It can be hard for a regular person to understand the course of events in the Middle East--I certainly don't!
I recognize that I don't know what I don't know, but with all due respect, it would be great if we could all better understand where we are going there.
- On the 9/11, we were attacked by Al Qaeda hijackers, 15 of 19 of whom were Saudi Arabian, yet after 9/11, we didn't go after Saudi Arabia, but instead overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
- However, early in the 1980's Iran-Iraq War, we supported Iraq against Iran and permitted the sale of American arms to Hussein.
- By overthrowing Saddam, in effect we established a Shiite-lead Iraq, right next to a fundamentalist Shiite Iran with a history of conflict with America.
- In subsequent conflicts, it is not clear whether we are supporting the secularists or the fundamentalists:
a) In Syria, we have been supporting "moderate" Sunni's (although often seen aligned to Al Qaeda) against Bashar al-Assad, and what is considered the "secular Ba'ath party."
b) In Egypt, we withheld military and economic support after the overthrew of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose aims include establishing a state ruled by Sharia law, and an organization that is aligned with Hamas and Hezbollah, both listed as terrorist organizations.
- In Iran, in an attempt to move towards peaceful nuclear disarmament, we are relaxing sanctions on a country that former President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union, declared part of the Axis of Evil (2002), and with an agreement that is viewed as not better than having a 50-50 chance of success.
If you find this a lot to take in, you are not alone. ;-)
All opinions my own.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)