We should stop meddling in the Middle East. We have nothing to gain and everything to loose. The only thing we should do in the Middle East is what we should be doing around the world: directly supporting our allies and diplomatically supporting countries that are trying to form democracies.
In the case of our allies, support means that if they need our help and ask for it, we give them exactly what they ask for if we can. In the case of fledgling democracies that means we support them publicly and provide them aid as they need it.
It seems to me that our foreign policy as it applies to the Middle East is a lot more than I’ve outlined and it seems to me that that is the reason we have all of our problems. I’m not asking America to be an isolationist nation, I’m asking America to be a nation that deals fairly with the rest of the world and uses its resources in positive ways.
I don’t believe that if we were a nation that was content with ourselves we would have such a problem with Osama Bin Laden. From what I can gather, one of the main catalysts for his fatwa against us was that we had military bases in Saudi Arabia. Why do we have those bases there? Why do we need this heavy military presence in the Middle East? Could it be that we are colonialists and expansionists? Could it be that we don’t want to pay the market rate for Oil?
Now, another part of Osama’s hatred for us is our support of Israel. In that case, I’m sorry, at this point in time they are our ally and we should publicly support them as we would any ally. But they don’t need the help of our military. Israel has the worlds #2 military; they can take care of themselves. And we should let them. It seems to me that we try to influence their policy way too much. Why? Why do we meddle? What makes our nation so smart? Isn’t it obvious that we cause more problems than we solve when we meddle in other nations affairs?
And I really don’t think I’m talking pie in the sky here. I’m just asking us to think more about treating other nations as if they were on the same level as we are and not as bratty little children that we need to baby-sit. We aren’t the adults who know better. Historically in this context I know that much is true.
Now I’ve said before that we should try and influence Israel to move out of the Middle East entirely and I still believe it, but if they want to stay, we should support them in any way they want. If we don’t agree with things they are doing, we have every right to privately try and talk them out of actions, but publicly our stance should be “They are our ally. If they want to attack Lebanon they are fully supported by us”.
If we are allies with multiple nations that are at war what should we do? We should try our best to broker peace or we should choose sides. This stuff is simple although everyone will say: “This stuff is complex beyond all recognition”. You know what? It’s not and I’ll tell you why:
In this context, there are two types of people. There are the leaders of all these nations and factions and then there are the citizens of all these nations. The citizens by and large will go along with whatever their leaders position is. The leaders (of which there are relatively few) are the ones that have differing opinions and it is those differences that cause all the problems in the world that we have today.
Those differences may be huge and they may be based in all kinds of history, but they are still ultimately differing opinions of singe human beings and they are motivated by simple needs and wants. And that, to me, means that it can all be understood. Do you think that if Osama Bin Laden were to sit down with Tony Blair that they would immediately want to kill each other? I don’t think so. I think if they were truly honest and able to really communicate with each other, they would at the worst end up in a situation where they would agree to disagree.
Yea yea, the world isn’t that simple.. I’m telling you all right now that it is. Even you religious people would agree with me if you really understood your faiths. Human life and social interaction while it can get very complex is ultimately simple. We all interact the same ways with each other. We all want and need and feel in relatively the same ways.
So, our country should strive to be more of an entity who if it were a person would be more like a priest and less like a general. How can anyone disagree?