U.S. in the Middle East: Where You Don’t Belong You Must Not Stay

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It’s way past time for the U.S. government to get out of the Middle East, a region of the world where it does not belong, and never did. But, then again, thinking that you could convince the U.S. government to exit the Middle East is like trying to convince a cocaine addict that he must give up his addiction.

What is the primary reason why the U.S. has had a huge presence in the Middle East for so many decades? Well, that’s easy to answer; it’s always been about oil and protecting America’s “interests” in that critically important source of energy that fuels the entire world. But as we look closer at what’s happening in that region at this time it’s becoming very evident that there are much deeper issues involved.

If it were only about oil then the U.S. military would have no problem in protecting Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, from which the lion’s share of U.S. oil imports from the Middle East originate. Our imports from Iraq are of no consequence; in fact most of Iraq’s oil goes to China; isn’t that ironic? Syria provides no oil to the U.S. but yet it is at the center of the U.S. government’s current militant operations in that region. Why is that, why is Syria of such great importance now?

No, it’s not just about U.S. oil interests; but, if it’s something deeper, then what’s really going on here? Well, what we have here is a massive geopolitical struggle between major world powers involving another very important energy source, namely, natural gas. It’s very important to understand that Russia and Iran are also major players in the control of this region’s major resources. Here’s some information that you will never hear from the mainstream media but which is readily available from independent, uncontrolled sources.

The small nation of Qatar, which has huge reserves of natural gas, wants to establish a pipeline that would transport its gas to European nations. And the most promising route just happens to be through Syria. Here is an article that explains what this battle over the control of Syria is largely about, which is – Pipelines. This a situation in which the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are strongly backing that pipeline that would go from Qatar through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, then to Turkey and on to Europe.

Now the problem is that a huge obstacle stands in the way of those ambitious plans.  President Assad of Syria wants nothing to do with that pipeline because he strongly supports his ally, Russia, in maintaining the current flow of Russian gas to the European countries through its own system of pipelines. And Iran is backing both of these close allies. That’s why the U.S. and Saudi Arabia say that Assad must go; he stands in the way and must be removed.

In this massive conflict the U.S. intends to do whatever is necessary to attempt to interrupt the flow of Russian gas to Euro countries and make certain that the interests of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in this new pipeline are successfully pursued. And while this battle over pipelines goes on, right in the middle of all the action are ISIS and other Islamic militant factions in Iraq and Syria that are causing great turmoil. Then add in the relentless bombing of Iraq and Syria by the U.S. and you have monumental chaos.

The U.S. government’s Middle East foreign policy is thoroughly misguided and abysmal; there is nothing positive and constructive about it in that it has done nothing but cause that region of the world to erupt in these endless bloody conflicts. I rarely watch network news of any kind, but I heard a comment on CNN to the effect that Iraq is no longer a country, that it has now been split into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni sectors. Well, since G.W. Bush and company initiated one of the biggest military blunders in history when they invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, the chaos in that region of the world has greatly escalated and what we are now seeing is a Middle East going up in flames.

Our government in Washington is not satisfied in helping to shape the world but, rather, one that is determined to control the world by using the power of its military. So it doesn’t matter who becomes our next president in 2016, be it a Democrat like Hillary Clinton or a Republican like Jeb Bush (oh no, not again; Clinton and Bush); nothing is going to change as the U.S. military hubris continues unabated. All these politicians are cut out of the same militant cloth and the obsession with war runs through their blood.

How many more bombs have to be dropped on these countries and their people; how many more Reaper and Predator drones have to be launched on Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan; how many more billions of taxpayer dollars have to be completely wasted on training and providing weaponry for rebel troops which the U.S. government naively “thinks” are on our side? How many more thousands of innocent men, women and children will have to lose their lives in these monstrous never-ending wars?

Here are the two very important questions: first, does the U.S. government have any “business” in the Middle East? Well, from the standpoint of those corporations that belong to the Military-Industrial Complex, those that generate obscene profits from the agenda of endless war, the answer is a resounding YES!

Now from an ethical, moral and humanistic standpoint does the U.S. have any business being in the Middle East and continually stirring the pot of chaos and havoc? And the answer is a resounding NO! That gives us two distinctly different viewpoints to consider; so judge for yourself which one you believe is correct; just one because you can’t have it both ways.

One day some brilliant individual in some country is going to come up with a revolutionary way to store the unlimited, powerful energy of the sun, the lack of which is the main problem preventing solar energy from becoming the primary energy for the entire world. And then we will finally see all of these crazy wars over oil and natural gas come to an end. There is no question that this will happen at some point in time; we just don’t know when.

But until that day arrives we will see this proliferation of war in the Middle East continue non-stop with the U.S. right in the middle of all the turmoil, trying to force its will upon other nations who want no part of it. What this government refuses to understand and acknowledge is that where you don’t belong you must not stay.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.