Modern Middle East: the decline of the Islamic world and the response to the challenges of the West (1566-1905) the gradual decline of the Middle East Empire, and Europe, which quickly embarked on the path of capitalist development, formed a strong challenge to the Middle East countries, and the Middle East countries responded.
This is the main content of the modern history of the Middle East, which can be divided into two stages.
The first stage was the period when the rising Europe challenged the declining Middle East (1566-1798).
After Salem II ascended the throne in 1566, the Ottoman Empire gradually declined, which was mainly reflected in social politics.
First of all, as the foundation of the Imperial Army, the guards and feudal cavalry xipahi are becoming more and more corrupt and disintegrated.
Sudan’s preference for the guards and the emergence of new arms such as artillery and engineers reduced the importance of cavalry.
The lifelong fiefdom system reduced the number of fiefdoms.
As a result, the imperial government transferred the recovered fiefs and other state-owned land in the form of tax package system, thus forming a new tax package landlord class, which even controlled part of the power of the local government.
Soldiers of the guards were allowed to marry and have children at this time, and their successors became the main body of the guards at the end of the 16th century.
As a result, all kinds of people can enter the guard army and enjoy its privileges.
Therefore, the combat effectiveness of the guard army continues to decline.
Its officers and soldiers often echo with the court nobles to launch a rebellion and intervene in the abolition of Sudan.
Secondly, Su Dan’s rule became increasingly incompetent.
As most of the new Su Dan grew up in the harem, he lacked experience in governing the country and rarely involved in politics, resulting in the dictatorship of the harem and eunuchs.
Thirdly, the power of local nobles continued to develop, often making trouble, and some local governors established de facto independent regimes (such as Egypt, Iraq, etc.). Fourth, the tax package system and other measures have increased the burden on farmers.
A large number of people have gone bankrupt, bandits and robbers are rampant in the countryside, and civilian riots often occur in cities.
The transfer of international trade routes and the preferential rights granted to European businessmen have hindered the development of domestic commerce.
In addition, there are problems such as inflation, plague, food shortage, urban population expansion, unemployment and so on.
Although the Ottoman Empire has declined, its performance in foreign relations has a process.
For a period of time, the Empire still maintained a strong military strength and strengthened itself through temporary reforms, but signs of decline have emerged.
In 1569, the Turkish army attacked Astrakhan and was defeated by the Russian army.
In the battle of Le Pindo in 1571, the combined fleet of Spain and Venice defeated the Ottoman Navy, although the latter was soon restored.
In the war against Persia from 1602 to 1618, Ottoman was forced to abandon Azerbaijan and Georgia.
In 1606, the Empire signed the Treaty of sitvatorok with Austria, which recognized the equality of both sides for the first time and stopped the annual tribute of Austria.
The second stage was the period of Europe’s massive expansion to the Middle East and the early modernization reform in the Middle East (1798-1905).
From this stage, both Western European countries with rapid development of capitalism and Russia with slow development of capitalism but strong external expansion have actively expanded and penetrated into the Middle East.
Thus, the following six challenges have emerged: (1) seizing or controlling the territory of countries in the Middle East, especially the tsarist Russia adjacent to the Middle East, which attacked Ottoman and Persia through a series of wars, encroached on their territory and annexed the weak Khanate around them, so as to open the Sea outlet of the Black Sea and control central Asia, Threatening the crown jewel of the British Empire – British India.
Britain, France and Spain competed in North Africa to capture the provinces of Ottoman: Algeria (1870), Tunisia (1881) and Morocco (1904, which did not belong to the Ottoman Empire).
Britain also actively controls the local Emirates (Kuwait and trusil countries) in the Gulf region adjacent to India.
(2) focusing on the struggle between dismembering the Ottoman Empire or preserving the Empire in West Asia, the tsarist Russia bordering on the Ottoman not only coveted the territory of the former, but also attempted to dismember the Empire in an all-round way, so as to fully control the Bosporus Strait and make the sea entrance of the black sea unimpeded.
