What is American Strength in the Middle East?
Once again the volatility of the Middle East is front and center. Once again anti-American protests are spreading in various Middle East countries. Once again this is being viewed as a symbol of American foreign policy weakness here at home regarding the Middle East. But:
What is American Strength in the Middle East?
Answers range from bombing them into submission to sanctions to more diplomacy to abandoning the Middle East. But I want to concentrate on the a primary answer that is the undertone of John McCain’s “American weakness”, Sarah Palin’s “growing a bigger stick”, and Mitt Romney’s “apologetic American” remarks : more military intervention.
More Military Intervention
This is popular with our more hawkish Americans. That we simply strike at the Middle East with our superior firepower until they… get… it! A co-worker of mine told me that we should have dropped paratroopers into Benghazi, Libya after the American civilian killings and just leveled the crowd. Then drove tanks up to the capital (along with air support) and with megaphones declared that this is how we deal with our American brothers and sisters being butchered. Let’s think about that. One thing that would do is definitely shock the world. The images would be stark and true. And if we repeated that in Egypt and Yemen, a stunned world would just be, well… STUNNED! But after the stun wore off, the condemnation from the rest of the world (with the exception of current Israeli leadership) would be deafening. And one thing that Middle East terrorists have shown time and time again is that they feed off of violence. This would coalesce into the Jihad of Jihads.
So in keeping with the militaristic theme, we just reply with instant air strikes at identified Iran nuclear facilities. And for good measure, firebomb identified opium fields in Afghanistan. Then our President delivers some fiery rhetoric that we’ve had enough and this is how we will RESPOND! Well since our aggression will be viewed as the MOST UNHOLY, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various other members of the “Terrorist Jubilee” would respond in kind. Bombing, killings, kidnappings, etc would just happen numerous times a day. And being on the “WE WILL RESPOND” kick, we continue to air strike, drop troops in, and attack attack attack various targets. Maybe we level a capital city or two to prove the point. Maybe allies immediately start pulling away from the US and isolating themselves. Maybe a country like China decides this is the time to make some military moves themselves to stop the “out of control Americans”. Escalation upon escalation. No quarter given. I’ll leave the rest to imagination.
“Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war…”
Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1, 270–275
Maybe I took that too far. Maybe those events don’t unfold the way I laid them out. But we’ve all seen that the “Terrorist Jubilee” is living for more violence so that they can die honorably (in their view). So barring genocide committed by the USA, the “Terrorist Jubilee” will keep fueling itself with the destruction that the USA lays on their homelands. And of course we would essentially have to stop all international travel and militarize all borders to minimize or stop an influx of terrorists. Happy days…
So is that what those who preach more American strength in the Middle East want? Is the tool for quelling the Middle East is even more military activities? Diplomacy obviously feeds into the “American weakness” meme. Diplomacy falls on deaf ears anyways. Israel seems to be spoiling for a fight in defense of their right to exist and the “Terrorist Jubilee” seem happy to oblige. No one really wants to compromise. So some here at home want the Big Stick Philosophy to reign supreme. And tough talk means nothing to the “Terrorist Jubilee” that can talk just as tough. So here at home, they have to mean increased military force right? Right McCain? Right Palin? Right Romney? Right Hawks? I know you all won’t be happy with just sanctions right?
Let me be clear. I’m not making fun of or picking on the Right/Conservatives/Republicans. But I’m just not feeling the “American Strength equals Diplomacy” vibe. I’m feeling the “America kicks that ass hard” vibe. Do we really feel that the Benghazi murderers of Americans will be found and brought up on charges? And if they are found and sentenced, is that American Strength (letting the process play out)?
Our Armed Forces are absolutely bad ass. They are trained to the knife’s edge and are supported with the best equipment and support troops. They are up to the task whenever and however. But not being clear on what American Strength in the Middle East is will not fly. If American Strength is sending these brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces into these zones every time one of ours is attacked, don’t play, SAY IT! Tell the world that THESE COLORS DON’T RUN and will not tolerate being attacked. That we will be in your country ready to bring fire and brimstone to those that attacked us. And if you stand in our way, you will be brought to the torch as well. Now that is a STRONG STATEMENT with the means to do so. If that is American Strength in the Middle East and our colors don’t run, then you shouldn’t run from what you really want.
Or are you just playing with words?
** UPDATE **
A regular reader to TMV made a great comment:
I’m trying to understand what your position is on all this, which is to say I’m not quite sure what you’re advocating, although it seems you are saying don’t talk the talk unless you’re ready to walk the walk.
To be honest, I think it’s a lost cause at times. The history and the dynamics just don’t work in our favor. The Middle East, to me, needs some visionary leaders to rise and change folks hearts and minds. So I’m asking these questions in my article. What is American Strength in the Middle East? And is strength there for us all about our military might?