Posts Tagged ‘American intervention in the Middle East’

History of changing allegiances in the Middle East

October 8, 2014

4c97d4a4f

Source: 15 Maps That Don’t Explain the Middle East in The Atlantic.

This chart shows America’s changing friends and foes in the Middle East.  The blue countries are friends, the red countries are foes.

Changes in allegiance come about through coups (gun), invasions (tank), treaties (pen), elections (check mark) or uprisings (man with flag).

U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East had some logic when its goal was trying to keep the region from coming under control of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.  I don’t see any equivalent goal now.

graphical_version

Click to enlarge.

 Source: Slate

Decades of war haven’t made the USA safer

October 8, 2014

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.

(more…)