The President announces his strategy, whom many thought was going to be something different, and it sure looks a lot like SOSDF. We have woefully misread and misunderstood the Middle East for the last thirty years. As a general public, we apply a US centric view and to me that is understandable, as we are so gullible to the MSM pander and how many of us really take the time or for that matter know where to look for international news. But the State Department, the CIA? Come on, these guys are supposed to be professionals, experts in language and culture. How do they wind up looking like blind men describing the elephant?
There are those who think they belong to the US intelligentsia who state it is all about oil and they apply that rationale equally to Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. But close examination reveals that theory just does not apply. The really elite morons will say that Afghanistan is really Smackistan and it that case it is about controlling the opium trade. Again, that is really a myopic and simplistic view. All three regions are embroiled in very complex political agendas and each have their own regional issues in which we have no business muddling in.
Bush and the chain rattling apparition known as the Cheney ghost must have repeated the word terrorist 1 million times during their “service” to our country. I have been sitting in Kuwait for nearly three years now, watching the circus from a ringside seat and I think it is time I weighed in on this a bit. It just is getting pathetically sad.
Let us first look at Iraq. Bush et al insisted that Saddam was a threat, WMDs yadda yadda. We tacitly had pre-signaled Saddam that his foray into Kuwait would not be reacted too, and then we used that effort to insert the US forces into the region. While that was viewed very positively by Kuwait, and some of the other GCC countries, from a strategic point of view it may not have been well thought out. Why? Because Saddam was the only barrier to all of the GCC in relation to Iran. By unseating Saddam, we allowed Iran to become a center of power by default and that has created more concern about regional security.While our military basically raced to Bagdad, we did not secure Southern Iraq and Iran literally swept in behind us. By the time we realized this, we had already dissolved the Iraq forces and could not stabilize the South. Eliminating the Baathist made this mistake even worse. The rest is as we say history.
In the case of Iran, we have misread Iran’s intention for nearly thirty years now. The Iranian population is very sophisticated and politically very savvy. They are also a very proud people. To say we can dictate to Iran is to not understand that even the most educated and influential peoples of Iran will always defend their sovereignty first, and therefore stand in support of even a radical government against embargos and sanctions. We have in fact, taken the impetus to seek more moderate government and weakened those efforts because of the actions we have taken that effect ALL Iranians. We are losing the support of the educated moderates because of these actions, and therefore we are defeating our goals, not enhancing our chances to “persuade” a more international basis for multi-lateral relationships with Iran. Iran reacts by supporting the Shi’ite radicals, Al Qaeda, and Sunni Jihadist in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to defiantly INCREASING their nuclear ambitions.
In Afghanistan, we have learned nothing from 3000 years of history. That lesson is simple, there is NO military solution for the issues. From Alexander the Great to the Brits and the Russians, NO ONE has ever waged a successful military campaign in Afghanistan. Today, by our own intelligence knowledge there are about 200 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and about 400 in Pakistan, and we now have nearly 200,000 combined forces and haven’t secured a damn thing. We have them outgunned 1000:1 and are losing. WTFO. Then you have the issues of a corrupt inept government, based on cronyism and nepotism and the issue of the Taliban. What most people don’t realize is the Taliban’s interest are ONLY regional. they are Pashtun and have tribally occupied the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan for thousands of years. They will never participate in an Afghan or Pakistani government scheme and they will defend their homeland to their last breath, whether those threats are Western, Afghani, or Pakistani. The other side of that coin is they will never threaten anyone outside of their regions. It is up to the people of the region to decide, not anyone else.
The President’s efforts, while still myopic are at least a tiny step in the right direction, but still are very clumsy. Get educated, have a more informed opinion of the region and then encourage our representatives to have a more sophisticated approach to these issues. It sure beats the hell of more Americans, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistani, NATO troops and countless innocents from dying. Not to mention bankrupting the US.
Here is Uncle Willie’s thought for the day: