Delusion or common sense in the Middle East
President Donald Trump has stirred up a hornet’s after he ordered an immediate pullout from northeastern Syria. Maybe he could have been a bit more diplomatic. But are a thousand U.S. troops really going to make any major difference in the chaos taking place in this part of the world?
The bigger question is just how much involvement should the United States undertake in the Middle East? We have been fighting endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and putting out never ending brushfires throughout this region for the past seventy years. Some 20,000 American soldiers have lost their lives fitting in this region since 9/11.
It just might be a good idea for Republicans and Democrats, who fall over themselves espousing America’s continuing role in the Middle East, to take a breather and read Nobel Prize author and poet Rudyard Kipling.
“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat.”
America has commanded a major presence throughout the Middle East for the past 70 years for one major reason. Oil. It was in our economic interest to remake the Muslim world by the B and B method. Bribing and Bombing. President Trump just last week was candid in saying: “I don’t think we should be there other than to control the oil.”
In the 1980s, U.S. interests were served by pouring money and weapons into Afghanistan in support of Islamic radicals who were trying to expel the Russians. Then our one-time allies turned on us, and the initial seeds of al-Qaeda were sown, and America has been in a quagmire ever since.
In the last decade, we plunged into Iraq, where there was initially only a minor al-Qaeda presence. But the quixotic U.S. invasion poured gasoline onto the anti U.S. fire, causing the death of some 6700 American soldiers, leaving a country in shambles, with not one barrel of oil confiscated in this wasted effort. Then it was on to Afghanistan, and again, for no apparent reason. (But al-Qaeda is lurking!) Osama bin Laden is dead but his effort to bog down the U.S. in endless Middle East wars is right on target.
Writing in the British newspaper The Guardian, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad concluded, “The maelstrom of anti-western violence in the Arab world has more to do with decades of perceived western imperialism. Barack Obama‘s Arab honeymoon was squandered in the past by drone attacks on Pakistan and Yemen.”
Drone attacks he points out are used to get rid of the bad guys. And yes, we need to get rid of the bad guys. But as children’s book author Dr. Paul Craig Roberts points out in a recent Trends Journal article:
“Washington’s assaults on seven countries have blown up weddings, funerals, kids’ soccer games, farm houses, hospitals, aid workers, schools, people walking along the streets, village elders, but the Muslims don’t mind! They understand that the well-meaning Americans, who love them and are committed to their human rights, are bringing them democracy and women’s rights. The million or more dead, maimed, and displaced Muslims are a low price to be paid for liberation by Washington.”
Do you catch his sarcasm? This is the way a delusional Washington works. It’s the military slaughter of innocent Muslims and control over their societies and political life that causes the rage against us.
The Middle East has been in turmoil for over 2000 years. And just about everyone has attempted to control this part of the world over the course of history. The Egyptians, Turks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Persians, Europeans…the list goes on — none with any degree of long-term success.
From all this turmoil, there are lessons to be learned, especially for the U.S. First, make a massive effort to become independent of Middle Eastern oil. Second, read more Kipling. In his novel, The Naulahka, he writes:
“And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
“And the epitaph drear: ‘A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.’”
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all of his columns at www.jimbrownusa.com.