By Amr Hamzawi
"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's address about the "new Middle East" being in the throes of a difficult birth in Lebanon provides further evidence of the vastly problematic approach involved in the Bush administration's relation to the Arab world. Washington has acquired the habit of declaring its regional vision at inopportune moments that tend to prove shocking to Arab peoples and governments alike, be they liberal or Islamic. No doubt the invasion of Iraq and occupation of Baghdad were contemporaneous with the drafting of the Middle East partnership initiative and the "Greater Middle East Initiative" endorsing democratic reform and freedom in Arab societies. Regardless of differences concerning any given reading of the true goals and intentions behind these two initiatives, at the time, no Arab politician, activist or intellectual, could help but reject the initiatives, irrespective of ideology, for they were but new episodes in the saga of imposing American hegemony on the Middle East and breaking Arab will. "