Modern Middle East
The Modern Middle East Studies mainly centers on the aspects of culture, history, religion, politics, and civilization of the contemporary Middle East. It considers its complete environmental extent, applying any of its four main languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. Many local affairs taken place in the Middle East unfolded in the region and consequently led to the rise of oil prices. In addition, it has been associated with the extension of the Muslim movements in Iraq. The Iran-Iraq war, battles in Lebanon among others also drew notice of both regional and world community (Hazran, 2010).
Considering the historical and global perspectives, the modern Middle East geopolitics focuses mainly on oil extraction and export. Researchers state, “instability in the Middle East has constantly been an important source of concern for the oil and gas industry” (Dannreuther & Ostrowski, 2013, p. 7). World powers such as the USA, China, Russia, and other nations have shown strong partnership with the Middle East due to its rich oil supplies. It has been of utmost significance for the former and present-day regal and super powers, including France, the UK, the USA and FSU Region. Before the discovery of petroleum, the region had been a center of religious schisms and conflicts over other valuable resources and the land itself. The weakening Ottoman Empire allowed European colonial powers to strengthen, grow, and invade a lot of territories hence finding their way to Asia.
According to Said’s report, however, Western countries have been accustomed to permanent misinformation and criticism towards the Arab world and the Islamic society itself. During colonial era, negative stereotyping assisted the European countries in the provision of explanations for invasion. This state of affairs also could guarantee strengthening of the domestic welfares of the powers that needed involvement in the oil zone (Shah, 2006).
As stated earlier, religion has been a significant element in the Middle East history for several thousand of years. Ranging from the earliest ethnic beliefs to the contemporary world religions, the Middle East has continuously been very religiously assorted. Consequently, the conservatism and piety could not but repeatedly generated conflicts among various communities. Not only did conflicts between different religions cause tension: the Islam was the bone of contention among the followers of this religion themselves. Israel witnessed numerous fights and disputes between the Jews and Muslims throughout the course of history (Hazran, 2010). The religious schisms have resulted in demonstration of violence, disunion, and even fights. In addition, the conflicts between the Muslim groups known as Sunni and Shiite that came into existence over a millennium ago continue to evoke conflicts and wars up to date.
Events happening in the Middle East countries have clearly shown a possibility of the World War III breaking out, as the world still can not come to the pacific settlement of the problems arising (Fraser, 2014). According to Fraser, the military contribution in Iraq designates a helping hand in the war, as President Obama has sanctioned aerial bombardment in Syria and Iraq. The sanction was aimed to fight the Islamic State regime in the Middle East. Official statements of war unavoidably invite considerations on the just war customs. Fraser expresses his disbelief of the real power of the war traditions as he cannot imagine a single occasion when strict regulations or prohibitions stopped a battle amongst nations. On the contrary, war objectives are usually considered the impulsive force between the parties involved. Thus, if the World War is advantageous, there are few reasons to stop it. Currently, the world seems to be undergoing alterations in the political tectonic plates all over the entire Middle East and strikes into the continent of Africa (Fraser, 2014). US authorities state that the Western world’s operating participation will barely help but only create some temporary illusion of achieving something.
According to Hazran (2010), the historical progress forms one of the main reasons behind the present-day crisis of the regional government in Iraq and Lebanon. A mixture of various practices has resulted in Shi’ite population being subjugated ever since the 1970s. These events have wide linkage to the territorial government and its political and philosophical mechanisms for economic development and liberation. The religious schisms between the Jews and the Arab Muslims in what presently bears the name of Israel have been a discordant element in the history of the Middle East. For many years, these nations battled over a kingdom they both regarded as sacred..
The Arab-Israeli skirmish is believed to be a fundamental factor of the regional basic forces of the Middle East (Falola & Genova, 2005). The regional conflicts that proved the present account of the Middle East by full-blown war in the past molded the area’s general practice of dialogues and control. Besides, the conflicts have played a significant part in the state foundation, cooperative psychology, and the government organizations. Consequently, Falola and Genova explain the factors that restored peace between such nations as the United States and USSR. It appears that the union of the countries brought about big alliances hence influencing the chances of securing the topmost seat in the US government. The Arab-Israeli war served as a primary source of the most powerful militarization seen today in the Middle East and considerably boosted the state of security in the area. As conflicts and battles continued in the region, the countries supporting the states in the Middle East were freezing economically due to the strong demand of financial backup.
Terrorism activity also traces its roots to the Middle East. History witnessed nineteen militants related to the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda who seized four planes and accomplished suicide assaults against several targets in the United States (9/11 attacks, 2010). The assailants are known to be Islamic extremists from Saudi Arabia and many other Arabic societies. In particular, the Middle East significantly contributed to the attacks since they were reportedly bankrolled by Saudi escapee Osama’s al-Qaeda radical group. On the other hand, the attackers were supposedly operating in vengeance to America’s backing of Israel nation, its participation in issues around the region and its continuous military existence in the Middle East. In addition, a number of the bombers had been in the US for over a year and had participated in airborne modules at American commercial airborne learning institutions (9/11 attacks, 2010).
Knell (2014) states that Jerusalem is a city located at the center of military actions appeared as a result of the Middle East conflict. He adds that the streets near the residence of Hussein Abu Khdeir frequently turn into a combat zone. Israel has been taking control over the East Jerusalem from the time of its seizure from Jordan in the 1967. According to Knell’s report, it captured this territory in 1980, though the occupation has not been acknowledged globally. However, the Palestinian dwellers have long protested against prejudice and explained growing tension by the increasing number of the Jewish immigrants moving to the region.
An extra source of hindrance for the Palestinian populaces is that the land colonized by the Israelis is ordinarily mainland, and thus the different peace dialogues frequently leave Palestine with the less fertile land. In addition, Israel also controls water supplies and non-adjacent land of Gaza. Thus, the fact that the Israeli rule the Palestinian society also bespeaks withdrawal. The governance consents to offer cheap labor to Israel, as their economic concern includes following this kind of separation (Shah, 2006). The majority Western media have conventionally taken advantage of negative portrayal and propaganda against the Islamic community and the Arab world. It has also been a mechanism for the foreign countries to substantiate persistent presence and participation in the issues of the region.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the wars in the Middle East have been the most challenging event in the history of the region, and appropriate measures need to be taken to curb such battles in future. Appropriate reformation measures are to be taken in the spheres of terrorism, oil and international policy, domestic warfare, religious conflicts. As discussed in the essay, the modern Middle East has great and severe challenges of peace to encounter for constructive development to be realized. Most importantly, the Middle East needs regional cooperation and internal peace to gain prosperity in its local developmental goals. Alternative measures to shift focus from oil and gas deposits, misinformation and criticism of the Arab world and other societies of the Middle East are necessary. Further recommendations for reducing the Arab-Israeli war, would help in demilitarization of the Middle East and hence leading to the restoration of peace.