America has many allies in the Middle East. These allies range from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia to Yemen.
Of course, the relationship between the United States and its Middle Eastern “allies” is not as close as the diplomats might suggest. A perusal of the newspapers of both countries would uncover some (or very much) hostility between America and, say, Pakistan.
Indeed, America’s allies in the Middle East do much behind its back that goes against America’s interests. America is incredibly unpopular in Egypt and Turkey. Saudi Arabia was home to Osama Bin Laden, as well as fifteen out of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Pakistan may or may not have protected Mr. Bin Laden; it certainly protects much of the Pakistani Taliban.
All in all, and with the exception of Israel, until now America has not had a true ally in the Middle East for decades (or perhaps ever). Outside of Israel, there has not been one country that would come to America’s aid if it were in dire straits.
Until now. The events in Libya may give America a second true ally in the Middle East. Libya may become first Arab country in which the people support an alliance with the United States.
This would be quite the change. Libya has for decades been grouped together with countries generally thought of as enemies of America. People have thought of Libya in conjunction with Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Syria, etc. But now, with Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s rule at a clear end, Libya could possibly turn into the strongest friend America has amongst the entire Arab world.
An ally’s worth is measured not by its promises when the going is good, but by whether it honors those promises when the chips are down and a country is in desperate need of help. By this measure, the vast majority of America’s “allies” in the Middle East don’t deserve to be called by that term.
Say, for instance, that Canada launches an invasion along America’s unprotected northern border, defeats America’s armies, and advances within fifty miles of New York City – with America’s remaining troops fighting a desperate last stand on the shores of the Hudson River.
Who would come to America’s aid in that event? “Allies” such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would probably abandon America gladly. On the other hand, much of western Europe would rush to America’s defense. The United Kingdom and France would probably send help. Countries such as Israel and Australia would probably provide assistance as well.
After the Arab Spring, so might Libya.