For years I have argued that America’s interest in the Mid-East doesn’t go too far beyond a guaranteed supply of cheap energy. It was oil that got us there and it’s been oil, along with our undying support of Israel, that has kept us there and earned us so many enemies.
As we all know the Mid-East is on fire and America has played a major part in striking the match. We’ve also played a major part in trying to put out the fire by the use of American air power. For a year now the US has launched thousands of air strikes against the forces of ISIS.
When Bush and Cheney took America to war in Iraq the stability of that nation disappeared. The centuries old hatreds between Shiites and Sunnis erupted anew and in spite of all our efforts, all our money, all our military might, and all the lives lost, that hatred has just strengthened.
This was not America’s war, however, affairs and dangers in the Mid-East belong to the people and nations of the Mid-East. If Saddam was a threat then it should have been up to the nations of that region to deal with him, not America. If Mexico or Canada became a threat to America we wouldn’t want, or accept, interference from nations outside North America. That has been a basic of American foreign policy since president James Monroe issued his doctrine way back in 1823.
During the Democratic debate Bernie Sanders said much of what I’m saying. That America should not be in the lead in the fight against ISIS. If we’re involved at all, it should be merely in support of those regional nations most threatened by ISIS.
That brings me to my title, “And this is bad.” Bill Maher recently said this regarding the news that Russia and Iran have become militarily involved in the fight against ISIS. The Obama Administration and others have issued statements in opposition to this while I, and Maher, see it as a step in the right direction. Look at a map and create a map of those nations closest to ISIS held ground. See all those countries whose names end in “stan?” These are former states of the Soviet Union and whose people are mostly Muslim. If ISIS turns its attention, and it eventually will, in that direction Russia is going to see this war for religious supremacy right at its doorstep. Matter of fact, those “stanians” already aren’t too fond of Russia.
So, if America’s goal has been the destruction of Al Qaeda like organizations, which is exactly what ISIS is, why not let the nations most threatened spend their blood and treasure in the fight while America sits back, maintains its vigilance, and roots them on? And if they request our “no boots on the ground” support, give it some serious consideration.