Letter To The Editor: What Is The U.S. Doing In The Middle East?

Los Alamos

We are involved in various ways in the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In most we are fighting against the Islamic State* with a limited coalition. The US position is to demand that President Bashar Assad step down and we support rebel factions fighting for the same goal. The Russian position is to support Assad against all rebel groups; they also support the fight against the Islamic State.

Unfortunately for the Syrian civilians this means the slaughter and flight of refugees continues unabated. For whatever Realpolik reasons, the US provides arms and supplies for the Syrian rebel factions. Remember our Civil War, if we were faced with another revolution, we might act almost the same as Assad. Our position unfortunately assures the death of hundred of thousands Syrians. On a recent call-in show, a person emailed a simple question; “if we were to join Russia and support Assad, wouldn’t the slaughter of innocents cease soon?” The response from the panel was, “yes, but it isn’t likely to happen.”

At least 470,000 Syrians (almost 12 percent of population) have been killed during the civil war, and over 3.8 million Syrians and Afghanis have become refugees in various European countries, not to mention the tens of thousands who’ve died trying to reach Greece or Italy. Germany has accepted over one million of these refugees and the United States slightly over ten thousand. To boot, we have one nominee for President who vows to stop any acceptance of Muslim refugees. What’s happened to our country? “Send us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…and I will give them rest.”

This reminds me of the funeral oration of Pericles in Thucylides History of the Peleponesian War, “The strong conquer as they will, and the weak suffer as they must.” I’ll add a famous quote by one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin. “There never was a good war, or a bad peace.”

Consider the Yemen War that puts a Saudi-led coalition against the Shiite rebels, Houhties. Saudi Arabia is ruled by the Saud royal family that is Wahhabi, the most conservative Sunni sect. They have Shiite-majority Iran on their nothern border, and do not want another Shiite-majority state on their southern border. They bomb Sana’a and other cities using F-15’s and other fighters and bombers purchased from the US with bombs purchased from us. We also supply intelligence informaton to the Saudis. The only things we don’t supply are the pilots and soldiers who pull the triggers.

The defense budget of the United States is the largest in the world; it is larger than the sum of the next nine national defense budgets. We are the largest supplier of arms to the world, especially to the Middle East. The largest recipient is the State of Israel; the second largest is Saudi Arabia. We say we support and promote democracy and peace throughout the world. Yet, we are the most prolific promoter of war, death, and destructio

I realize we’re told much different ideas daily by our politicians and media; please take a moment and what I’ve discussed above.

* The Islamic State (also known as Daesh,** ISIS, ISIL) was formed in Iraq in 1999. It grew strongly after the Iraq War that began in 2002 after the destruction of the World Trade Center. Along with the Afghan War, this resulted in the deaths of about 10,000 US sand allied participants. It also resulted in over one million Iraqi and Afghani civilian deaths. The Shia – Sunni split of Islam dates back to the 7th and 8th centuries: however, the fragile truce between the sects was destroyed by our actions in both countries, especially Iraq. Iraq is a majority-Shite state, supported by iran, but it was ruled by a Sunni minority. After the cessation of fighting, the US helped establish a Shite administration headed by Malaki and removed most of the military officers who were largely Sunni. The Islamic State is a Sunn- organization supported by Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

** Daesh is an Arabic acronym coming from the group’s original Arabic name. They have threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone using this name, because it sounds like an Arabic verb that means ‘to tramp someone underfoot, or to crush something.’


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