the end of america’s moment?
The Middle East today is undergoing a revolutionary transormation along linessimilar to those o the popular-nationalist revolutions o the 1950s that swept the Arab world, rom Egypt to Iraq. The important dierence between then and now is that the new social uprisings are bottom-up, as opposed to top-down, driven by politics, economics, and the desire or dignity: millions o ordinary Arabs are seekingreedom and a better quality o lie. The
or state controlled by the se-cret police, is no longer omnipotent. The psychological ear actor separating publicopinion rom the ruling elites has been eroded. People across the Arab world eel em-powered and even emboldened, whereas autocratic rulers are trembling in ear. They ace an uncertain uture. The Arab authoritarianism that stabilized and protected USinterests or a hal century is beginning to seem not so stable. Neither are Americanpower and infuence as stable and durable as they used to be. A powerul current o revolutionary social change is eroding the very oundations o America’s riends andoes alike. Although the character o the new Middle East remains unknown, onething is clear. It will never be the same again. As the orty-ourth president o the United States, Barack Obama inherited adeclining American economy, an overextended military, and a bitter legacy inthe Middle East. Rising new powers, the so-called BRIC countries—Brazil, Rus-sia, India, and China—have started to challenge America’s global preeminence,
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