Fear-The Winners and Losers Part I

Twin Towers

After 9-11 I was resolute, determined and even thought about signing up to go to Afghanistan to chase the people who crafted such atrocities in my country. It took my breath away, the horror of it all and I kept my eye on the news and my surroundings as this country slowly sank into awareness that we were indeed vulnerable. I made sure I had staple food and the truck was full of gas, not that it would sustain us for a long period of time, but I was ready.

Everyone reacted together as one country. Sure there was congressional squabbling about the Patriot Act passed to shore up intelligence and of course huge push back from all of us when Qaeda took a bit of a back seat to going into Iraq chasing what we now know were imaginary weapons and very real oil. The case was presented that there was an absolute destructive force in Iraq and Tony Blair signed on to convince us and the UK that what they had for intelligence regarding Iraq was a serious threat. Recently, because of the continual digging for some sort of Hillary sinking ah-ha moment that might surface in her emails, we now know that Tony Blair was duped by the Bush administration into coming on board with them to present the case for war with Iraq.

The Jihads trap was set…Bin Laden had his cause more than enhanced from the first bomb dropped in Iraq. ISIS began it’s slow climb to power showing the region and the world that the “West” was out to destroy Islam. We had for years armed nearly every country in the region, and often as not we supported incredibly brutal regimes that took our money and our arms to torture, enslave and kill hundreds of thousands of their own people. At the same time we armed people who were pushing back on these regimes fueling civil war for nearly every country from Baltic s to Algeria, north south, east and west. If anyone reading this has a hard time understanding why the west is being attacked just think about that for a minute.

In 2005 the Bush administration acknowledged the Islamic State and they began to engage them. The original “surge” in Iraq in 2007 was aimed almost entirely at what we now call ISIS. However, with the corrupt government that we had helped to throw together in Iraq and the tribal infighting things got farther and farther out of control requiring yet another surge by the Obama administration and led us to where we are today…bombed out cities, corruption, hatred, civil war and nearly total chaos in not one, but several vacuums where structure once was. Now the business owners, doctors and the young of the region have nowhere to hide and nothing left to lose so they are leaving in droves.

I heard a former Ambassador to Iraq (12 years) speak a couple of years ago and he told the audience that Iraq was never under “control” after Saddam was toppled, and in fact his convoy would not even veer off the one street that was secure when he wanted to revisit his old embassy building a couple of years ago. Contrary to what we hear in the US, there was never much of a length of time that Iraq was secure much less back to normal. Perhaps part of it may have been, but time was not on our side to remain. The Bush administration had signed an agreement with the Iraqis that we would be gone in 2011 which the US honored, but managed to talk the new leader there into allowing at least some man power being allowed to stay to help hold it together as the glue was not very bonding.

After 9-11 we were all wary, suspicious and resolute in our love of country, but we were in it together. We survived awful banking policies and greed of the highest order even though many, many people lost hundreds of thousands of their retirement plans and investments. We were in that together and mad as hell. Both the Bush administration and the Obama administration tried to avenge the attacks on the US and both vowed to straighten things out, but for reasons beyond their control order in the Middle East was not to be had. In fact four US Presidents have tried to bring some order, any order to the Middle East and all have failed. What we have managed to do since the discovery of cheap oil there, is to piss off nearly every country in the region. If you want to know the truth it is similar to how the American Natives perceived us; I guess we will never learn.

So what are we doing about any of it? Not much frankly. Iraq doesn’t seem to want us on the ground there and have said as much. Many of those countries are at war  because of religion with deep seeded mistrust for each other and the west. Many others have tribal warring at play and still others have allies or enemies in the west that we do not want to end up at odds with, in particular Russia. Syria for one is a strong Russian ally; to just go in and bomb Syria/ISIS like our Jr. politicians are big talking about is asking for a war with a country that can match us bullet for bullet. It would have been folly, but then again doing nothing is a risk too. So where is the balance? I personally think getting clear out of there is our best move, but can we conscientiously feel right about leaving the mess we helped create?

The truth of the matter is, when it comes to the Middle East there is no one pat answer. There is no script for an enemy that hides behind civilians or attacks with unconventional means like IED’s and terrorism. ISIS is looking to secure a middle east “homeland” which has to happen in order to have their Caliphate or it all dissolves. It’s best hope is either Syria or Iraq for the native opposition is weak there. If all of the countries in the west could discard their alignments with some in the Middle East and the regions leaders would denounce the terrorism we might get somewhere. However, there is money to made in the region on both oil and war so we are tangled in this incredible web of who does whom, when and for what price. We can’t scratch the backs of this country or that because they have ties with another of our friends who are their enemies. Then there are the Sunni and Shiite who have fought since the seventh century and are both Arab and Muslim ethnically. And we think the west can “win”? Of course not, we have only been along for the ride up until now. The greed is of course at the root of it all from both the Middle East regimes and the west. We are now on a bucking bronc with nothing to hang on to, and blaming and finger pointing is nothing more than political ploy with the innocents caught in the middle.

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