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Velshi: The key to good U.S. policy in the Middle East means choosing people over oil and dictators


Ultimately, the Middle East needs to solve its own problems, but the U.S. can provide the space needed for the region to work out its territorial, sectarian, humanitarian and political issues. Historically, the U.S. has chosen to prioritize access to the Middle East’s buried “black gold” — and the rulers who control it — over the political aspirations of the people who live there. And when the rulers’ usefulness runs out, America topples them without a plan for what comes next. Given how attempts at democracy, liberty and press freedoms have failed across so much of the Middle East, America’s best chance of bringing stability to the region over the next 25 years may be to be honest, transparent, and consistent in its goals: People above oil, self-determination over the preservation of client dictators, and human rights ahead of, well, everything else.