The Middle East And Our Mismanaged Efforts

We have been completely screwing up in the Middle East pretty much since our arrival over there during the firs Bush administration.  It was a conflict we never had no business being involved in, and when George W Bush continued on his fathers mission we followed deeper into a war we cannot win.  Obama tried to some what pull out which failed as he decided to fund the wrong sides of many conflicts.  And now Trump has announced a revitalized effort in the Middle East but still appears to be playing the wrong sides. 

The Middle East has always been a land torn by inner conflict. Many Western empires have attempted to draw up national boundaries capable of bringing peace, but all have failed.  But it is this lack of understanding that has lead to our continuous failure over there for decades now.  Attempting to understand the Middle East as we understand our own United States has hindered our ability to effectively work over there. 

Our first mistake was originally funding the Iraq-Iran war 1988, ignorantly thinking we could even the balance and control the fighting.  All our money has done over there is prop up different regimes, and nations in the power struggle to control all the lands. Whether it was giving the Iraq’s billions then, or Obamas $150 billion to Iran at the end of his deal, all our money has been able to do over there it tip the balance of the fights.  There is no less fighting then when we arrived, there may possibly be even more.

But many Americans do not understand.  They are left wondering why they cannot seem to live in peace and harmony?  This was our second major mistake as Bush Jr attempted to nation build and, “Spread Democracy.”  While the idea of democracy is appealing to westerners raised on judo-Christian beliefs, beliefs that focus around equality, freedom, and happiness while all promoting virtue.  Many areas in the Middle East are heavily Muslim, a religion much less tolerant of outsiders and others.  These religious beliefs have lead to constant conflict not only with other religious groups within the area, but other sects of Muslim more or less radical then their particular group. 

You can draw up the boarder however you like but these feuds now date back hundreds of years, something we cannot understand in our well established nation of America, and cannot be solved with lines in the sand.  The people of the Middle East are much more tribal then Westerners, their immediate group, town, city, is astronomically more important to them then their country.  Where as we in United States identify ourselves as Americans, you will be hard pressed to find someone in Iraq who calls themselves and Iraqi.  These more smaller groupings of individuals, as opposed to one large group,  has made it a near certainty that there will always be some form of conflict, both between boarders and internally.  So with this constant stream of conflict, all our money has helped to do is decide the winners and losers.

We also seem to fail to realize who our allies are and who the enemy is.  Turkey has repeatedly backed ISIS and condemned the Kurds who have been our greatest ally residing in the Middle East in terms of combating ISIS.  Turkey openly has goes after Kurds within its boarders since the seventies killing over 40,000 Kurds since. We remove funding for the anti-Assad rebels in Syria paving a smoother road for a ruler who has killed thousands of his own with crude bombs dropped from the sky.  Who are our allies and who are our enemies over there?  As we have lost our direction and purpose for being over theirs our enemies and allies seemed to have blended together.  

But now we are at the point of no return.  Over 30 years later and were still there attempting to bring things that are not only impossible, but not welcomed there on the ground.  It is time to change our tactics.  We need to start choosing our allies more wisely and leaving the rest of the middle east to their own.  People like the Kurds who have been helpful in our combat against terror should be our allies.  Peaceful business partners like the Saudis should be our allies.  But terrorist supporting dictators should not be our allies like in Turkey, or leaders who bomb their own people no matter how entangled and complex the international affairs web is.

 

Brad Barnhard