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The Middle East: No good options

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Once again for President Barack Obama, there are no good options in considering who to support in achieving peace in the middle east. Instead, the President and his administration has opted to back no one and instead continue on the path of “reason” in an unreasonable region.

Since the unnecessary war on Iraq and the decade long hunt for al-Quaida in Afghanistan, America has lost more than 8,000 troops with more than 50,000 injured and $760 billion spent and counting. Yet, all signs now point to a renewed presence of terror in Iraq, near anarchy in Egypt and continued civil war in Syria.

In an Associated Press article written by Lara Jakes, Iraqi officials are quoted as requesting “a limited number of advisors, intelligence analysts ...including lethal drones.” The Iraqi official was not shy about asking for U.S. help. This is in light of the fact that when U.S. officials were negotiating the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, an agreement that would have left troops and assets in Iraq were rejected because Iraqi officials insisted on the ability to jail and prosecute American soldiers found in violation of Iraqi law. As a result there has been no significant American troop presence in Iraq for nearly two years.

Al-Quaida is being blamed for a tripling of suicide bombings over the summer.

Egyptian military officials have regained control of the government, after winter, spring and summer protests against the then-elected President Mohammed Morsi, was deemed “too harsh” a leader by the Egyptian version of the “arab spring”. Despite an election watched and largely overseen by the international community, Morsi was summarily escorted from office in favor of....what? Protests, nearly 1,000 civilians killed, former President Hosni Mobarak being released from custody, and a new generation of anger and revenge the result.

In Syria, the carnage continues, this time chemical weapons are coming to the fore front. Who used them is the question. The rebels claim that the government has used them all along, but there is evidence that rebel forces had a hand in the most recent chemical use in order to gain sympathy for their cause, and, yes, to goad the American President into backing their side.

There are signs that President Obama is taking the bait. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel along with U.S. military officials are putting carriers on standby in the waters just off Africa in preparation for a possible air strike against the Syrian government. Such a move would be done without the approval of the United Nations Security Council where China and Russia are certain not to grant approval. The United States would be once again on its own.

There is sympathy in the U.S. for the problems in the Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, but no support for sending troops or money to the region. This American President, who has spent a great deal of time getting his country out of the region’s conflicts would have a difficult time convincing his voters that we should get back in, or more significantly, that the U.S. should invest anything in a region whose only solution to a disagreement is kill or be killed.

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