Chaos in the Middle East
I am disgusted by US policy in the Middle East. It appears to be the US policy to overthrow every government and replace it with chaos. We have created an enormous, fertile breeding ground for terrorism. Afghanistan pre-9/11 was a relatively safe, orderly country compared to Syria today, and thanks to the US policy of destroying governments that might have helped contain the chaos in Syria things are getting worse.
The most recent target of US destabilization is Turkey. Whether rightly or wrongly, Turkey perceives the Kurds, particularly under the leadership of the PKK, as terrorists who want to form a greater Kurdistan that would take away part of Turkey, or ideally for the Kurds, overthrow the Turkish government. The US is supporting the Kurds despite the protests of the Turkish government. Because of Turkey’s fear of the PKK, the US came up with the idea of bringing Kurds from Iraq to fight in Kobani, because Turkey doesn’t care of the Kurds create a Kurdistan in Iraq; that is not their problem. The US currently seems much more favorably disposed toward creating a Kurdistan from Iraq than it did when Biden first proposed it years ago.
But Turkey is only the most recent target of US destabilization attempts. We have already destabilized Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt (especially the Sinai), Libya, and Yemen. While Tunisia looks better, having just completed fair elections, it is a big source of recruits for ISIS. Regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraq is already going down the tubes, and Afghanistan looks set to follow after we leave. Several recent articles have compared the Iraq and Afghan wars to Vietnam, especially to the battle of Khe Sanh, positing the idea that American soldiers won every battle, but the political leadership lost the war.
It’s still not clear which way the battle for Kobani will go, but today there are reports of the defeat of the American proxies, the Free Syrian Army around Idlib in Syria, with the bad guys, reportedly al-Nusra, capturing anti-tank weapons, after ISIS captured some of the supplies we dropped for the Kurds in Kobani. The American news reports of this on TV tonight were particularly bad. ABC’s Martha Radditz, who is usually good on military issues, looked like she didn’t know what she was reporting on. Tom Friedman’s recent column in the NYT raised the pertinent issue that because of the threats to news reporters in these hot spots, we don’t have good information about what is going on. We are often depending on propaganda posted on Twitter or Facebook, or on reports from ordinary people like refugees, who may not be reliable sources. Hopefully our intelligence agencies with all the billions we spend on them have some humint, sigint and photint that the news people don’t have. And hopefully they will leak some sanitized information to the news media that is not entirely spin supporting the administration’s policies. But it’s hard to verify.
I think that we are making things worse in the Middle East. If we had let nature take its course in getting rid of Saddam, Mubarak, Kaddafi, Assad, etc., we might have more stability there and less terrorism. I worry that the instability is a plus for Israel. Certainly al-Sisi’s takeover in Egypt has been good for Israel. If the Israelis believe this, then influential American Jews may be pushing America to pursue policies that are good for Israel, but not necessarily good for America.