This is the so-called “Oriental problem”.
However, Britain and France firmly opposed this.
While encroaching on the territory of the Empire, they tried to preserve the main territory of the latter in West Asia in order to curb the southward movement of aggressive tsarist Russia.
In 1853, tsarist Russia launched the Crimean War, which was defeated when Britain and France assisted Ottoman.
In Central Asia, Britain and Russia compete around Iran and Afghanistan.
This is the so-called “big game”.
Britain has launched two wars against Afghanistan.
(3) plunder the resources of the Middle East through unequal trade, comprador, national debt and road construction, and control the finance, domestic and foreign trade and transportation of Middle East countries.
Since the 14th century, Italy’s urban countries, Britain, France and other countries have successively signed bilateral business treaties with Ottoman, so its businessmen enjoy privileges in Ottoman.
This privilege given to Western European businessmen due to political needs has made them dominant in the competition with imperial businessmen for a long time and damaged Ottoman’s interests.
At the same time, the local compradors (mostly Jews and Christians) who assisted foreign businesses also obtained some privileges, so they dominated the trade activities in the Empire and became the main body of the bourgeoisie, and the status of Muslim businessmen was insignificant.
With the opening of new routes, Ottoman’s control over trade in the Indian Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean ended.
(4) provide protection to the Christian factions in Ottoman and intervene in the internal affairs of the Empire.
In 1615, Austria gained the right to hold Catholic ceremonies in Ottoman in a peace treaty.
In 1774, Russia signed a treaty with Ottoman to obtain the right to build and protect churches in Istanbul, which was later interpreted as the right to protect all orthodox believers.
France has obtained the right to protect the Maronites of the Catholic Church in Lebanon.
The western protection of Ottoman Christians and the improvement of the latter’s status (due to modernization reform and other reasons) triggered discontent among Muslims.
There were many riots against Christians in the 19th century.
(5) encourage the Christian nationalities in the Balkans to strive for independence.
In 1804 and 1815, the Serbs revolted twice.
From 1821 to 1830, the Greeks successfully won independence through uprising, during which Russia declared war on Turkey.
(6) carry out missionary and corresponding educational, medical and publishing activities.
Churches in western countries, especially in France and the United States, actively engage in missionary activities in the Middle East.
To this end, they also cooperated in cultural and charitable activities.
eighteenIn 66, American missionaries founded the first modern school in Beirut.
Later, France, Britain, Russia, Germany, Italy and other countries also successively ran schools.
By 1900, there were more than 300 foreign run primary and secondary schools in six cities in Syria and Lebanon, with 15000 students.
The training objectives were scientists, doctors, writers and priests.
European countries and churches also set up publishing houses and printing houses to issue publications.
Therefore, the expansion of the West into the Middle East is all-round and generally serves its colonial interests, but objectively, it also has a certain positive impact, such as promoting the development of infrastructure, commodity trade relations and modern education and culture in the Middle East countries (for example, the scholars brought to Egypt have promoted the development of Egyptian Archaeology, historical research, health and scientific knowledge), It has brought new ideas of nationalism, democracy and freedom, and promoted the ideological and political reform in the Middle East.
The Middle East’s response to colonialism actually includes several objectives: fighting the expansion of colonialism, resisting the tyranny and oppression of its rulers, and promoting the modernization and reform of the country.
The first is the war and uprising against colonialism and domestic rulers.
In addition to the aforementioned wars between Ottoman and Persia and foreign countries, there are mainly the first and second anti British wars in Afghanistan, the Babu uprising and anti tobacco monopoly struggle in Persia, and the Arabian uprising in Egypt.
In terms of time, they include two climaxes in the middle and late 19th century, reflecting the intensified division of Asia by colonialism, the bankruptcy of handicraftsmen and small traders caused by the inflow of foreign industrial products, the large number of farmers driven by the development of export agriculture and large real estate, the incompetence of rulers and the resistance caused by the import of western capital and culture, Its essence is the crisis (national crisis, ideological crisis, economic crisis and socio political crisis) and transformation of Middle East countries.
