Decades of war haven’t made the USA safer

American intervention in the Middle East is not a reaction to anti-American Muslim terrorism.  Anti-American terrorism is a response to American intervention in the Middle East, which goes back long before Al Qaeda or ISIS.

The Reagan administration’s naval bombardment of Lebanon and aerial bombing of Libya were acts of war, and created a precedent for further acts of war.

_78096355_iraq_syria_air_strikes_20140810_976_v2Such acts have become so common that we Americans have come to think of them as normal, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the opinion the relatives and loved ones of the civilians killed in those bombings.

Al Qaeda’s original complaint against the United States, remember, was that American troops didn’t belong on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia.   U.S. troops came to Saudi Arabia as part of the war to drive Saddam Hussein’s troops out of Kuwait, and remained there as part of the low-level war against Iraq through the 1990s.

I’m not trying to justify Al Qaeda, or ISIS, either.  To the contrary!  I’m just recalling known historical facts.

Andrew Bacevich, writing in the Washington Post, counts 13 majority-Muslim countries that the United states has invaded, occupied or bombed since 1980, without either bringing stability to the region or making Americans more secure.

If Syria’s Assad and Iraq’s Saddam had been left alone, there assuredly would have been no ISIS terrorists.

Even if ISIS is somehow defeated, another ISIS is sure to come along so long as the United States has troops in the region.   Maybe a new ISIS will come along even if the United States doesn’t have troops in the region, but it wouldn’t be able to recruit volunteers based on continued American killing of Muslims.

Pentagon spokesmen have been saying for the last few years that the U.S. military struggle in the Middle East is likely to continue for another 10 or  20 years.   Outgoing CIA director Leon Panetta and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say the same.   Continuing war is the new normal.

President Obama, to his credit, understands that invading and occupying Middle East countries doesn’t work.  Unfortunately, flying killer drones and commando raids won’t work, either.

The First Rule of Holes is: When you’re in one, stop digging.  But we Americans are still digging ourselves in deeper.

LINKS

Even if we defeat the Islamic State, we’ll still lose the bigger war by Andrew Bacevich for The Washington Post.

ISIS in Washington: America’s Soundtrack of Hysteria by Tom Engelhardt for TomDispatch (via The Unz Review).

Key Democrats, Led by Hillary Clinton, Leave No Doubt that Endless War Is Official U.S. Doctrine by Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept.

Two years out, poll shows Hillary Clinton’s the 2016 favorite by David Lightman for McClatchy newspapers.

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One Response to “Decades of war haven’t made the USA safer”

  1. djgarcia94 Says:

    Decades of war has certainly made Dick Cheney & Friends incomes safer.

    Like

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