II. AMI NATIONALISMAIMS AND OBJECTIVES

* Arab nationalismovement of long standing, with greet emotlonsJ appeal, aiznedenaissance of the Arab peoplee and the restoration of their sovereignty, unity, powar,

tb$ problem cf Arab naUocalum in North Afrtsa has bacn duaoaaad tn. tmct and s'orts ajriea. apprortdJoh- IHI.

tad prejtiga. Bines Worldt ha* been stimulated and encouraged by the drive among tha poople of underdeveloped areas throughout thi world against "cdoniallsm" and for self-detennlnatlon. Both tha oldor, .conservative nationalist* and thaf tha new radical movement led by Nasser have proclaimed the goal of eliminating Western "imperialist" influence and have made common causa against Israel. Thehowever, In fact often accepted Western support and cooperated with tho Weet, despite the Incubus of Westernwith Israel, partly because theiror cultural interests lay with the West and partly because they needed WesternIn order to slay In power. The radical nationalists, on the other hand, were far more distrustful of the West, more determined to eradicate the remaining Western controls over Arab political and economio life, and far more serious about achieving (rather than simply preieing) the goal of Arab unity. In addition, the radical nationalistsoctrine of social revolution and reform to the older tenet* of Arab nationalism, and thus came into conflict with tha traditional upper olasses and social and economic systems of the Arab world on which the conservatives' power rested. Finally, unlike the conservatives, the radical nationalist* sought and received Soviet Bloc eupport in their conflicts with thePowers and with the pro-Weet Arab regimes.

rab nationalism has alwaya beenwith loyalty to tha Arab "nation"hole, rather than with allegiance to one or another of the existing, often artificially-created Arab states, in practice, however', the nationalist movement's Ideal of Arab unity was until recently blocked by tha strength of conservative leaders and overshadowed by basic economic, geographic and culturalin the Arab world, a* well as by oleshee between rival statea and leaders. Political and cultural Incompatibilities divided Egypt from the Fertile Crescent region to the north, where Egyptian pretensions to Arabwere challenged; and tha conservative islamic culture of tha Arabian Peninsula found little in common with that of the more eeoular, advanced etatea of the Mediterranean seaboard. In the past two years, however, the vigor of the radical nationalist movement and the weakness of the conservatives in the face of It have reduced the significance ofivisivehis upsurge has beenwith and in large part dependant upon tha rise of Oemal Abdal Nasser aa It* symbol and leader. Soviet support hassubstantially torestige and capabilities. Under hi* aegis, steps havs bean takenegree of Arab unity which seemed highly unlikely two years ago.

ha ideal of unity has thus demonstrated itself toormidable force with widethroughout moat of the Arab world, and oneomentum not likely to be lost in tha near future- Wa do notelding together of the Arab states)entrallsad and unitary empire le possible ln the foreseeable future. There exist in the ere* certain conditions andwhich would militate against thesuccessentralised Arab state once Pen-Arabiam had achieved Its main goalthe elimination of foreign domination. Despite certain ethnic and religious slmilarS-tlee, there are considerable nationalistic,oammerdal and economic Interest* which would serve as serious divisive factors ln any Pan-Arab unitary state, or indeed in any type of federation. Syria and Iraq, for example, have mora in common, in terms of commercial, economic and various otherthan either has with Egypt; and in time these natural affinities may either work against tha acceptance of Egyptian primacy or revive feare of Egyptianany makers of the Iraqi revolution may be unwilling to accept Cairo as the ultimata and eole aource ofraqi affaire, and conflict between them end the Naeeerltee may develop. Furthermore, even though eome of the oil-rich countriee may consent to ehtre some of their profits with the other Arab countriee, conflicts of internet are certain to develop over this issue,

e are convinced, however, that thedivisive factors In the area will for eome time to come be overshadowed by the powerful

appeal of tha Arab unity movtcent,arti cf the Arab world remain undtr Weatern ooatrol or Influence. UcrtoTtr, the txlalanei of Israel will continue tochaatve influence on the Arabe.

hs Soli of Satin. Kuiir gained nil

he popular Arab nationlilt htroultrlM of tviata In which he won, or at laut appeared to win, vlctcriei for Arab nationalism against lisis luccata in acquiring lovltt trmi, htiof tht Butt Ctntl Company, his raootiry afltr thtrltUh, and French attack in lata lBBfl. and tht union with Byria. he has alio increased hit Influence in the arts through his skillful ant] ruthJtu un of aub-veraion and propaganda. ThtM art thsweaponsevolutionary movement, and, rtgardlaai of tbt atltt of his rtlationi with tht Wtat, he ii unlikely to forego their ust ai long as his revolutionary aims art un-fulfilled. Ht and tht majority of his foUowtn regard most of tht national boundarlai of ths area and til tht constrvtUvt imrirnratnti as artificial creations of outsider! and art thert-fort unimprttttd by argument* for prtttrvtng them. Furthermore Nuttr la convinced that tha Watt, and tha TJB la particular, is antn txtanslvt rjbvtrttve and proptginda activity against him la tha Arab sxtt-

