I think I heard somewhere that the U.S. has more than a thousand military bases throughout the world and I suspect many of them are located in the Middle East. We as a country seem to be so fixated on telling others how to live that we spend huge amounts of money and our citizens’ lives trying to do just that. Here are some words about that:
Every year the United States seems to be torn between further retreat from the Middle East and deeper military involvement in it.
Over the past four decades, America has bombed pharmaceutical plants in Sudan and cars from Yemen to Afghanistan. It has promoted democracy in the Palestinian territories, then subterfuge and civil war in Syria. In Iraq alone, it has tried war, sanctions, no-fly zones, shock-and-awe, regime change, withdrawal, and, now, bombing again.
Instead he points out that while the Middle East will still be an irritant to America for some time to come, the energy that the world depends on is now found in abundance in the Western hemisphere and the balance of economic power is shifting dramatically to Asia. The unstated and perhaps morally unsatisfying conclusion is that while America’s expansive military policy in the Middle East may reveal itself to be a bad deal in the near future, geopolitical forces may conspire to push America to move on without ever truly reckoning the cost of its folly.
The one thing I disagree with the above quote is the use of the word “irritant” to describe our Middle East quagmire. Trillions of dollars have been wasted that along with thousands of our young men and women. It is much more than an irritant.
I’m sure a lot of the Middle East think has been because of our quest for energy resources, which up until recently have been mainly oil. The Middle East has always been unstable, at least during my lifetime which began with forceably inserting Holocaust victims directly in their midst. Thank heavens renewable energy sources use is quickly expanding and therefore reducing in cost. I can see a day when most of our energy is obtained that way. That along with newly discovered natural gas will soon make the Middle East irrelevant when it comes to energy.
I kind of suspect that if we left the Middle East citizens alone to their own fates that they would not have such a hatred for us. If as my Republican friends now seem to want, let’s put up a fence around that part of the world and leave it to them. The Shias and the Sunnis can battle each other for the voice of Allah without our interference.
One of my strongest upsets about America is that we just can’t seem to take any lessons from the rest of the world. We think we “know it all” and therefore want to form the rest of the world in our molds. We just can’t fathom that maybe we might be wrong about some things.
Its time we learned this lesson….