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Why Are We in the Middle East?


#1

Why Are We in the Middle East?

Jeff Faux

To placate their pique at his effort to get a non-proliferation agreement with Iran, Barack Obama met last Thursday at Camp David with Saudi royals and leaders of the other five feudal dictatorships of the Persian Gulf. He reaffirmed the United States "ironclad" commitment to their security and promised even more military aid and cooperation.


#2

Why? Simple. EMPIRE


#3

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#4

Opportunistic nihilism. Materialism..That's the style leading to our policy and uninspiring leadership.


#5

The economic base of this monstrous empire are debt, weapons and oil. Without affordable oil or war our national economy would collapse. Unless we change the economic base -- or do away with capitalism entirely, this is what you can expect and given the effects of climate collapse war over food, water and migrations will increase.


#7

The events since 9/11 suggest to me that Al Qaeda is, wittingly or not, an accomplice of the Empire. It would be factually correct to say "Al Qaeda carried out the attack." That doesn't indicate exactly who's plan was being implemented.


#8

Good article in that it succinctly leads us to the reason we're in the Middle East...military contractors, Big Oil, AIPAC and a media the three have purchased. I doubt that in my lifetime that our government or the media will ever have a frank and honest debate about why we're in the Middle East. In democratic countries, a cabal of psychotic sycophants running a warlike nation to enrich a handful of moneyed interests, would be tossed out in the next election. However we must deduce that we no longer live in a democracy despite our latest hopes in Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, et al because we have been unable for at least two generations to elect someone who puts the public interest above those same moneyed interests.


#9

Al Qaeda the perpetrators of 9/11? Since Al Qaeda is a surrogate of the Empire's CIA, could be true, but I doubt it. Who ever were the real perpetrators we will probably never know suffice it to say, it is not the evil lie told to us by this fascist Empire.


#10

Ill tell you exactly whos plan it was. It was Saudi, American, Israeli & UK "Conservatives", sect, group, ect, & country of origin are an irrelevant smoke screen.


#11

This author, named Faux, was granted an appropriate moniker.

His analysis, if it could be called that is not only sophomoric, it makes use of all sorts of false narratives.

What if so-called AID to Israel were to be defined as what it actually is: a payoff to the war profiteers who push war through financing the political careers of those maniacal fools who will do ANYTHING for a position of power. Such AID is the lifeblood of the world's most monstrous killing machine: the MIC.

War is to the weapons' producers and MIC what the Obama-care plan is to Big Insurance.

As informed readers know, the majority of persons in Congress are there because they pleased their paying donors (a/k/a lobbyists) or otherwise are still engaged in fulfilling quid pro quo deals.

Correcting the disinformation is no indication that Israeli aggression towards Palestinians is in anyway justified.

Mr. Faux presents lots of other distortions, essentially working from a number of Official Narratives. His insistence on associating the 911 event with M.E. terrorists is the classic distortion. Add to it his repugnant use of the WE frame to tie the entirety of the citizenry in with decisions reached on the basis of back-room deals, massive propaganda campaigns, and corrupted information (which is OXYGEN to the BREATH of an informed citizenry) by State Military powers.

In this short piece the canard that a functioning Democracy is in place, that Middle East wars were begun to fight terrorists, and that the citizens have decided on this path are all pushed. ALL are lies!

This concluding paragraph is not too far off the mark:

"Thus, the real answer to the question of why our country is stuck in the Middle East will not be found in the phrase, "national interest." Rather it will be found among a much narrower group of special interests -- military contractors, oil sheikdoms, the Israel lobby, and a media that hypnotizes the electorate into equating patriotism and war."

Missing is the role played by the hegemony of the U.S. dollar both in oil trades and basic international trades of all sorts.


#12

SR, I would give you an up-vote if you were not so harsh on Jeff Faux and his otherwise great article. Progressives need all the support we can get.


#13

Andorarike, even most left progressive intellectuals don't mention the Disguised Global Capitalist Empire, which has captured and now fully "Occupies" our former country by 'posing' as, and being HQed in, the U.S. state, simply because they have not diagnosed their particular 'identity issue' as being one of the multitude of issues and 'symptom problems' all caused by the same underLYING cancer of Empire.

It's not that intellectuals like Jeff Faux are afraid to address the causal Empire at the center of all our problems --- but rather, I strongly believe, because they are each carrying the torch for a 'particular' issue --- as Jeff does here for the issue of the MIC distorting FP (the supposed Foreign Policy of the U.S., which is actually just one of the many actions of the Empire abroad). As the late great Jewish intellectual and professor of 'empire-studies', Hannah Arendt presciently warned of ALL Empire from her painful experience under the crude singly party Vichy disguise of the Nazi Empire in France:
"Empire abroad entails tyranny at home" --- and we are certainly experiencing BOTH now with regard to the DGCEmpire controlling our former country!

