Sunday, April 4, 2010

printed in several publications re: U.S. Presence in Middle East

U.S. has no justification fighting wars in the Middle East

by Peter Stern

Time to look at who we are and where we are going next...

Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc., what do they all have in common?

Well, they all are located in the Middle-East and are being targeted by the United States. Is the US justified in its actions? Probably not.

Where are we going next?

Currently, Obama's approach continues a long-time American protocol that was focused on retaining American supremacy and Middle Eastern subservience. The new generation of Mid-East leaders, is a radical departure from the dying breed of Sunni autocrats, who not only reject American dominance of their region, but wants to be accepted as consistent with a new emergence in which Islam will play a dominant role in the balance of power.

Consequently, long-time associations with Mid-East leadership has been undergoing radical changes for the past generations. The US has been "losing its grip" on the various nations of that region. We continue to play a major imperialistic role in a region that is emerging far too quickly for most Americans.

According to a Nov 29, 2006 article in the Asia Times by Ehsan Ahrari:

Shi'ite leaders Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah and Muqtada all repudiate the politics of accommodation of the US and the West that is popularized by current Sunni leaders such as Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and even King Abdullah of Jordan.

The three Shi'ite leaders are practitioners of the politics of defiance and rejection of the old order and old ways and they promote a new style of leadership which discards subservience to and acceptance of American or Western dominance.

At the same time, this is also an era in which the primacy of Islam has become an essential ingredient of Middle East politics. The 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran established the trend. The Islamization of Pakistan in the 1970s and 1980s and the liberation of Afghanistan from the Soviets by the Afghan mujahideen in 1989 through the use of jihad - with the active participation of the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - made their momentous contributions to the making of the new era.

Apparently, the US permits nations like Afghanistan to continue its multi-million dollar opium trade and yet publicly condemns the business.

The US disapproves of many leaders and tribes in various Mid-East nations, yet pays them for various questionable services and at least in the past has provided support [weapons, goods and services] in exchange for an ongoing US military and business presence.

An article in today's The New York Times by Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen, discloses an issue that should be of great concern and cause for review to Obama, Congress and the American people that:

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.

In addition, the article questions the validity of US presence in Afghanistan as well as the purpose and objection of fighting in that region. If we have been exploited the Middle East extensively to the detriment of that population, then we also may be the cause of many of the insurrections and fighting escalating in that region.

The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.

The American people once again have been sold "a bill of goods" regarding the need for a US military presence in the Middle East and a cause for continuing a questionable war with Afghanistan and Iraq.

Obama, in part, was voted into the presidency by the American people because of his promise to follow a more diplomatic approach to resolve urgent issues of foreign affairs. Well, what happened?

By the way, we were also promised more jobs for Americans and an ongoing overall economic improvement. That isn't happening either.

So, why are we really fighting in Afghanistan? Why are we spending billions of tax dollars to fight what appears to be another "endless" war that the U.S. can not "win"? Why are we willing to slaughter more civilian lives in that region?

There are many questions that we need to review and answer, but we can not do so without all the facts on what our policy really is in the Middle East. So far, we have not receive honest input from our leaders in Washington.

Isn't it time we take a good, long look in the mirror at ourselves as a nation and determine who we are and where we are going?

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