A Declaration of Independence … from “Our Friends”

First, I want to wish all of my American friends and family a “Happy 4th of July!” (I am proud of our American ideals. As for some of our foreign policies … not so much.) Keep-US-out-of-War

Next, I want to “be real” (my new mantra) about my current state of mind and say that I’m worried about what’s happening in Iraq and thereabouts. In fact, to be completely honest … I’m scared about what this will mean for us Americans, particularly for our homeland.  According to some news reports, even al-Qaeda is uneasy about ISIL’s tactics and goals. (Note: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is now more commonly referred to as The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).) 

Then, I want to say to our so-called allies in the Middle East — specifically, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — “Good luck! I hope you enjoy the fireworks … You certainly paid enough for them!” (Seriously, with friends like them, who needs enemies? We have enough of those!)

Back in March, Reuters reported: “Iraqi PM Maliki says Saudi, Qatar openly funding violence in Anbar.”

On June 14th, The Daily Beast reported that America’s allies are funding ISIS/ISIL.

About that same time, Slate reported “that the Saudis have helped to create a monster they can’t control in Iraq.” 

Of course, both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have denied these charges — saying that their governments aren’t supporting the terrorists, that their wealthy citizens are the guilty ones. They’ve promised to stop further donations. They’ve even argued that the bulk of ISIL’s funds have come from a range of criminal activities — like bank heists (reportedly, over $400 million from a bank in northern Iraq), extortion, robberies and smuggling. Saudi and Qatari officials have countered with something like, “Hey,  those donations are really just a drop in the bucket, no big deal.” Whatever. The last time Saudi Arabia supported a terrorist organization (al-Qaeda), we got — to put it mildly — caught in the crossfires (9/11).

Bottom line: What’s happening now — ISIL’s mission — is not our fight. It’s not our business. It’s the Arab world’s business. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is hellbent on “righting” the “wrong” done to their ancestors in World War I, when Great Britain’s and France’s Sykes-Picot Agreement basically threw the then-Saudi Arabia ruler under the bus so that the “spoils of war” could be divied up for … oil. Specifically, the oil that was discovered in several areas of today’s Iraq.

Succinctly explained in a Smithsonian.com article from June, “… Valuable portions of the Arab world – greater Syria, Mesopotamia – were carved into British and French imperial spheres. … France was given much of greater Syria – essentially the modern-day borders of that country, along with Lebanon — while the British took possession of the vast swath of the Arab world just below, an expanse stretching from Palestine in the west all the way to Iraq.” If Great Britain had not double-crossed the Arabian ruler, who it had teamed with to thwart the Ottoman (Turkish) rulers, there would have been a totally independent Arab world. Who knows what it would look like today, what the political climate would be?

Today’s Iraq had been — before the Western powers’ agreement was enforced — three distinct semi-autonomous provinces within the Ottoman Empire; these three religious or ethnic groups were Shiite, Sunni and Kurd. With the formation of Iraq, Great Britain set about “civilizing” the locals so that they could eventually govern themselves. Tribal leaders and others in power were ignored, and British civil servants and soldiers were placed in command. Sounds a lot like the U.S. mission of 2003, when after our troops marched in and freed the Iraqis from the cruel reign of Saddam Hussein we stuck around to teach them how to get along and protect themselves from invaders.

Getting involved in their business wasn’t a good idea then (in fact, it was a disaster), and it’s not a good idea now. Stepping back from foreign affairs, such as this one and in Ukraine, is supported by nearly half the country — regardless of political party lines. And, it’s not an isolationist movement … It’s a non-interventionist movement that protects our country’s best interests at home. It’s a refusal to be bullied into intervention by neo-conservatives and liberal hawks who say the U.S. will appear weak and lose respect.

Lose whose respect? The respect of “our friends” in the Middle East? I say we need to have more respect for ourselves and find better friends.

Note: For a different and more in-depth perspective on behind-the-scenes maneuverings in the Middle East, read Stratfor‘s “The Intrigue Lying Behind Iraq’s Jihadist Uprising.”  Stratfor is a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world.


7 thoughts on “A Declaration of Independence … from “Our Friends”

  1. I find it angrily frustrating that the group of lawmakers that are pushing to enter into this “war” are the same group who cut services to the military and veterans. I agree this is not our business..period. Might I also mention if we have no money for education, feeding the poor, rebuilding our own infrastructures in this country, where do we get the funding to spend billions on entering this situation?


    1. So true! There are SO MANY reasons to stay out of other people’s wars/business! As for rebuilding our own infrastructure, I believe the military should maintain a good budget for recruiting and training our servicemen and women to not only protect us in case of attack (as in the case of 9/11) but also to rebuild OUR roads and bridges, to mentor young disadvantaged youth, to patrol our borders (north and south) to keep out drug smugglers, other criminals (incl terrorists!), AND to administer aid/social assistance to the Central American children that are now streaming over the borders. For one thing, we can’t afford not to “employ” those that have been signing up and continue to do so … Our economy is not prepared to support them. But, they need to be better trained and trained for different roles.


  2. We don’t do it for them. We do it for our fossil fuel society. I say let’s learn to run our country on solar energy and dump fossil fuels altogether! Our wealthy won’t have it! They will lose too much of their investments, alas presidents Bush and Johnson! We don’t realize the investments they have in these sand locked countries! What else do they have to offer us other than oil? Not a darned thing! I say let’s invest heavily in light energy systems and let them eat sand!


  3. The media dresses up this pig into all kinds of outfits. The real deal is there is significant investment in oil. The rulers of our country don’t give a damned about their people, whether they live or die. They care about trade agreements and resources. They care about their mighty dollar. If they cared about the people, they would be in other countries like African nations to assist them in their strife. But Africa has not tapped their resources, and we have made no significant investment in those countries. Look back over the years at the reason the Middle East became important to the USA . Balance of power, aka wealth, is the ONLY reason we go there! Oil is heavily invested into by our economy. End of story. And the reason we allow the borders to be so pour out is to provide a steady stream of cheap albeit illegal labor. We have to look like humanitarians, but the government and leaders don’t care about us or these people, or you would see an entire different way of handling it. It’s not that we can’t control the borders, it’s that THEY don’t want to because doing so would bring pressure to our economy AND the countries south of us would have an uprising (war) that would be worse than things seen in the past. Our borders are those little valves on a pressure cooker called Mexico and South America, and we dare not change them! Mexico has significant oil reserves, but the grade of oil is not yet worthy of tapping or we would abandon the Middle East. We need them and they know it! After all, we educate their kids in our best universities and colleges and then send them back so they can learn to terrorize us. It’s still a pig no matter how much lipstick you put on it!


    1. Pati, thanks for comments. I didn’t receive alerts about them 😦 I understand how you feel. War is a moneymaker, and the foreign policy deals that are made are very much out of our hands. Very frustrating!


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