Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why We Are Getting Nowhere in the Middle East

They are all bad guys:

"Beirut (AFP) - Ten children were among at least 48 people killed in a Syrian village this week when regime forces executed six families of rebel fighters, a monitoring group said on Saturday."

So, we are supposed to support a savage dictator because he is just slightly less barbaric than ISIS?  Who, exactly, do we expect to bring a decent way of life to the people of Syria and Iraq, and now Yemen and Libya too?  Are we expected to feel bad that another savage, terrorist monster, Moammar Khadafy was overthrown, because the people of his country don't have the decency to come together and build a peaceful country, preferring to slaughter each other en masse over meaningless religious disputes?

Of course, the Republicans' answer to this is to savagely attack Obama for not fixing the unfixable, when we all know that if they were in charge, not only would they do no better, but their hunger for violent intervention would make things far worse, as it did in Iraq.

Thank heaven that Obama has done as little as he has.  What his opponents want to do will only pave the road to hell.


4 comments:

Infidel753 said...

We've always known Asad was a bad guy. One of the problems with fighting ISIS in Syria is how to do it without helping Asad while ISIS and Asad are also fighting each other (the Syrian civil war has four sides, overall).

That doesn't mean "they are all bad guys". The Kurds aren't. Jordan isn't. Neither of them have been accused of atrocities remotely comparable to ISIS or Asad, and the US, so far from being inactive, has provided extensive air support to the Kurdish war effort. Jordan, a fairly poor country of six million, has taken in almost two million Syrian refugees.

Libya is a mess, but that's largely due to Islamist subversion from outside the country. And note how the Egyptian government immediately retaliated against ISIS sympathizers in Libya when they murdered 21 Egyptian citizens, even though those citizens were not Muslim. The previous Muslim Brotherhood regime would not have done that.

One can't paint the whole region as an undifferentiated mass of barbarians. That's not accurate. It's what the Republicans do.

Green Eagle said...

No, of course I don't believe that. I only see parts of the Middle East as an undifferentiated mass of barbarians. I fully support the Kurds' efforts, in Iraq, Iran and Turkey as well as Syria. I don't have as positive a view of Jordan's role as you seem to, but we can certainly agree that their behavior has been far better than the Syrians. I was really just talking about the horrible situation in Syria and Iraq, where we really are seeing bad guys fighting bad guys.

Magpie said...

“One can't paint the whole region as an undifferentiated mass of barbarians. That's not accurate. It's what the Republicans do.”

Yes and the reason that’s what they do that is because their base largely consists of people who desperately need these conflicts to be the fulfilment of their own religious apocalyptic fantasies.

All through the age of Western (or Soviet) economic colonialism we have treated the peoples of the Middle-east as being less than us. When they weren’t being portrayed as savages, they were being portrayed as funny little people we could use for a doormat.
We sucked up to the powerful but compliant, ignored the helpless and abused, and conspired to undermine and overthrow the non-compliant wherever possible, often by using the very fundamentalist forces that are now deemed so threatening.

Of course it’s not as simple as all that either, but we sit here in our moral comfort zones afforded us by the security of living in countries that are party to broad interests that never ever formed their policies around what was fair, just or decent – only what was profitable and geo-politically strengthening.

We invaded Iraq, we divided it upon sectarian lines, destroyed whatever accommodations they had made with one another up to this point, and then stood back gaping like drooling idiots when they stood in the ruins of their country and started to kill each other for the scraps. We created the conditions where it is life-threatening to be a Christian where previously a Christian could be a government minister – however much we may have all despised THAT regime.

ISIS grew like invasive weeds in the conditions created by having the most arrogant and incompetent administration to have ever run the United States of America shatter the whole area in an orgy of opportunism afforded it by ceding the narrative of right and wrong, fact and non-fact, to Bush and his goons in the wake of 9/11. Rank political cowardice let them get away with that.

And now we’ve done our level best to whip up the brutal thugs of a foreign country to kill the helpless people we always ignored anyway… what do we do? Have our politicians and gutless indulge in drawing room debates about whether we call the thugs “Islamic”.
Like we don’t have any mad hatter’s tea party conversation about whether their victims should be called “Islamic”.
And why is that happening?
Because millions of drooling simpletons in our own countries vote and really, REALLY, want to hear that the bad guys are all bad because they are bad. Because…. ‘Jesus and Freedom’.
And ‘lower my taxes and stop food stamps’.

Green Eagle said...

Magpie, thanks for taking the time to write a very well thought out response.

Obviously, I agree with you as I virtually always do.