No personal offense was meant - since we don't know each other at all - but you were condescendingly dismissive of a soldier's "version" of ME history, so I thought I'd condescendingly dismiss yours. In effect, both responses read virtually the same.
The U.S. and the west has had a long and sordid history in the region, and with Iran. Our skirts are not clean. Had we experienced the same in reverse we'd be steady after Iran; no retreat and no surrender. Who would blame us?
The full report is here. It is from the CATO Institute, which is not a left wing think tank. I would encourage others to read the report, especially if you are unfamiliar with the US and western involvement in the Middle East. Warning: It isn't pretty if you are under the impression that America wears a white hat.As the United States finds itself in the aftermath of another crisis in the Middle East, it is worth the risk of opprobrium to ask why there should be hostility toward America in that region. Some insight can be gained by surveying official U.S. conduct in the Middle East since the end of World War II. Acknowledged herein is a fundamental, yet deplorably overlooked, distinction between understanding and excusing. The purpose of this survey is not to pardon acts of violence against innocent people but to understand the reasons that drive people to violent political acts. The stubborn and often self-serving notion that the historical record is irrelevant because political violence is inexcusable ensures that Americans will be caught in crises in the Middle East and elsewhere for many years to come.
After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East. The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region's political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East. The most recent part of that record, which includes U.S. alliances with Iraq to counter Iran and then with Iran and Syria to counter Iraq, illustrates a theme that has been played in Washington for the last 45 years.
"When Faith preaches Hate, Blessed are the Doubters." - Amin Maalouf
"We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the ******* irony in that." - Justin Halpern
First, Carter did in fact order Delta into Iran to free the hostages, but they screwed it up. It's funny how conservatives give Obama no credit for taking out bin Laden -- it being the SEALs who did all the work -- but they simultaneously give Carter all the blame for the Delta's failure.
Second, North Korea actually went nuclear on Bush's watch -- not Clinton's. It was going to happen eventually but Bush gave them the excuse when he labeled them part of the "Axis of Evil" -- in violation of an accord we had with them.
Third, while I refrain from engaging in conspiracy theories, there are more than a few respectable individuals, including one from Reagan's team, who allege that the release of the hostages 20 minutes into Reagan's term was anything but kosher.
Finally, Iran is going to get the nuclear bomb. You can't stuff that genie back in the bottle. They will not use it against Israel as they are not suicidal. Mutually assured destruction will continue to operate as it has for the last 60 years. We might as well get used to the idea that we will have to deal with Iran on the diplomatic front, and Israel had better figure that out as well. The last thing we need, or can afford, is yet another unwinnable ME quagmire.
Last edited by AdamT; 02-20-12 at 10:36 PM.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb
Not sure this equals a majority, but it does suggest it wasn't as popular as some claim.
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.