The basis of the resistance movement is farmers, handicraftsmen and urban civilians, and its leadership is aristocrats and religious figures, including military officers in the later stage (Arabi uprising).
The second is the modernization reform of monarchs in various countries.
They began in the Middle East and semi independent Ottoman provinces after the 18th century: the Ottoman Empire, Egypt (extended to its occupied Syria and Lebanon), Iran, Afghanistan, Tunisia and Morocco.
The characteristics of the reform are as follows: it is carried out from top to bottom, and the goal is first to ensure the rule of the dynasty.
Reform is secular.
In the early stage of the reform, military and administration were the main subjects, while in the later stage, culture and education, society, economy and other fields were involved.
In the later stage, the reform often degenerated into serving the economic and political infiltration of imperialism.
The reform ended in failure, but it promoted social and economic changes, the most important of which was the gradual disintegration of traditional tribes and the formation of modern intellectual class, officer class and big landlord class in the crescent zone.
Under the above background, the nationalist thought with intellectuals as the main body began to form in Turkey and the Arab world, namely modernism, pan Islamism, Islamic reformism and secular nationalism (osmanism, pan Turkism and Arab nationalism).
These early nationalists emphasized rejuvenating the country by revitalizing religion, learning advanced western culture, actively engaged in the struggle against colonialism and autocracy, and advocated national autonomy (Arabs).
Among them, there are not only pan nationalist ideas that advocate the unity of the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic world, but also national nationalism that advocates the establishment of an independent national state (such as Egypt). II. Modern Middle East: the rule of imperialism and the rise of nation states (1905-1945) the modern Middle East is a period when the west established a colonial system in the Middle East, Middle East countries launched national democratic movements and initially established nation states.
The Persian revolution in 1905 opened the prelude to the “awakening of the Middle East” in the 20th century.
At this stage, the expansion of imperialism is still divided into the following two aspects: (1) further promote the independence of the Balkans in Ottoman.
Annexing the territory of the Empire, in 1902-1903, the Macedonians launched an uprising against the Empire, and the European powers asked the Ottoman to allow it to enjoy a certain degree of autonomy.
After 1907, Austria Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bulgaria also declared its independence.
In 1910, Albania launched an uprising, and Italy occupied Libya in the same year.
In 1912, the First Balkan War broke out and Turkey was defeated.
(2) strengthen the control over the Middle East countries that still maintain independence and pull them into their own Alliance group.
In 1907, Britain and Russia signed a treaty, which defined the sphere of influence of the two countries in Persia and stipulated that Britain was responsible for Afghan affairs.
At the same time, Germany strengthened its penetration into Ottoman, and finally pulled the latter into the alliance group to participate in World War I.
The Persian revolution from 1905 to 1911 and the youth Turkish revolution from 1908 to 1909 led to the promulgation of the first Persian constitution and the restoration of the 1876 constitution by the Ottoman Empire.
But the Young Turks eventually dragged the empire into the war, which led to the total collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
World War I began the process of establishing a national independent state in the Middle East.
The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the universal establishment of British and French colonial rule in West Asia broke the dream of Arab nationalists to unify the crescent zone.
Since then, there has been a general uprising against the colonial authorities in the appointed territories.
As a result, Iraq and Egypt have gained formal independence, and Britain has delimited outer Jordan from Palestine.
France designated its trusteeship as Syria and Lebanon.
At the same time, the Saudi family combined with the Wahhabi faction of Islamic reformism to unify the Arabian Peninsula by force, and northern Yemen also declared its independence.
At the northern level, Kemal led the Turkish people to defeat the Greek invading army and establish the Turkish Republic.
Iran and Afghanistan are officially independent.
In the Arab appointed territories in West Asia, nationalism is divided into two factions, namely moderates and radicals.
