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Twenty Years in the Middle East

Do We Know Our Way About the Middle East Any More Now Than in 1995?

Do We Know Our Way About the Middle East Any More Now Than in 1995?

North Africa, the Middle East—in fact, the entire Islamic world—remain a giant mystery to us because we prefer to continue with our deadly combination of naiveté and sophisticated weaponry. Are we culturally aware of the peoples of the Islamic world? Are we teaching Arabic, Turkish, and Farsi in our schools to the generation that will take up the burden laid on our shoulders by the Bushes, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, and their discredited Neocon advisers?

The problem is, we are babes in the woods … where there are no woods. They know all about us, but we still know squat about them.

We are not winning anyone’s hearts and minds with our ignorance and fecklessness. What we are doing is creating a war zone that looks to be getting worse each year, despite the much-vaunted Arab spring. Given enough time, perhaps the entire population of the countries between Morocco and Iraq will cross over the border into Europe. (Fortunately, it’s too difficult to sail a flimsy raft full of refugees across the oceans.) Then there won’t be a Middle East, just a Muslim Europe—which is certainly not where the nations of Europe want to be.

Macedonian Police and Syrian Refugees

Macedonian Police Holding Back Syrian Refugees

It’s difficult to predict what will happen, especially since all we seem to be doing is committing random mayhem in the name of combating “terrorism.”

So who is to blame? Everyone. The United States for being willfully stupid. The Arabs and North Africans for thinking that Islamic fundamentalism is the answer … to everything. The Europeans, for letting themselves be overrun. It doesn’t look good.



3 thoughts on “Twenty Years in the Middle East

  1. We want oil. Our so-called civilization is based on oil production and consumption. We made a devil’s bargain with Saudi Arabia in order to get it. In addition, our economy and the world economic order, is based on the pricing of oil in dollars, petrodollars. We will continue to do whatever’s necessary to keep it that way. We don’t care much about the humans who live in the Middle East, except when they get in the way, or flee to Europe or the U.S.

  2. I had classes with Iraqi refugees, especially Chaldean Christians, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I became very fond of both the Christian and Muslim Iraqis, especially Baghdadis. What I heard from them, confirmed my feeling that our foreign policy in that area is misguided and corrupt. And yes, we will have all these people living in the U.S. and Europe, who have seen their families and countries devastated, and now they are supposed to become happy, productive citizens. I promise you, I wasn’t paid enough to do my job. It was very difficult and stressful, but I made some good friends, and was gifted with great gifts of food, such as homemade baklava.

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