Middle East Mess

I have been paying attention to what happens in the Middle East for 50 years, like many people my age. The problems and the players gradually change but there’s always a mess. Today’s hot issues:

  • the Syrian civil war
  • attacks and riots at US embassies
  • relations with Iran
  • guerilla warfare/terrorism/covert operations
  • extrajudicial killings
  • etc.

Why can’t people just get along? Well, there’s Europeans meddling in the Middle East during and between and after the two World Wars. What was that about? Imperialism. Paternalism. Whatever happened to democracy and self-determination? It disappeared when oil was discovered in the Gulf. It disappeared when yet another European war engulfed the region. Denying nomadic people and aboriginal people continued existence seems to be a character flaw in Europeans.

In the process, the British offered zionists a return to their ancient territory… which seemed like an invasion to Arabs and muslims. Now animosities a thousand years old are brought up to date with aircraft, machine-guns, armor and bombs. The world cannot afford this. The oil is not worth such complications. It’s not right effectively to proclaim people in the Middle East are just pests to be managed or eliminated.

No one seems to have the answer. Today, Canada, my government, refused to listen to Ahmadinajad address the UN General Assembly. If people won’t even listen to each other there is not much hope of reconciliation and a peaceful future. All the while calling him an extremist, USA and Canada are funding covert operations in Syria, Iran’s ally, and USA is giving $billions annually to Israel, which advocates a pre-emptive strike against Iran, and Egypt trying to buy peace. Afghanistan was invaded to go after Al Qaida but then was occupied for no good reason. Iraq was invaded and occupied for no good reason. Quit burning oil and peace will happen. There will not be much left to fight about.

Israel is not about to disappear but having a Jewish state while not allowing a Palestinian state is not on either. It’s about time people listened to what others are saying. There will be hotheads and extremists on every side of every issue but we don’t have to let them set the agenda. The world needs to get over its guilt and require Israel to behave like a nation among nations instead of God’s chosen people on the Promised Land. Iran and the Arab states need to accept that peace is normal and good and have free elections and political choice. The world should stop funding these people so they will be forced to get along with each other. War is just not a sustainable business model.

If we don’t want our children’s children to have to deal with the mess our fathers made, we have to change how we deal with the Middle East. It’s long past time people treat the Middle East the same way they treat every other nation on the planet, with respect and the expectation that good people there will do the right thing.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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10 Responses to Middle East Mess

  1. pogson says:

    Amen. So many of the problems in the world of politics and war seem to result from false premises making the foundation for whole societies. e.g. USA “conservatives” opposing higher taxes for the rich, USA “liberals” supporting Israel right or wrong, USA labelling political opponents “terrorists” even as USA blasts innocent and guilty with drones…

    Not to bash USA only. My Canada toed the line against statehood for Palestine for no good reason. Every people have the right to nationhood. It’s a human right to be free to think, speak and collaborate differently.

  2. oiaohm says:


    Its not like christians don’t always have a sense that it not right either.

    There was never a threat to kill done against Monty Python.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Eug Anti-Semitic Cartoons or videos don’t have jews going out putting for money to have you killed.

    Christians are badly displayed in Islam country cartoons. Yet they don’t call for those to be killed these days.

    Early Christians and Jews I am not saying are angels. People were killed for stupid things like blasphemy. Problem is Christians and Jews and most other religions have grown out of this.

    Calling for it to be banned is one thing. Calling for the writer to be killed only causes the item to be published. Threaten someone life it has to be important. Christians and Jews learnt this a long time go. You don’t stop them being published by cutting off someone head. By cutting off someone head or treating to means others will read it.

    If Christ did not die on the cross do you think he would be remembered as well.

    Yes blasphemy is a sin but so is killing a person.

    eug so in my point of view the mohammed cartoons are being made cool because the Islamic people threat to kill all the time.

    Take the Iraq response before the war give them shoes. The more stinky the better for their stupidity. Wonder what the publishers would do if they incoming mail was filled with every up set Islamic persons old stinky dead shoes. Some how publishing these cartoons would not seam like such a hot idea.

    Its a bit like the one paper who published a cartoon picking on farmers. A delivery of you what and its never happened again. A free gift in the Trojan horse class.

    Killing is not the only way to get point across and some Islamic countries have some very suitable solutions to the problem. Actions speak louder than words attempt to kill them lets them play the being bullied card and keep on going. Pranking them makes them look like the fool for doing it in the first place.

    Mature reglitions understand this fact.

  4. To some extent the UK has become the lap-dog of USA but in the case of Syria, I think Russia and China have axes to grind. They are worried that if UN intervenes there they may intervene in Chechnya or Tibet etc. I think both Russia and China are gradually moving to more liberal viewpoints but they are not there yet. In the meantime dictators have their way. I don’t think any government that uses artillery etc. on their people deserves support yet over history most governments have done that at one point or another. e.g. US Civil war, Canadian Riel Rebellion, etc. The world is moving to respect human rights but it is still not universally accepted that states should not murder citizens. I am amazed that some of the richest countries still persecute citizens because they wear head-scarves or are black. Canada has a region where signs for businesses must be predominantly in French rather than English by law. USA has regions where it’s not enough to be a citizen to vote but one has to register, thus excluding illiterates/poor/non-drivers/etc and medical care is not a right of citizenship. USA still does not have a national health-care insurance but insists that citizens and the health-care industry must deal with a plethora of insurance companies. How inefficient to say nothing of unfairness, with people losing health-care insurance when they lose their jobs.

    Ahhhhccc! Government seems to be a necessary evil but too often evil.

  5. Yes. It certainly would help if everyone had their right to an opinion respected. The USA certainly is guilty of taking sides in other people’s disputes instead of letting them work things out. They even deal with their own citizens that way. e.g. US Civil War, the struggle for civil rights of blacks, communism, even medicare. Then there is choice of operating system. Why do so many who say they love freedom want to exclude GNU/Linux from the market? Just give people their choice.

  6. eug says:



  7. dougman says:

    Another item to keep in mind is the U.S. control over its ‘petrodollar’ and its means of exporting inflation. Over the past two decades this was been eroded away by China and Russia that are looking to divest themselves, as any sane person, corporation or country should reasonably do.

    In essence, the U.S. is bannkrupt and has a unfunded liability sheet of $222 trillion. Congress has no intention of fixing the problem and rather kick the can down the street, as facing the problem would most likely destroy the current political structure in place.

  8. Mats Hagglund says:

    Previous fast population growth tend to create social tensions and violence. When i have checked the latest figures of fertility of some Muslim countries i understand now better why there has been huge tension and will be near in future. But now fertility rate has collapsed in most Muslim countries (Iran 1.7, Tunis 1.8, Turkey 1.9 Algeria 2.0 quite the same than those in Scandinavia, UK and France). People should understand what these figures means: tension would decrease during next generation.

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