Moderates include royal families, nobles, landlords and their political parties.
They advocated the unification of the crescent zone as a long-term goal, while the current goal is to strive for the concessions of the authorities to achieve gradual independence, carry out moderate socio-economic reform, and consolidate the forming nation-state within the scope of the appointed territory.
However, they all unanimously supported the Palestinian struggle against Jews.
Some of them are middle and lower level intellectuals and religious activists.
They advocated adopting a tough policy towards Britain, actively supporting the Palestinian cause and realizing the reunification of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine as soon as possible.
There was an armed conflict between the two sides.
In order to win over the moderates, the British and French colonial authorities appointedParliament was established in the ruling areas, but it was often controlled by conservative soldiers, landlords and religious circles.
Coupled with the rise of European fascism, all this has ruined the reputation of Western democracy in the Middle East, thus promoting the rise of radical nationalist forces, which regard Germany and Italy as forces that can be relied on.
The situation in Palestine is relatively special.
Britain issued the Belford declaration during the war and formally promised to establish a Jewish “national house” in Palestine.
After the war, Jewish immigrants to Palestine accelerated and continued to buy land, resulting in fierce conflict with Palestinian Arabs.
The Palestinian issue has become one of the central issues concerned by Arab nationalism.
In independent northern Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, modernization reforms characterized by secularism have been carried out.
Its specific measures include promoting the development of national culture, national economy and centralization of power, and promoting ethnic integration and secularization reform.
Among them, Turkey abolished Sudan and Caliph and established a republic for the first time in the Middle East.
In the appointed areas, the power of the landlord class has been growing, and the local Muslim national bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie have sprung up rapidly.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, the Middle East became the object of contention among belligerents.
Britain stopped Jewish immigrants to Palestine and tried its best to win the support of Arabs.
Germany and Italy tried to win over radical Arab nationalists and the governments of Iran and Turkey, actively subverted the appointed ruling authorities, instigated a rebellion in Iraq and launched an attack on Egypt from North Africa.
Britain set up a “Middle East supply center” in Egypt, smashed the “African corps” of German and Italian coalition forces led by Rommel in the famous battle of alaman, and cooperated with the Soviet Union in Iran to overthrow the regime of Reza Khan and consolidate the Middle East as the rear of the allies. III. Contemporary Middle East: the completion of the nation-state system and the progress of modernization (from 1945 to now) the Contemporary Middle East is a period for countries in the Middle East to realize national independence, form the nation-state system and carry out modernization.
The contemporary history of the Middle East can be divided into four stages: the first stage is the period of the initial formation of the Middle East nation-state system and the upsurge of Nationalism (1945-1967).
After the war, a series of countries declared independence: Syria and Lebanon declared independence before the end of World War II.
Cyprus, Kuwait and South Yemen declared independence in the 1960s.
In this way, countries that have not yet become independent are mainly in the Gulf region.
In 1944, the League of Arab States with Arab sovereign states as members was established.
However, because of the confrontation between Palestine and Judah, Palestine divided and established the state of Israel, and then the first Middle East war against Israel broke out.
Therefore, pan nationalism in the Middle East has to give way to pragmatic national nationalism, that is, to engage in the construction of national states within existing borders.
The post-war cold war between the East and the West soon involved the Middle East.
In fact, the Middle East is the only region in Eurasia where a non Communist third world country borders the Soviet Union, so it has important strategic significance.
Both Truman Doctrine and doctrine proposed by the United States involve the Middle East.
However, the US plan to form a military bloc in the middle east went bankrupt because the Arab countries in the South regarded Israel as the main enemy and denied that the Soviet Union posed a threat.
However, Turkey and Iran, which are adjacent to the Soviet Union, have had territorial disputes with Russia and the Soviet Union in history, coupled with the conservatism of their regimes, which prompted them (and Iraq) to join the military alliance advocated by the west, namely NATO, the Baghdad treaty organization established in 1955 and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.
