I think my brother has it exactly right in his letter to Sen. John Warner of Virginia. I haven’t seen my brother’s original letter to the senator nor the senator’s response, but anyone who has ever written an elected official and received a response can well imagine the pablum that constituted the Senator’s response. You will notice that my brother is much politer than I am.
The Honorable John Warner
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510-4601
Dear Senator Warner,
Thank you for your prompt reply and I feel that with minds like yours on this intractable issue a fair and equitable solution will be found to end the chaos in the Middle East.
I agree with you totally when you describe the situation in the region as tense and would like to ask you this; to what do you attribute these tensions? I believe that there are four main reasons for the tensions you characterize and a fundamental reassessment of our direction in the region should be a goal of United States Foreign Policy.
The four main reasons that I believe perpetuate the tension in the Middle East are as follows:
Reason 1: The question of natural resources, namely oil, is fundamental to any debate regarding the region. They have it and we need it. They have it due to a roll of the dice and we need it because our government has been very short sighted in my view. Petro-chemicals are endemic to every aspect of our economic system. From wasteful packaging that is thrown into the garbage the instant a product is brought home. To the massive homes being built that require huge amounts of energy to cool and heat. To energy inefficient vehicles which only use is to display the economic status of its user. The Petro-Chemical basket is where we have deposited all of our eggs which makes us very exposed, both militarily and economically, as a nation. In short part of that tension we are experiencing in The Middle East is caused directly by our own greed.
Reason 2: The United States conscious effort to destabilize specific governments of the Middle East. This effort has taken many forms and is mostly a post WWII phenomenon. The most aggressive form is being exercised as we speak in Iraq. Whether we like to admit it or not, prior to our unwarranted invasion, Iraq was in a state of equilibrium where all factions lived side by side in relative harmony. Granted Saddam Hussein wasn’t a nice guy but sometimes the status quo can be a better option than an unsure future of violence and disharmony. And I think we should all admit that we knew Iraq was no danger to The United States prior to our efforts at de stabilization and Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda . During the decade of the eighties we armed and manipulated the Hussein regime and fueled the Iraq war with Iran by sending massive amounts of weaponry to Iraq so we could attempt to de stabilize Iran. And later, when we realized Iraq might lose the confrontation, our executive branch, ala Ollie North, decided to arm Iran. And I hate to think that our government loved this scenario because what can be better than the financing of Arabs killing Arabs.
In 1952 our CIA orchestrated a coupe in Iran and deposed a democratically elected government. We then inserted a puppet government of the USA headed by The Shah who was most decidedly a brutal and barbarous dictator. I realize that this happened during the cold war and the fear of Communism was very strong. But I feel that our country should be more reflective when contemplating the future and think of the immense cost in lives and treasure to our country.
The countries of the region are no strangers to attempted conquest and occupation and as we can all see in Iraq and southern Lebanon that they are getting better at defending themselves. And we keep taking a bite out of the same rotten apple.
Reason 3: Our irrational support for undemocratic regimes and the hypocrisy we display to the world which in turn breeds mistrust and extremism. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan Egypt and Jordan are all either dictatorial or authoritarian in nature and most definitely un democratic. And the facts show that the 9-11 highjackers came from Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Osamma Bin laden is now comfortably tucked away in Pakistan. But we tend to focus all of our energy on Iran and Syria neither of which is now or have ever been a threat to the US.
Reason 4: Our support for Israel, which I have a hard time calling a democracy ( how can a democracy exist when it is also called an exclusively Jewish State), is weakening our country because we spend massive amounts of support to prop it up and we get absolutely no pay back except a continual state of war. The only reasons, that we give all these billions of dollars to Israel, that I can think of is that most of the money they get from us goes directly into the pockets of the purveyors of our military industrial complex and the fact that the Israel Lobby gives so much support to the politicians in Washington DC. I ask you Senator Warner; is it wise to let a foreign government have so much control in the halls of Congress?
Israel was created with the overwhelming military support of a few western countries and it continues to ignore many UN resolutions and expand its colonial outposts in the West Bank. It pulled out of Gaza because it has created a de-facto prison there and routinely sends Palestinians from the West Bank that “misbehave” to do time behind the concrete walls and razor wire that encircles The Gaza Strip. Hamas has stated that it is prepared to recognize Israel if it is defined dy the pre 1967 borders which are also delineated by a UN resolution. Is Israel prepared to also recognize Palestine when its leaders have proclaimed that” Palestinians don’t exist and are akin to cock roaches”.When the Palestinians elected Hamas to lead its aspirations at statehood it represented a referendum and proves that they feel ,at the very least repressed at, and want strong leadership to guide them forward.
I hope that instead of constantly waving our finger at the Arabs and Persians and chastising them that we can learn about them and experience their rich culture and history. We live in an anything goes Liberal Democracy where wealth generation and share holder accountability have supplanted morals, decency, and respect of our fellow man at the top of the list of our daily personal goals. And as a Country and as individuals we need to reassess and reflect to create a more positive and peaceful future for the people of planet Earth. Because we have that power and if we look around the world we see the negative environmental effects of all this share holder accountability and wealth generation. Don’t get me wrong because I am not against the generation of wealth but at this point in time the wealth is being concentrated in the upper classes while the middle and lower classes are being left behind to work more and more hours for less and less pay.
I hope that America and the west in general is able to chart a course into the future which will lead us to a point where we can actually “ win the hearts and minds of the people in the Middle East. Our present policy, I fear, is a dead end because the aggression we exhibit is creating polarization and extremism. I wonder how many Hezbollah recruits signed up for active duty when they found out about the rush shipment of bunker busting depleted uranium bombs that where sent air-mail to Israel 2 weeks into the most recent conflict in Lebanon?
Sincerely and With Ultimate Respect,
Donald MacRae Brown