Opinion: Crisis in The Middle East

By: Zack Duvall

It’s no secret that the Middle East is in crisis mode right now. Between numerous factions whose true intentions are as murky as a bayou swamp, millions of refugees fleeing to Europe and soon America, to dictators that will retain power at all costs, to ISIS rampaging across the land killing anyone (even children) who share different beliefs, to Afghanistan now slipping back into chaos.

Add to all of that Russia now bombing the “moderate” Free Syrian Army and various other rebel groups and you have a recipe for disaster and death. This is a situation with no clear end result and with so many outcomes that a clear path to a clear solution is non-existent. Many believe that more U.S. involvement is the answer.

I would argue that is a half-truth.

Yes, I think that we can all agree that ISIS is a cancer that much be eliminated. But to what extent should America be involved and what regions do we have an obligation to commit to military action? Syria just isn’t our fight. Our administration can make the case that their are multiple human rights violations going on, but if we go with this argument to make the case for American involvement in every area that has a dictator harshly enforcing their laws, we would be in a constant state of intervention all over the globe.

We would, by this argument, be obligated to intervene in North Korea, Multiple African nations, Iran, China, and even Russia. All of these areas have a regime that is very critical of its opposition and, although in the cases such as Russia behind closed doors, have a history of making that said opposition silent.

I would also say that the CIA does not have a very good past track record in picking the best sides to back and support. This is evident with them supporting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in their fight against the Russians in the 1970’s and 1980’s. I do feel however, we owe it to the people of Iraq to ensure that they live in a stabilized country with a stable and completely in power government. Say what you want about Saddam Hussein, who our government backed in the Iraq-Iran war, he ruled with an efficiency that allowed for his people to not have daily car bombings, to not have cities in ruin, and to allow for the two factions of Islam to coexist in relative peace.

We lost thousands of service members and thousands more bear the scars of a failed campaign. The failure is not their own though, and I wan to make that clear, the men and women who serve this country did not fail in anyway. It was the policy or thinking that America could change the way of life for a population who did not truly want the change that failed.

It would be like if a country came in and wiped out our government and system of politics and then tried to put in place their style of government with the argument of,”It’s better for you”.I would bet without a shadow of a doubt that my fellow Americans would rise up and fight back tooth and nail if that was tried here. It’s the same principle in the Middle East.

The people of those countries have been living in theocracy and have been led by a style of leadership that they have come to understand and respect for years. I say respect because terrorist organizations did not carry out daily bombings when Saddam was in power. Terrorist organizations do not run rampant in the streets of Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Now if an outsider was to go into any of these countries and dismantle the governments in place, that would change almost instantaneously. But having said that, our actions have plunged Iraq into the full blown chaos that it is in now. We have sacrificed too much to allow that country to slip into the hands of terrorists, Russians, or the Iranians. We must keep that region stable and safe in honor of the men and women of our armed forces who died trying to do so.

But that is where our obligation ends.

I have heard the argument made that if Russia and Iran control the Middle East they control the world’s oil supply. That simply isn’t true. If we would allow for American drilling and the use of the American oil and energy supply we would quickly rise to leaders in that industry. We are forcing ourselves to rely on these foreign suppliers of oil because we refuse to use our own. It’s somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Now to address the refugee crisis and what a possible solution to that could be. The obvious solution that some people are quick to point out is, to grant them asylum and allow them citizenship. The problem with this is, when would we stop giving that asylum? When would we draw the line and say we have no more vacancies so to speak?

We obviously can’t take in everyone of the millions of them.

Another, possible solution I’ve heard is to establish a safe zone in  their home countries.Well the problem with that is, how long would we have to maintain these said safe zones? How many troops and how much money would it cost to establish and sustain these zones? Who would feed the people in these zones? Would the people have a way to earn and income and live a normal life, or would they be living in an interment style housing camp? Where would these zones be? Syria? If that’s the case we would be advocating sending troops to yet another sovereign, although corrupt, nation. We would open ourselves up to even more attacks and criticism from terrorists and nations who have a strong disdain for America.

Maybe a solution would be to stabilize that nation completely and establish safe zones within their borders and allow for the nations of the U.N. to help fund them and maintain them so that some of the money sent can be used by Iraq to build a nation that can develop to become a beacon of hope in the Middle East. Something that can be the crowning achievement of American policy in the area.

That may be the only solution to this crisis that is threatening to plunge the world into yet another period of chaos and violence.

We can’t allow our nation to be plunged into yet another conflict that will last years with no clear victory or path to success in yet another country in the region. We should focus on the battle we have already started but not finished in Iraq.

Let Russia deal with Syria and sacrifice their own troops in doing so. We have a prior obligation.

The nations of the world need to step up and need to quit relying on American blood to deal with the world’s problems. We need to stay focused on what we have already invested time, money, and American lives in.

A sovereign, successful, and dominant Iraq would be the best possible outcome of American policy in the Middle East.


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