Only Afghanistan remains neutral.
On the contrary, Arab countries immediately regarded the Baghdad Treaty Organization as an opponent, including conservative Saudi Arabia.
Radical Arab nationalism launched a struggle against the western and conservative national regimes.
Some countries successively established republics through revolution: Egypt, 1952.
In 1954, radical nationalists also took control of the Syrian regime.
Among them, the Iraqi Revolution ended the Baghdad Treaty Organization, which was forced to change its name to the central Treaty Organization.
However, the center of Arab nationalism is Egypt, and Nasser is its undisputed leader.
It is under his leadership that Arab nationalism has entered a new stage – Arab socialism.
In July 1956, Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal, which triggered the second Middle East War, which resulted in the full withdrawal of British and French forces from Egypt.
In 1958, Egypt and Syria merged to establish the United Arab Republic (but the two countries separated again in 1961).
After independence, the Middle East countries began to actively develop their national economy.
In Iran, the oil nationalization movement led by mosatai broke out in the early 1950s.
Egypt and Syria, which pursue Arab socialism, have carried out the nationalization and land reform of foreign capital and large private capital in industry, finance and commerce, vigorously developed import substitution industries, and have close relations with the Soviet Union in foreign trade and aid.
Oil producing countries are committed to economic diversification, developing oil processing industry, infrastructure and agriculture, and developing economic ties with the West.
At the same time, Arab countries carried out regional economic and cultural cooperation centered on the Arab League, and the central Treaty Organization countries established the regional development cooperation organization in 1964 to carry out cooperation.
The second stage is the period of declining nationalism and accelerating economic development in the Middle East (1967-1979).
The struggle for national independence at this stage is mainly in the Gulf region.
In 1967, South Yemen declared its independence.
In 1971, Britain withdrew from the Gulf and the countries of trusia under its control became independent, establishing the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar respectively.
The great cause of independence of Middle East countries except Palestine was completed.
In terms of domestic politics, in 1963 and 1968, the Arab Baath Party came to power through coups in Syria and Iraq respectively, and began to pursue a radical domestic and foreign policy.
However, Arab nationalism suffered a major setback at this stage.
In 1967, the sixth five year plan war, the third Middle East War, broke out.
During the war, Egypt and Syria suffered heavy losses, while Israel seized the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
The war brought deep psychological trauma to Arab countries, Arab nationalism declined and Islamism began to rise.
The simultaneous rise of more radical Palestinian nationalism,Under the leadership of Arafat, Fatah was established and carried out armed struggle against Israel.
A few radical Palestinians opposed the conservative Arab regime and Israel with terrorist acts.
Egypt thus eased its relations with the monarchical Saudi Arabia, which has played an increasingly important economic and political role in the Middle East relying on petrodollars.
In 1972, Egypt expelled Soviet military advisers.
Under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, the organization of the Islamic Conference was established in 1970.
It is committed to promoting extensive cooperation among Islamic countries in political, economic, diplomatic, cultural and other fields.
On October 6, 1973, the October war broke out.
The Egyptian and Syrian forces unexpectedly launched an attack on Israel and recovered a large area of lost land.
The UN Security Council immediately adopted resolution 338, calling on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease fire and implement the contents of resolution 224 of 1967 on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories.
The October war broke the myth of “invincibility” of Israel and the situation of no war and discord in the Middle East, forcing the superpower to face up to the demands of Arab countries.
In December 1973, the Geneva International Peace Conference was held.
After the conference, diplomatic negotiations between Egypt and Israel and Syria and Israel began under the mediation of the United States.
In 1974, an agreement on military disengagement between Egypt and Israel was signed.
This marks the beginning of the Middle East peace process and the transition of the Arab Israeli conflict from military settlement to political settlement.
In September 1978, Sadat and begin signed the Camp David agreement.
According to the agreement, Egypt and Israel recognize that Resolution 242 is the basis for a peaceful settlement of the Middle East issue and that all countries in the Middle East have the right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders.
