Why Is the U.S. Still in the Middle East?

The necessity for any kind of war in the Middle East, on any official grounds espoused by the United States, just did not exist!

The attacks of September 11, 2001, have left a lot of unanswered questions about who knew what, and if no one in our leadership knew anything, that isn't quite what they've said or what the evidence indicates. If they did know and took no preventative action, that would seem to fall into the category of high crimes and misdemeanors, malfeasance of office and subversion of the nation's security interests.

For a few months after the horror of the World Trade Center bombings replayed in our minds, American citizens wanted revenge on Osama bin Laden and his cohorts. "Get bin Laden" was the motto of flag-flying Americans. As of this writing, he still is at large, dead, or in protective custody somewhere until an opportune time to bring him back into the national eye. In the meantime, the war effort seamlessly shifted from the mountains of Afghanistan and the Pakistan border to Iraq, a nation not mentioned in any early reports of official US policy of retaliation for the WTC attacks and the attack on the Pentagon. How did we get there? Because our administration wanted to go "get" Saddam Hussein and somehow shifted the public focus from Osama bin Laden and the Taliban to Saddam Hussein and the "war on terrorism" to which Hussein was never officially linked. Saddam had doubtless provided funding to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who attacked Israel, which is absolutely no reason for the US to become involved in any way other than official diplomacy.

Now American military forces are in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the fighting is still going on as well it might, considering these nations were invaded by a foreign country without a declaration of war, and they consider their internal affairs as much their own business as does the United States. In fact, the citizens or subjects of these countries probably know more about what is going on in their own nation than do most Americans. Smaller nations have a way of communicating genuine information by word of mouth while Americans depend on a highly biased media that tells the public what they determine it should know.

Every step America has taken has offended both the world and thinking American citizens. We have the fire power and thus, might makes right. Or does it?

America's former might lay in the restraint it used, prior to the Korean conflict, with respect to any military intervention that was not preceded by a formal declaration of war in keeping with the Constitution, which declaration had to be based on sufficient evidence of national security interest. At least, that was the belief of nations abroad and citizens at home.

Never in America's history with the exception of the war between the states has propaganda raged so mightily in favor of unconscionable killings and destruction of property. It is impossible to declare war on Islam, that is a religion and religion is ideological, not a sovereign nation. Religious beliefs transcend nationalities and borders without regard for either. If terrorism as defined by the United States is the product of religious ideology, it is absolutely insane . . . totally mad . . . to instigate a war against that which is a world wide belief system that even has thirty thousand or so of its houses of worship -- mosques -- on American soil.

Why the war on terrorism is not a combination of propaganda and covert operations against individuals is left unexplained by our government. In the meantime, American lives are being lost in a totally no-win situation into which our own government plunged us in retaliation for a supposed act of terror committed by Arabs, some of whom were not even here or on the planes involved in the World Trade Center attacks, they were victims of identity theft.

Those who are fighting back at the Americans are freely labeled "radical Islamics" or members of al-Qaeda or loyalists to Saddam Hussein or the Taliban.

You and I don't have the full story on what actually happened and if we and the American public did have it, we would probably rise up against the present administration's foreign policies and war tactics and demand that not one more American or foreign life be lost in this blood-letting charade over what appears to this writer to be a land-grab for strategic military bases and control of natural resources, with little or nothing to do with any war or terrorism or deposing dictators. The world is full of dictators the US could set out to depose, which would just be further meddling. The reason the US leaves some dictators alone, like Fidel Castro, is that the nation has a political reason for allowing them to exist as "enemies" and no business meddling in the affairs of others, especially North Korea with its backing from China and possibly Russia.

Killing is a crime. War is insanity, and war is still Hell. Our government is supposed to defend against threats to our nation at home and from abroad, provided the national security interest is obvious and a clear and present danger. We haven't fought a war like that since World War II ended in 1945, and much of that is suspicious as to supplies and financing for the Nazis.

This planet has been so soaked by blood in the 20th century and going into the 21st century that the stench of it reeks into the upper atmosphere! While it may seem to the average American that we need to protect our country, that mindset should be somewhat, just a little disturbed at the fact we have no real grounds for being at war anywhere under present conditions. We have been the aggressor. Yes, Nine-Eleven was a horrible event with the loss of thousands of American and foreign lives in the collapse of the World Trade Center, but just how such an event could happen, why the Air Force planes were delayed rather than scrambled, and a thousand other questions lie unanswered or buried under tons of paper explanations that contradict one another while book after book is being or has been written about them.

I know a few people who honestly believe American military presence is necessary in the Middle East and that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved with Nine-Eleven. Fortunately, I don't know many people with this much air between their ears. Nice people, good neighbors, but incredibly stupid.

As bodies of America's fallen are returned to Dover Air Force Base, our government wishes to hide the facts about how many have fallen. The families of the slain are occupied with grief, and hopefully getting angrier by the minute at having had the lives of their loved ones needlessly terminated in firefights that represent America's unwanted presence in any Middle East country, and a so-called "war" on terrorism that has been more successfully carried out in cooperation with European nations that help arrest known terrorists.

It is one thing to be proud of our military men and women who go into these stupid conflicts with a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation and to their contracts of enlistment. It is quite another to have any respect for the assignments they receive on behalf of US meddling where we don't belong.

If it comes to reinstating selective service -- the draft -- we're going to hear a hue and cry from the American public, because by the time elections are over and the draft could be reinstated, more people will have seen the futility of this conflict, more wives will be widows, more children will be without one or both parents, and this nation will be divided and hostile towards itself and its leadership.

Why is the US in the Middle East? Generally, the reason has been to protect Israel, which can jolly well protect itself! It's a sovereign nation, not America's stepchild with legal guardianship, although that is the way America treats Israel. America's tax dollars go by the billions to Israel, and now and then the US "pseudo-parent" slaps Israel on the wrist for being naughty.

It is far past the time for the American public to wake up to the nonsense being perpetrated by its leaders and demand that this nation take on adult responsibility for adhering to its Constitution and Bill of Rights, not destroy them in the name of globalism and ad hoc wars for commercialism and against ideologies that cannot be dismantled or destroyed by gunfire.

The job of American leadership is to build and protect America. That's the one job it is not doing. Our jobs are leaving, our immigration laws are being overlooked, we're actually fighting a religious movement and our soldiers need to come home -- now. If we had only sought to "liberate" Iraq by taking out its despotic leader, okay, the job is done, he's out. Our mission was supposedly accomplished a year ago, if it ever could have been justifiably called a mission (which it could not).

Like the man who came to dinner, the United States simply won't leave those places it sends our military to meddle. If lives weren't needlessly being lost and tragedy inflicted on thousands of foreign peoples in their own lands, this would be ludicrous. As it is, the United States and its so-called "wars" are nothing but exercises in meddling, butchery and occupation of foreign lands.

That isn't what America is supposed to be, we need to go back to our original charter and not call ourselves "America" but BE the United States of America. It's time, past time, to bring our soldiers home and let the natives beat their own drums and select their own tribal chieftains. Their blood is on their own hands then.

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Dorothy Anne Seese's picture
Columns on STR: 7

Dorothy Anne Seese is retired and lives in Sun City, Arizona.  She majored in political science at UCLA in the mid-1950s.  Her website is here.