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An easy way to get the US out of the Middle East

They're at it again. Palestinians are firing missiles into Israel and Israel is firing back. In Detroit yesterday, this was met with a protest which grew as it continued. One of the protestors lamented that what Israel was doing 'amounted to almost war crimes.' Another asserted that Gaza as 'an open air prison' from which Palestinians could not escape. Hyperbole is the rule of the day when war is involved. No doubt that it comes from the other side too.

And that's maybe the biggest part of the problem. Do we really know who's at fault in all this? It's been going on for so long and Americans are so unwilling to take serious looks at world issues that, be honest, all we really know is that there's been a lot of fighting going on the Middle East and it's been going on for a long time. So much so that we aren't even going to bother trying to sort it out here.

Why should we care anyway? Why should a regional conflict half way around the world mean anything to us? Yes, there is the human toll which is taken; many of the casualties in Gaza are apparently civilian, but no doubt many of the Israeli casualties are too. Not that there can be any decent quid pro quo where lives are maimed or lost. It does little more than add to the hyperbole.

So let's just call the situation what it is: we care about the Middle East because there's oil there. We wouldn't have to care quite so much if the radical environmentalists would let us drill the oil we have here. Some people believe that we have more reserves than all of OPEC: see here for details. And remember that's just one spot on the map.

The ongoing hostilities in the Middle East are bad, to say the least, and ought to stop. But as we don't really appreciate the causes it doesn't seem we could actually be much help in the reconciliation. At some point, people and nations become solely responsible for themselves and their actions between one another. That may just be the bottom line in the Middle East. So let's just remove our interest in the area and let whoever's there sort it out. That might be the most rational option the US has in Gaza.

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