S. Evan with hla power and petition, however, Naster'a control over tht radical Pan-Arab movement, tt Ittst outside of Egypt andouir dagne. Byrlt, is not absoluta, In ra-aptct to the InttrnaJ affaire of tht separata atttta of thtisar fromand thtrt la room for conatderibltWa baUtvt that hia Influence rttts mart on tha amotion al appeal of hia program, on hit personality, and on tht effeettvantta of hla propaganda than on any organisation, subversive or otherwise, that ha commands.

onethelaaa, wt btlltva that for allpurpoata it la nacatatry to think of Nasser and tht mist of Arab nationalist* atHi has baeoma so dearly lJanV.ftad with tha greatest fucoaaata of Arabthat no rival is Uktly to ehtlltngt him unlasa hetrial of dtfeats. Thtrt art no indications that any significant anti-Nasitr group exuru within tha Pan-Arab movement, Furtharmors, avtn In the event oflaippaaranot, tha Arabmovement would bt unlikely to exhibit fundamtntslly different characteristics, iinco Nasitr la probably as much tha Instrument of thta Is its Itadar.uootsior might bt lata ciptbla than Nasser of axarcUlng rtatrain upon tht Arab nation-tutu and might bt lata cautious about Arab relation! with tha Bovltt Bloc.

bjMtfsw. Wt btllavt that Ne*-stri position and hla objectives are essentially as ha has stated them. Ha intends to tlimj. nstt all vetUgtt of iptclal foreign positions and to bring tha rtaourcai of tht Arab world compltttly undtr Arab nationalist control Ht alms it uniting tht tntlrt Arab worldommon fortlgn policyommonof modernisation, development, andWa ballava that Nasitr, In pursuit of than objtetlvaa, will continue to use theof propaganda, aubvtrtion, and asalatance to looal forott of Arab mtlonallsra. Wt do not beUtvt that Nasaarrtciat achadulaataliad blutprlnt for tht unl-fltd Arab atatt toward which ha la working. Wa believe that ht will wish to avoid direct conflict with Watttrn, Turkish, or Israel! forces and will probably bt prtptxtd toonaldirabli dagrtt of local autonomy in atatta which may afBllat* with tht TJAR and DBA

ha alma of radical Arab nationalism art not invariably In conflict with UB inter sett. Thus, tht Arab objtetlvaa of maintaining la-dtptndenci and of utilising the proflta of Arab oQ art compatibli with two crucial US nv ttrtat!danlal of tht area to Sovietand malnttnanoa of Waattm access to Middle last oil. Other US lnttratti, however, auoh as tht praatrvatlon of Israel, appear to bt In irreconcilable conflict with tht goals of tht Arab nationalist movamtnt Bo alto art tha main tan an ca of Watttrn control over (as distinguished from access to) tha oil of the area, and the um of militaryore-ovar, Nassers ambitions art not confined to tha Arab world. Ht inttnds to try to aiiml.

uU European control in parti of Africa and to bring than: into hla neutralist bloc. Thare ti lUcaly toontinuing club of lntcraaU due to tha Impact ofrrolutlonary fnfluenoe in other ueu of tha Moil am worldtha Sudan, Libya, North Africa, other parti of Africa, and Iran. In tha longer run hat probably plana to create in Independent power canter baaed on Egypt and ralae him-eelf to tha poaltlon of an Afro-Aaian bloc leader.

II. We do not believe that Nauerom-nruniat or lympathatlc to tha Oommunlat doc-trint. He oppoaea Arab Oommunlati baoauie thiyhillanga to hla own authority. Ha regard! tha Soviet Unionraat powir with mtereata and pcUclaa in the Middle Eut which happen at thle itage to coincide with hla own. He will oontinue to look to tha USSR for support and to ba reaponalva to Boviat anaga&sna againat tha Wait Wa belliva that he continual to hope that tha Integrity of the Arab anion ha la trying to create willalance of lovlit anduance in the Arab area, despite tha event! of the put three yean which have certainly deepened Nuaar'a auiplcloni of tha Wait and probably reduced hla distrust of tha lovieta.

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