Properly diagnosing the Empire --- particularly because this unique and very advanced (stage 4 cancer) of Empire has learned that disguise, hiding, and camouflage is its greatest weapon in distracting and remaining undetected like most prey animals, parasites, and cancer employ the weapon of disguise:

As Zygmunt Bauman hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an ailing social order, the absence of an adequate diagnosis…is a crucial, perhaps decisive, part of the disease.”13

Berman, Morris (2011-02-07). Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (p. 22). Norton. Kindle Edition.

Most issue-centric intellectuals and academics place most focus on their 'issue of choice' and feel that giving more attention to their own favorite (ie. most important to them) issue will do the most good.

But most ignore, or can not seem to see, that by connecting each issue to the common cause of Empire would actually allow them to multiple the importance of their favorite issue, and would create a multiplier effect of all issues (without regard to relative importance) to gain more solidarity and most importantly for average folks to learn and connect all the issues, about which truthdig, common dreams, op ed news, dissident voice, truth out, and the many dozens of other left progressive media write into one coherent theme --- which is that all these problems are caused by a single Empire, just as early American colonists and 'subjects' of the British Empire fully understood --- and which common knowledge of the common Empire that controlled the Red Coat troops in their America, and taxed without representation in their America, and allowed chartered corporations like the East India Company to oppress the 'subjects' with overpriced and monopoly tea, and impressed/enslaved American sailors into the Royal Navy, and ceded land grants to the Royal governors, and ... --- etc. etc., etc., and et al. ad nauseum COMBINED into the list of crimes of the Empire which the Declaration of Independence enumerated to justify why the American people had to break away from the Empire.

This combination offenses and oppressions of 'acting like an Empire' is the pivotal reason that the First American Revolution (against Empire) was successful in a plurality of colonial 'subjects' understanding, and reaching solidarity against the smaller minority of sell-outs, royalists, loyalists, and others whose interests as an entrenched elite under the British Empire were being better served by the Empire than by a functioning democratic Republic and independent country by 'consent of the governed'. As Joseph Ellis' fabulously revealing book makes clear:

"The British ministry and the Continental Congress were, in fact, looking at the crisis from different ends of the same telescope in ways that accurately reflected their contrasting political assumptions. The British approach was decisively imperial, top down from George III, through Lord Germain, to all those converging ships and men. The American approach was decidedly republican, bottom up, dependent upon broad-based popular consent from that enigmatic entity called “the people.” To repeat, nothing so sweepingly democratic had ever been attempted before, for the quite sound reason that a poll of the people was almost assured to produce a muffled or divided response or, worse, a chaotic cacophony.

What seems most historically significant, at least in retrospect, is how true each side was to the core values it claimed to be fighting for. It was the coercive power of an EMPIRE against the consensual potency of a fledgling (democratic) republic. History seldom provides pure embodiments of such contrasting political alternatives, but in the summer of 1776 they were both on display"

Ellis, Joseph J. (2013-06-04). Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence (pp. 49-50). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


#15

While Faux raises a dizzying array of 'symptom problems' (which I should not make lite of as 'Faux Problems') the only real cause of all the deadly serious 'issues' and 'symptom problems' which Jeff enumerates is SIMPLY EMPIRE --- and specifically the Disguised Global Capitalist Empire which is merely 'posing' as, and HQed in, our former country.

Jeff does a great job of explaining (and admitting) all the complexity of issues and how confusing, and off-putting, this complexity of issues is to average people (who do not have the time and resources that intellectuals and academics in the arenas of foreign policy, geostrategy, political-economics, etc. have to ponder dozens of interrelated issues) when he writes:

"The ordinary citizen (sic really 'subject') trying to make sense of all this might
reasonably ask: why? The president's answer is that the war is in our
"national interest." Congress says, Amen. The phrase causes politicians
and pundits on talk shows to synchronize the nodding of their heads,
signaling that the national interest should not have to be explained --
and certainly not debated.

When pressed for more specifics, our governing class offers four rationales for this endless war"

But here both Faux and the phony pontificating political puppets of the Empire are ignoring the utter simplicity of diagnosing "The Heart of Darkness" the core tumor of the cancer of EMPIRE (the "Empire Cancer of all our Maladies")--- which can so easily be laid bare by just relating each and every of hundreds of superficial (and visible) 'symptoms' as being caused by the same, signal, singular, and seminal disguised disease: EMPIRE.

