By Arlen Grossman/ The Big Picture Report
“They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.”
Chief Pontiac, 1720-1769, leader of the Ottawa Indian tribe
I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb in suggesting that the reason Americans are being targeted and killed in Afghanistan, Libya and other countries in the Middle East might have something to do with our overwhelming and seemingly endless presence in that region. The United States and other Western powers have been attacking, occupying, and otherwise interfering with oil-rich countries in this region for decades now, most recently with our unprovoked war in Iraq and our eleven-year ongoing occupation in Afghanistan. It would be strange if most of the people in the Middle East weren’t sick of us. But it wouldn’t be strange to assume that every military strike causing civilian deaths is creating future enemies for the United States.
U.S. Military Bases in the Middle East
Source: Democratic Underground
I daresay Americans wouldn’t appreciate a Middle East Muslim nation, Egypt or Yemen, for example, occupying and/or interfering with our country. Imagine how we would feel if Egyptians built military bases on our soil, bombed Americans who resisted their occupation, and when accidentally killing civilians, chalked it up to “collateral damage.” My guess is millions of Americans would resist, and those who fought back would be labeled “terrorists” by the Egyptian occupiers and “freedom fighters” by fellow Americans. In contrast, those who attack Americans on their own soil in Afghanistan or Iraq are often referred to as “terrorists” by our media.
You’d think we would have figured out long ago that other countries don’t appreciate our interference in their sovereign nation, especially when it is a Western Christian culture totally alien to theirs. You’d think it would be obvious that preemptively invading other countries is unwelcome and wrong, and the longer we stay, the sooner we wear out our “welcome.”
What if we took all the money we’re squandering on Middle East wars, and instead, with permission, invested in building up and helping the people of that region? Wouldn’t they appreciate a little help with food, water, medicine, education, health, nutrition, and building a democracy? Alternatively, if Americans might resent them receiving help that our own citizens aren’t getting, how about if we pulled out and left the region to solve it’s own problems? Either way, you can bet there’d be less reason for them to fear, distrust and hate us. You could call such assistance (or non-interference) generous, neighborly, diplomatic, or just plain common sense. Unfortunately, those are commodities that can’t be used to fuel factories or cars–but they could assist in bringing the Middle East closer to something they haven’t experienced in a long time–peace.