A spokesperson for the US administration expressed the frustration with the lack of appreciation for all the efforts that America has put into maintaining a functioning hegemonic order in the region: ‘We have tried everything: invasions, assassinations, sanctions, coups, backing dictators, drone attacks.. but do we ever get any recognition or gratitude for our efforts? No, we don’t. All we get is criticism and constant opposition. How can we be expected to play our imperialist roles convincingly with all this negativity? Enough is enough.’
The US decision to quit the Middle East has taken both its allies and foes by surprise and there were panicked responses across the region. A Saudi official regretted the US decision but was confident the administration will change its mind. ‘The US and Saudi Arabia have a long friendship based on sharing the same values, America was founded as a puritanical religious society. We’re natural allies.’ An Iranian official meanwhile declared that this is a great victory for the resistance camp but nevertheless thanked the US for its policies which contributed to significant Iranian expansion in recent years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however downplayed the impact of this move on his country saying: ‘We are not in the Middle East, everybody knows that we are in the Eurovision song contest, I am sure the US will continue to be our friend for decades to come, we are part of Europe. Not the Middle East. Netanyahu stressed this point several times, before muttering something about bombing Iran and ending his speech.
It is understood that the US will close down all its embassies and sell them to developers who are interested in turning them into shopping centres and entertainment complexes. A spokesman for the company said that they expect this venture to be very popular with the public noting that the buildings will continue to have large numbers of people queuing in front of them for hours, ‘just like now’.
A leading Lebanese left-wing daily however accused the US of faking its retreat in order to ‘escalate in secret its ongoing conspiracy against the Arab people’. The newspaper claimed the US is behaving like a shopper who pretends he is leaving the shop when haggling only to be asked back by the shopkeeper, adding that the ‘filthy shopkeeper governments of the reactionary regimes will beg the US to come back.’
The US spokesperson declared that from now on the US will concentrate on areas that are more appreciative of its attention like Latin America and Eastern Europe, where the US has a long tradition of ‘aggressive relation-building programmes’ which have suffered due to disproportionate US attention to the Middle East.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity and in a rare moment of complete honesty, a US policymaker admitted: "There was a gradual realisation that we didn't really know what we were doing there. I won't say this in public, but we have been improvising for decades and we can't keep the appearance any more. It doesn't help that Arabic is so difficult to learn."
People across the Middle East had mixed feelings about the US departure. As a young man from Jordan put it: ‘it is a relief not to have the meddling US interfere in our affairs any longer, but it will be more difficult to get a visa to immigrate to the US now’. Many across the region shared this sentiment.