The current turmoil [in the Middle East] is still confined to those areas of the Middle East where for twenty years or more American power never really penetrated: the West Bank, Ba’athist Iraq, Khomeinist Iran. The real us anchorage in the region lies elsewhere: in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Jordan. There its traditional clients have held the line, and are on hand to help out with regional problems. Beyond them, Europe and Japan stand shoulder to shoulder with America on Iran and Palestine, while Russia, China and India make no difficulties. It is too soon to count on imperial defeat.