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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Be Cautious in the Middle East

We are certainly living in momentous time. This era will be remembered as the second coming of "freedom" in the Middle East. Decades ago Middle Eastern and African nations threw off the shackles of imperialism and replaced them with often tyrannical dictators who have been ruling up to this point. In fact, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya is one of the longest ruling leaders in the world.

But the United States should have no intervention in this formative time. When the U.S. is involved in multiple wars and has a skyrocketing national debt, the government cannot afford more distractions of this sort. Yet politicians seem to be ignoring this very basic principle.

The Obama administration decided to take a diplomatic stand against Hosni Mubarak of the Egyptian government back in February. Now, Mubarak, once a loyal U.S. ally, is out of power and, according to Loai Omran, a protestor, no reforms have been passed. The only change is that a main backer of the revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that sponsors terrorists, is in a position to seize power.

The Obama administration, just one month later, sent military aid to the rebels in Libya. This is despite the facts that Gaddafi's successor (his son) is a stalwart defender of human rights and that Gaddafi funnels much of the oil profits to groundbreaking infrastructure and education projects. Gaddafi was not a "kind" leader, but many diplomats said that he was casting off his revolutionary ways and could actually grow into a much-needed ally in the Middle East. Now, we are funding and militarily supporting disorganized rebels, who are associated with al-Qaeda according to an admission of one of the leaders. We certainly wll not be seeing Gaddafi as an ally any time in the future...

Even though the rebels in Libya are being pushed back, Senator John McCain is calling for us to add even more money and support to the rebels' cause. At what point will this be enough? What stops this from becoming another Iraq and Afghanistan just with even less effect on the United States' national security. McCain is right that military intervention is important at a time when the U.S. is in danger (like Iraq), but this is certainly not the case here.

Pawlenty, a possible contender for the Republican presidential primary, is calling for Obama to take a tougher stand on the Syrian government. He is right in that the current Syrian government is no friend of the United States, but the federal government ought to be cautious before expanding our role in yet another conflict. Withdrawing the ambassador as Pawlenty asks is fine, but anything more significant, which could easily follow, would be a travesty.

As the upheaval in the Middle East continues, the U.S. ought to be well aware of what governments they are helping to depose and what governments they are helping to establish before getting involved in any more significant conflicts. We have/had many allies in the Middle East: they are not the targets Obama should be focused on. And if the country has no effect on national security, the last thing we should be doing in a budgetary crisis of this sort is too expand military intervention. These are lessons all Washington politicians ought to take to heart in order to avert a dire crisis.


  1. Obama's targeting our allies for a reason. Don't know what it is but I believe it has something to do with his Muslim heritage. We need to get the heck out of Libya.

  2. We just cannot risk burning more bridges in the Middle East via expensive wars. It does not make sense to me, but apparently it does to those in power...