The Israeli army withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in stages.
The two countries finally established normal diplomatic relations.
In March 1979, Sadat and begin signed the Egyptian Israeli peace treaty at the White House.
Another feature of the October war is the oil war.
After the beginning of the war, Syria and Lebanon closed the oil pipeline in their territory.
Subsequently, Arab oil producing countries uniformly implemented production reduction, price increase, embargo and nationalization, which triggered the first energy crisis in the West.
Since then, oil producing countries have completed the nationalization of oil through different forms, laying the foundation for the development of national economy.
Oil producing countries have quickly embarked on the road of economic modernization, and their status in international economy and politics has been continuously improved.
The cooperation between oil producing countries in the Middle East and non oil producing countries in the fields of labor force, finance and finance has been continuously strengthened.
In Iran, Pahlavi began a large-scale socio-economic reform in the name of the white revolution, but the reform produced a series of contradictions.
Egypt and other non oil producing countries began to explore economic and political reform, developed in the direction of market economy and multi-party system, and in fact abandoned the policy of Arab socialism.
During this period, some Middle East countries experienced turbulence.
After the founding of Cyprus, the two major ethnic groups of Turkey and Greece had frequent conflicts.
In 1974, the relevant countries signed an agreement to confirm the partition of the island.
In 1973, an anti monarchy coup took place in Afghanistan and the Republic was established.
In 1978, there was another coup and the people’s Democratic Party was established.
In 1975, a civil war broke out in Lebanon and the country fell into anarchy.
From the perspective of the cold war, at this stage, the United States achieved obvious advantages and the influence of the Soviet Union decreased.
Therefore, from many aspects, the Middle East has entered a period of great differentiation and reorganization at this stage.
The third stage is the period of political transformation and economic adjustment in the Middle East (1979-1990).
At this stage, a series of major events affecting the regional and international situation have taken place in the Middle East.
(1) the Islamic revolution in Iran broke out in 1979, which led to the collapse of the Pahlavi Dynasty.
This revolution marked a breakthrough in the Islamic revival movement and began an attempt to transform the country through the Islamic model.
Khomeini put forward the slogan of “neither the east nor the west, just Islam”, which made the “two pillars” (Iran and Saudi Arabia) of the United States in the Gulf collapse, and the policy of exporting Islamic revolution made the West feel uneasy.
The outbreak of the Islamic Revolution and the subsequent Iran Iraq war mean that the Gulf has become two hot spots in the Arab world parallel to Palestine.
(2) the outbreak of the Iran Iraq war in 1980.
The war began with Iraq’s invasion of Iran, but the two sides were evenly matched and the war fell into a stalemate.
The war in Iraq has received strong support from Arab and Western countries.
In August 1988, Iran and Iraq realized a ceasefire and the eight year war between Iran and Iraq ended.
The war has had a serious impact on Iraq.
(3) in December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and supported the establishment of Karmel regime.
The rise of Islamism in Afghanistan and the rise of Islamic organizations in the West have led to the strong support of the Islamic world.
In 1989, all Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan, and Afghanistan began an all-out civil war.
(4) Arab and Israeli began to seek a political solution.
The Camp David agreement was resisted by the Arab world, so Egypt was expelled from the Arab League, the Arab world was divided, and Syria and other radical Arab countries formed a rejection front against Egypt.
In October 1981, Egyptian President Sadat was assassinated and killed by Islamic extremists.
In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and forced the PLO headquarters to withdraw from Beirut.
The Lebanese war prompted countries around the world to put forward various solutions to the Arab Israeli conflict, and Arab countries put forward the Fez plan, implying the recognition of Israel’s right to exist.
(5) further development of democratic politics in the Middle East.
In Turkey, after the military coup in 1980, it gradually returned to the people and restored general elections and multi-party politics.
In Iran, the Republic was established after the revolution, a new constitution was promulgated, and the president was elected by the people.
