Language Polarization of the Political History: The American Introduction in the Middle East Since 1945

Jamila ZGHAL

Abstract


Representing the past is writing about facts and happenings that do not exist anymore. For this, its reality representation pertains to a process of reading enriched with multiple versions and controversial approaching. This article aims to explore the language polarization of historical scholars in their writings in search of a given truth about an issue that has had effects on contemporary international issues. The American involvement in the Middle East after World War II (henceforth WWII) has elicited a plethora of writings as an object of study for researchers in the fields of politics, economy, and history. The rationale behind shedding light on this period is that it is particularly one of the historical and permanent entanglements and three major crises. A body of secondary sources has been written by American, Arab and Israeli academics representing three lines of thought (respectively political, economic and cultural vantage points). The first line of research operates within a political perspective; it is pioneered by Hahn (1991) who depicts the American involvement as positively “Interventionist” to secure stability and peace in the region that they see as destabilized as a result of colonization. The second one is adopted by academic scholars such as Halabi (2009); they argue against what they perceive as American “Expansionism” to secure American economic interests, especially access to oil, and dominating the region as a way to preserve the U.S. world hegemony. The third line has cultural assumptions; it portrays this involvement in the region as ‘Orientalism’, as perceived by Little (1992) in the first split considering ‘Orientalism’ the American stereotype to ‘westernize’ the Middle East.  Said (1978) presents a counter-discourse in the second one. He debunks this claim and unearths ideological inclinations through a representative reconstruction of past events. Thus, these lines of research present different representations of language polarization of the historical past pertaining to a dilemma that is going to be investigated in this intellectual endeavor.


Keywords


Language Polarization –representation – involvement – neutrality– ideology-stance.

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