Saturday, February 21, 2015

Middle East Destabilization

Between being overwhelmed at work and upgrading my garage, I have been too busy to spend much time blogging.  However the garage is now fully insulated, has ~700 sq ft of storage above the insulation, has three more electrical circuits to eliminate those frustrating circuit breaker trips, and is now kept heated at a balmy 32 degrees. With the option to warm it up further as desired.

After ~19 years of freezing out there, it was real nice when I had to work on my daughters car last weekend !!!

So Friday I decided to take a moment to comment over at MinnPost, and was intrigued to find that their moderators are as odd as ever.  My comment that disappeared went something like this:
"Arguably, his older brother’s decision to bomb, invade, occupy and then “democratize” Iraq in 2003 was the key event that triggered the destabilization of the region, with (mostly unpleasant) consequences leading up to the present moment." Eric Black

"Really: You think that after thousands of years of instability in this region, you want to blame the USA's efforts to over throw a ruthless power hungry dictator for triggering instability?

On the other hand, you may be right. Maybe the USA should be backing Dictators and Oligarchs like Assad, Hussein, Jong Un, Putin, Gaddafi, Castro, etc. They do seem capable of maintaining peace in the areas they rule." G2A


John said...

Try 2 over at MinnPost.

"When I first read this article, I was wondering what the Liberal folks here would like to do.

Do they want the USA to support and enable Dictators and Oligarchs like Jung Un, Assad, Hussein, Kaddafi, Putin, Taliban, etc? I mean there is no instability when these iron fisted leaders are in charge. The challenge of course is how to keep them and their aspirations contained. Not to mention that little issue of America's belief in enabling the freedom of others." G2A

Sean said...

America has backed plenty of bad actors before. The ruling family of Saudi Arabia is awful. Mubarak was a brutal dictator. I could go on.

The problem, of course, is that what comes after the dictator may be even worse than what you had before, and you need to consider your ability to control what happens next when you take the step to get rid of the dictator.

By displacing Saddam Hussein without a coherent plan for what came next, we took out a counterbalance to Iranian power in the region and empowered radical fundamentalists not only in Iraq but in Syria as well.

So, yes, I think it is fair to say that our decision in Iraq destabilized the region -- or perhaps more correctly further destabilized the region.

John said...

Your solution?

Should we start strengthening Assad so that he can reaffirm his control over Syria?

If so, why are Democrats supporting his over throw?

The reality is that Democracy is real hard and sometimes bad things happen. Your comment:

"your ability to control what happens next"

make me think you believe the USA should be some kind of benevolent dictator over these people.

John said...

"The ruling family of Saudi Arabia is awful. Mubarak was a brutal dictator."

The same Liberals who criticize Bush for over throwing one of the worst and most brutal dictators in the region (Hussein), giving the Iraqi people freedom and causing instability, also criticize Presidents for supporting Dictators. What do these Liberals want from US foreigh policy?

Sean said...

I don't think there's a hard and fast, easy answer. Saying we got rid of Hussein is a victory seems short-sighted when Iraq is now essentially partitioned between ISIS and a weak Shia government with ties to Iran.

Consider if you put countries on a matrix with two axes: level of freedom/democracy and alignment with U.S. interests. In the Middle East, you've got folks all over the map. Israel is high on both axes, while you've got Turkey, which is a functioning republic but isn't always aligned with our interests. You've got sometimes backwards monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Jordan that generally align with us. You've got Egypt, which is military junta with a republic face. And then you've got the bad actors, like Assad and ISIS.

If, as the U.S., you're going to take active steps to replace that government, you've got to consider what comes next and take responsibility for it (the "Pottery Barn" rule, in trivial terms).

John said...

CNN GOP's New Favorite

John said...

I agree with "if you break it you buy it"...

However the idea that we in some way broke it is pretty hard to swallow.

I am not sure we require countries to fully support the USA, I think we would be happy if they didn't strive to kill each other and us. Or strive to invade or destroy their neighboring country.

Sean said...

You can argue we played a huge role in "breaking" Iran when we deposed their popularly elected leader and put the Shah in charge.

John said...

After a little research, it looks like you are correct. Though it looks like the British were the primary instigators and we were so "anti-USSR" at the time that we went along with them.

jerrye92002 said...

Hmmm. Wasn't it that dictator's brutal takeover of another country in the region the initial "destabilization" that brought on the war in the first place? It's really a bit hard to pin "aggression" on the people trying to put the pig back in his pen.