In Egypt, the Mubarak government released opposition figures arrested during Sadat’s period, restored the legal status of opposition parties such as Xinhua’s separation from the party, opened freedom of speech and allowed non partisans to participate in elections.
(6) oil producing countries begin economic adjustment.
The reason is that the price of oil has fallen sharply since 1981.
Therefore, oil producing countries have adopted measures such as adjusting the budget scale, realizing economic diversification, encouraging private investment, actively introducing foreign capital, promoting economic opening and international operation, reforming the welfare system and financial system, and actively cultivating their own employees, which have achieved certain results.
Non oil producing countries have also stepped up the pace of economic reform.
(7) strengthen regional cooperation in the Middle East.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (hereinafter referred to as GCC) and the Arab Cooperation Council (1989) were established.
Among them, the GCC includes six Gulf countries except Iran and Iran, all of which are oil producing countries, mainly focusing on economic cooperation and political cooperation.
1990In May, North and South Yemen achieved reunification and established the Republic of Yemen.
Obviously, the great division and reorganization of the Middle East in the 1980s are still continuing.
The most prominent feature is that the opposition of the cold war is weakened, the ideology is weakened, and the Arab world’s position on the Arab Israeli conflict is more practical.
The economic adjustment of oil producing countries began to start.
At the same time, the Islamic revival movement has entered a climax, while the war in the Middle East has intensified and regional hot spots have increased.
In the fourth stage, the Middle East has entered a period of globalization and in-depth economic reform (since 1990).
At this stage, the cold war has ended, the world has entered the era of globalization, and new changes have taken place in the Middle East: regional hegemonic countries have become the root of instability.
In August 1990, in order to recover the losses of the Iran Iraq war, Iraq brazenly invaded Kuwait.
The multinational force under the command of the United States carried out air strikes and ground attacks on Iraq from January to February 1991, liberating Kuwait.
After the end of the Gulf War, Iraq suffered heavy losses, United Nations sanctions and verification of weapons of mass destruction.
As a result, the United States has stationed ground troops and equipment in the Gulf region.
Since then, the United States held the Madrid Middle East peace conference in October 1991.
The participants included the Soviet Union, Arab States, Israel, the United Nations, the European Community and other international organizations.
The meeting launched Arab Israeli bilateral and multilateral negotiations.
In August 1993, Palestine and Israel made a major breakthrough.
After secret negotiations, the two sides initialed the agreement on the advance autonomy of Gaza and Jericho in Oslo, and formally signed the Oslo Agreement in September.
In July 1994, the Palestinian autonomous leadership began to exercise power in Gaza and Jericho.
In January 1996, Palestine held its first general election, and Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian national authority.
However, after Rabin was assassinated and Likud came to power in 1995, the peace process basically stalled.
In 2000, the United States presided over the Camp David negotiations with Arafat and Prime Minister Barak, the leader of the Israeli Labor Party, but the two sides could not reach an agreement, and the date of Palestinian statehood was postponed indefinitely.
In September 2000, the second intifada took place in Palestine.
In Afghanistan, various resistance organizations fought for territory to launch a civil war, and Afghanistan suffered unprecedented damage.
In 1996, the Taliban, characterized by extreme Islamism, occupied Kabul, and the Northern Alliance retreated to the north.
Since the Taliban hosted al Qaeda engaged in anti American activities, the United States attacked the Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan with missiles in 1998.
In 2001, the United States suffered from the “9 / 11” terrorist attack, and then launched the war in Afghanistan, overthrowing the Taliban regime in one fell swoop.
Since then, Karzai regime has been established in Afghanistan.
However, until today, the United States and its NATO allies are still unable to completely eliminate the remnants of the Taliban.
After the war in Afghanistan, the United States launched the Iraq war in 2003 and successfully overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Unexpectedly, there has been a wide range of anti American armed struggle in Iraq, including not only the residual Ba’ath Party and Al Qaeda, but also local Iraqi residents.
