Letters to the Editor

Letter: Mideast mire

June 16, 2014


To the editor:

As Iraq falls apart amid Sunni/Shiite conflict and is in danger of collapse, both foreseen and forewarned by on-the-ground advisers, troops and trainers; as Iran moves steadily towards nuclear capabilities and continues to support radical groups throughout the Middle East; as Pakistan cannot protect itself and fails to address its internal terrorists; as Syria breaks up into radical factions during its civil war and Afghanistan sees the release of major leaders to continue the fight and is emboldened; this administration seems to think its foreign policies are successful.

It is surprised that these events are taking place and cannot understand why its approach to resolving these conflicts is not working. It never even listens to the voices that say otherwise. It fails to see what a novice would observe. That is, in the very near future, there will be a swath of the Middle East stretching from Pakistan to the Mediterranean Sea that is both sympathetic and materially supportive of radical terrorist groups, dedicated to the destruction of America and the West.

The foreign policy decisions of the last six years have made America and its allies less safe and will force us to have to ‘fight for the same ground twice.” Some people say: “Let those guys over there fight over each other and stay out of it.” Americans may have grown weary of the fighting in these areas, but be warned: We will have to face these enemies again, and soon.


Brock Masters 3 years, 11 months ago

Bring our troops home Strengthen our military for true defense of our country Stop nation building Stop being the world police Stop meddling in other countries affairs.

Use the money we would save from the above to improve the quality of life for those in need here.

Just as an example, think how many kids we could have sent to college for free with the amount of money we spent in just one month in Iraq.

Amy Varoli Elliott 3 years, 11 months ago

let the UN handle this, that is what they are for

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, Amy, the United Nations is composed of all the nations which includes the United States which means that we are part of it and bound by treaties like every other country in the UN and also NATO.

Amy Varoli Elliott 3 years, 11 months ago

Correct it also spreads out the cost of the war to all the countries so that we are not left holding the bill again. The wars in Iraq/Afganastain were major contributing factors into the fiscal mess the US currently finds itself in.

Joshua Cain 3 years, 11 months ago

Treaties that obligate our nation to engage militarily via the UN is an end around the constitutional requirement to declare war or at the very least get congressional approval. UN resolutions and any agreement with a collection of other nations should not be a binding agreement to military action. The decision for war must be and can only come from congress. Not a resolution without representation of the American public.

Bruce Bertsch 3 years, 11 months ago

The writer seems to forget that the current situation was created by Mr. "You break it, you own it" and not by Barrack Obama. The rise of radical Islam has little to do with the United States; it has everything to do with the living and economic conditions of the Middle East. The west just happens to be the easy target as we have exploited this area for decades. Much of this actually goes back to the end of WWI when the Brits partitioned the area so that the tribes would fight amongst themselves and not against Britain.

Brock Masters 3 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't matter who created it or when, what matters is how the current president who owns it now is handling it.

Are you happy with how he has handled our foreign policy?

I am not. Does he get the blame for the entire mess? Absolutely not, but he owns his actions and their results.

Joshua Cain 3 years, 11 months ago

Bruce don't forget the US backed overthrow of Mossadegh. That one really got the wheels going.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 11 months ago

Or, you could blame Abraham for listening to his wife Sara when she ordered him to have a child by a slave girl because she could not become pregnant. Then, Sarah did become pregnant and became jealous of the first born child so she had Hagar and Ismael abandoned in the desert to survive anyway they could.

They did survive and two great nations arose from this series of, well, a comedy of errors one might call it, had it not turned out so grim.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Strategic Overview - Strategic Errors of Monumental Proportions

The role that US military forces can play in that conflict is seriously limited by all the political decisions the US government has already taken. The most fundamental decision was setting as its larger strategic purpose the stabilization of the region by building a democracy in Iraq and encouraging its spread. This, of course, was to risk destabilizing the region by starting a war.

Military operations must be judged by whether and how they contribute to accomplishing war aims. No clear view is possible of where we are today and where we are headed without constant focus on war aims and how they affect US interests. The interaction of interests, war aims, and military operations defines the strategic context in which we find ourselves. We cannot have the slightest understanding of the likely consequences of proposed changes in our war policy without relating them to the strategic context. Here are the four major realities that define that context:

  1. Confusion about war aims and US interests. The president stated three war aims clearly and repeatedly:

  2. the destruction of Iraqi WMD;

  3. the overthrow of Saddam Hussein; and
  4. the creation of a liberal democratic Iraq.

The first war aim is moot because Iraq had no WMD. The second was achieved by late Spring 2003. Today, people are waking up to what was obvious before the war -- the third aim has no real prospects of being achieved even in ten or twenty years, much less in the short time anticipated by the war planners. Implicit in that aim was the belief that a pro-American, post-Saddam regime could be established. This too, it should now be clear, is most unlikely. Finally, is it in the US interest to have launched a war in pursuit of any of these aims? And is it in the US interest to continue pursuing the third? Or is it time to redefine our aims? And, concomitantly, to redefine what constitutes victory?

  1. The war has served primarily the interests of Iran and al-Qaeda, not American interests...

Strategic Errors of Monumental Proportions http://www.antiwar.com/orig/odom.php?articleid=10396

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Let's think about that Reagan/Bush opened the doors to this disaster followed by Bush/Quale then came the Clinton/Gore No Fly Zone next comes the full blown occupation of Bush/Cheney.

Bush/Cheney brought this concept forward which is not only expensive but inconceivable.

"Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global protection for Wal-Mart,Oil,Coca Cola,Pepsico,diamonds,gold etc etc etc

• we need to strengthen our ties to dictator regimes friendly to American interests and Bogus values;

• we need to promote the cause of the political right wing and economic rape for corp USA abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in forcing others to accept our corrupt principles.

Such a war mongering policy of military strength and immoral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the extortions of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness no matter how many innocent USA soldiers die.

The Plan





Then Obama seems to have adopted the BUSHCO approach to foreign policy which is disappointing.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 months ago

Now it is my thinking that 34 years in this quagmire is long enough or better yet should have been over and done with yesterday.

All of the negatives thus far were addressed to congress and the white houses by the military brass. None would listen. All of the things the military suggested might happen are happening.

34 years later,8000 dead soldiers later,thousands upon thousands of disabled soldiers later and $6 trillion tax dollars tells me 34 years of this quagmire is too damn long.

Bring all the troops home….. but 275 more are on the way to protect the billion dollar USA embassy. This embassy is another tax dollar money hole all its' own.


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