All of the issues related to the four key (prime issues?) that Jeff raises in what he calls "this endless war:1. Fighting terrorism 2. Containing Iran 3. Securing oil 4. Defending Israel (as well as the numerous issues and problems that Faux does not even want to further complicate and confuse people with, such as weapons sales, MIC, corporate greed, financial deceit, media collusion, extra-legal killing by drone assassinations, and the dual-party facade covering-up the Empire with a supposedly serious confrontation between the phony neocon 'R' Vichy party and the neoliberal-cons of the 'D' Vichy party can be so much more easily diagnosed, described, understood, exposed, and rallied against, and successfully confronted in non-violent Revolution by simply and truthfully painting the picture of the US as the nominal HQ of a highly integrated, but well hidden, six-sectored; corporate, financial, militarist, media/propaganda, extra-legal, and dual-party Vichy-political facade of Global Empire, which Pepe Escobar calls the 'Empire of Chaos', and Hedges calls the "Empire of Illusion" (disguise) --- and which William Robinson so accurately details in every important respect simply and clearly in his fabulously insightful, "Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity":

"The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard, “U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of the U.S. state apparatus to continue to attempt to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism. We face an EMPIRE of global capital, headquartered, for evident historical reasons, in Washington." [Caps substituted for italics in the original]

Robinson, William I. (2014-07-31). Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (p. 122). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

PS. one point that Faux raises which needs to be understood is that while the U.S., (or as I call it, "Vichy America") is the nominal HQ of this Global Empire, Israel is the violent and oppressing 'border-fort' of the Global Empire in the oil territories of the Middle East --- which could well be referred to as "Vichy Israel", since like America it does not work for its people ('subjects') but rather for the hidden interests its own global elite and for the perfectly corresponding interests of the Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE also (as is also the case with the UK, France, Germany, EU, NATO, World Bank, ECB, IMF, et al. ad nauseum)!!!


#16

From a Jungian view, maybe we are in the Middle East to destroy our own society while we work out our resentment on theirs. We have ruined our kids future with this, and all the young people coming back messed up for life is just a flag of what's in our country's future. With Vietnam we pulled back, this time no way. Not only did we not learn our lesson, creeps like Reagan and the Bushes rammed it home-now we are the land of bad vibes, with the happy killer clown epitomized by "sunny Ronnie" smiling down over our permanent place in hell.


#17

"and specifically the Disguised Global Capitalist Empire which is merely 'posing' as, and HQed in, our former country."
Exactly, this is exemplified by the lack of the fixing or investment of our infrastructure. When our "former country" collapses, the Global Capitalist Empire will simply pose as HQed in another country that is controlled by another great propaganda machine.


#18

Ralph Nader mentioned Empire in the last 10 minutes of today's "Democracy Now" hosted by Amy Goodman.


#19

Thanks for mentioning this of Ralph on DN --- I'll watch the video of Amy's show with interest.


#20

The first time I saw a consistent and believable answer to this was a few years back, by Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar. As succinctly as possible, sure it's hydrocarbons. Sure they would be cheaper to buy. But buying them does not keep them out of the hands of others, who might buy also. That requires violence. Again, it does not necessarily require control at all times. One keeps some source of hydrocarbons open and functioning. One controls what one can. One destroys or disrupts what one cannot.

Actually, this all seems terribly consistent with government and business actions once one accepts the degree of depravity necessary.


#21

Well stated. Clear solution. Will never happen.


#22

Well, I suppose that is the USAian viewpoint.

No taxation without without representation; I understand that taxes in the British north American colonies were lower than taxes in the UK and anyway, what rich land-owning USAian has ever wanted to pay taxes even when he/she has been represented in government? Nothing has changed.

Expensive East India Company tea? Is it not true that the East India Company shipped tea into Boston at a price lower than that the then-current tea smugglers (e.g. Sam Adams?) could tolerate, so, disguised as native Americans as Indians they boarded the ships and chucked the tea overboard?

Impressing British north American colonists into the Royal Navy? In those days any British male could be conscripted forcibly into the Royal Navy; so what was the problem? The USA introduced conscription to save the USA from invasion by the northern Vietnamese; nothing much had really changed, except that the Royal Navy was generally fighting the French. Even Elvis Presley was conscripted as a slave for the USAian military back in around 1956.

As for a broad-based popular support for the treasonous, tax-dodging north-American terrorists; that is a broadly-based popular exaggeration perpetrated by the mythologists of USAian history.

Still, you are most welcome to keep your independence; we don't want your self-inflicted problems.