The United States has fallen into a Vietnamese trap.
At the same time, Iran’s strength rose rapidly after the war, its nuclear industry attracted the attention of the United States, and the Iranian nuclear issue has become a new hot spot in the Middle East.
After the Gulf War, the U.S. garrison in Saudi Arabia has aroused the dissatisfaction of many Arab Muslims, who believe that it is a desecration of Islamic holy places.
Therefore, the radical Islamic Organization represented by Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden intensified its anti US activities.
The United States accused it of planning the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the bombing of the U.S. warship Cole in Yemen in October 2000.
This seems to confirm the “clash of civilizations theory” put forward by American scholar Samuel Huntington in 1993, that is, the conflict between different civilizations will replace the conflict of ideology after the cold war, and Islamic civilization and Confucian civilization may pose a threat to Western civilization.
However, the hostility of extreme Islamism to the west is largely caused by the West itself.
At the same time, Islam is also adjusting itself to the changes of the times.
Iran’s pragmatic socio-economic policies implemented during Rafsanjani’s presidency after Khomeini’s death are enough to prove this.
Similarly, Turkey’s Islamist prosperity Party became the first Islamic Party to come to power through elections in the Middle East in 1996, and its domestic and foreign policies are also pragmatic.
The Gulf War also promoted the development of democracy in the Middle East countries from the outside.
Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan allow some political parties and individuals to participate in municipal and parliamentary elections.
In 1992, Saudi Arabia promulgated the basic law and established consultative meetings with Bahrain.
Kuwait resumed the national assembly that had been dissolved for many years.
In 2000, Bahrain announced the repeal of the national security law, granted women the right to vote in 2001, and adopted the draft Bahrain national charter by referendum, providing for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 2004 and the restoration of the national assembly, which was dissolved in 1975.
Qatar adopted a constitution in 2003, granting women the right to vote.
Kuwait granted women the right to vote in 2005.
In 2005, Egypt elected a president through direct elections for the first time, and allowed many candidates to run.
Economically, the Middle East countries are facing the severe challenges of globalization.
They have a lot of room for development in the fields of increasing economic growth rate, developing industry and education, realizing economic diversification, improving the gap between the rich and the poor and employment.
Meanwhile, in recent years, some countries have achieved rapid economic development through in-depth reforms and effective measures, especially Turkey and Egypt.
The six Gulf countries have gained new impetus due to the rise of oil prices, and regional cooperation in the Middle East has also gained new momentum.
The economic cooperation of the GCC has been deepening.
The six countries have achieved visa exemption.
Since January 1, 2003, member states have implemented unified tariffs.
Since December 2001, Yemen has been allowed to join the Council of Ministers of health, education, labor and social affairs of the GCC.
In December 1997, the member states of the Arab League decided to reduce tariffs in mutual trade and exempt tariffs within 10 years.
In January 1998, the Arab League announced the establishment of the greater Arab Free Trade Area.
At the same time, some Middle East countries have participated in the surrounding regional organizations.
For example, Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 and Turkey joined the EU in 2005.
Turkey also initiated the establishment of the black sea cooperation organization in 1992, with the participation of 11 countries along the Black Sea, including Russia and Bulgaria.
Iran launched the Caspian economic zone with the participation of Caspian coastal countries.
In 1992, by Iran, Turkey and bakisThe economic cooperation organization composed of Tanzania, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and other four Central Asian countries as well as Azerbaijan and Afghanistan are accepted as member states.
In addition, in 1995, the EU formally proposed and implemented the new Mediterranean strategy, which aims to support the economic transition of southern Mediterranean countries and establish the euro Mediterranean economic area by 2010.
The United States also put forward the Middle East big market plan in 1993 and evolved into the United States Middle East free trade area plan in 2003 to compete with Europe.
The Middle East is the birthplace of world civilization.
It once had an unparalleled glory, but it also experienced long-term war and pain.
People sincerely hope that permanent peace and prosperity will eventually come to this ancient land.