Los pilares de arena de Occidente en Oriente Medio

LONDRES – Hace dos siglos, la llegada de Napoleón a Egipto anunció el advenimiento del Oriente Medio moderno. Ahora, casi noventa años después de la desaparición del Imperio Otomano, cincuenta años después del fin del colonialismo y ocho años después de que comenzara la guerra del Iraq, las protestas revolucionarias en El Cairo indican que otro cambio puede muy bien estar en marcha.

Los tres pilares sobre los que se asentó la influencia occidental en Oriente Medio –una fuerte presencia militar, vínculos comerciales y una ristra de Estados dependientes del dólar– están desmoronándose. A consecuencia de ello, en las semanas y los meses próximos, a Occidente puede resultarle mucho más difícil influir en el Oriente Medio resultante.

El primer pilar –la presencia militar– se remonta a la ocupación francesa y británica de algunas zonas del Imperio Otomano después de la primera guerra mundial y quedó reforzado con los vínculos militares de la época de la Guerra Fría, forjados por los Estados Unidos y la Unión Soviética. En 1955, Occidente era lo suficientemente fuerte incluso para reunir nada menos que a Turquía, el Iraq, el Irán y el Pakistán en algo así como una OTAN del Asia occidental, conocida como Pacto de Bagdad.

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