Monday, August 6, 2007

The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend

First off, I need a scorecard to keep up with the players in the Middle East and how the US feels about them on any given day...

Second, it'd be really nice if the US would stop working with/supporting terrorists of any kind--even if those terrorists are fighting these terrorists--as a guiding fundamental principle.

Found this over at the Kind of Cares Bear blog. It's a repost from last February. While I'm sure it's not quite as simple geopolitically as she makes it sound, maybe it should be, ya know?

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* We start with the idea that the US government should protect Americans' safety. For example, no more 9/11s.

* Iran wants to get the bomb, and the theory is that once Iran has the bomb, it will give it to Hezbollah to blow up in the US. So, Iran's bomb intentions must be fought to protect Americans.

* Iran is Shia, so the Shia are the enemy. Except, in Iraq, the Shias are the oppressed minority, so we are working with the Shia government in Iraq.

* Sunnis fight Shias, so, according to the principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," Sunnis should be our allies.

* Unfortunately, Sunni militants = al-Qaida, also our enemies.

* In Lebanon, Hezbollah (a Shia organization aided by Iran) is trying to gain more power in the government, and to lessen the power of the Sunni government.

* The US is supporting Salafi Sunnis (aka al-Qaida & Co.) in Lebanon, because they will fight Hezbollah (Shias), to prevent Hezbollah from gaining power in Lebanon, and indirectly, prevent Iran and Hezbollah from getting the bomb. In other words, the US is supporting al-Qaida-related terrorist organizationsm because they are the enemies of our enemies.

* But wait, I thought al-Qaida was public enemy #1.

* Except for the fact that it was the US pursuing the same strategy, namely supporting religiously motivated militants (Afghani mujahedeen and Osama bin Laden) who are the enemies of our enemies (the Soviets), that created al-Qaida in the first place, and therefore precipitated 9/11.

* So, what was that about Americans' safety? Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

12 comments:

The Griper said...

he chuckles. the answer to your question is "nope". but have to say i got a good chuckle from this post. it has the makings of an excellent abbot and costello skit.

repsac3 said...

Yeah Griper, I'm with ya...

I just don't believe our foreign policy is meant to be a comedy routine, though...

The Griper said...

Foreign policy has always been a joke. It has never been consistent or at times even made sense. One day we can call someone a friend and then turn around the next day and call them an enemy without blinking an eyelash.

Take the USSR for instance. During WWII they were our friends but once it was over they were our enemy. And war hadn't even had a chance to cool off before this happened.

where war is concerned you will always see strange bedfellows. So, does this situation make me wonder, nope.

this will even occur here in regards to domestic policy. on any particular issue you will find alliances that seem to contradict themselves yet on another issue find that the alliance now are enemies.

the enemy of my enemy is my friend is an apt phrase on a lot of issues whether foreign or domestic. though i can't prove it, the phrase seems to apply to politics itself.

and when you think of it politics has been the best material for comedy routines forever. all you need to do is see and portray something from a different viewpoint than intended and you can create a skit from it. it is all in how you perceive something then present it as you did in your post.

Dora said...

I know it may be kind of vain to comment on a repost of my own post, but in general, it seems like there is little long-term strategic planning in the Bush administration. They just do what feels right at the moment, and don't think about the consequences in 3 months' time, 3 years' time, 30 years time, etc. There is no "global strategy," and if anyone wants to pretend that "spreading democracy and fighting terror" is their global strategy, take a good look at Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, and the various groups and entities we support around the world. It might not be a bad strategy, "spreading democracy and fighting terror," but it certainly is not the Bush administration's strategy.

repsac3 said...

I submit to you though, that strange bedfellows domesticly (or even internationally, where weaponry isn't a part of the picture) is a whole different ball of wax...

When we help arm this bad guy because we have a shared enemy in that bad guy, we're only asking for trouble.

A guy on a blog just suggested that we intentionally drew Al Qaeda into Iraq, either/(or both) as a strategy to capture & kill as many of our enemies as possible from one location and /or to unite the disparate Iraqi sects against an outside enemy rather than each other.

This will not prevent them from attacking each other once AQ is no longer a threat, though...

the best course of action in general, would be to avoid arming folks who wish to kill us, even if they're willing to kill one of our enemies, first. Whether that is applicable to our current situation seeing as how the bell is already clangin', I'm not sure.

repsac3 said...

Dora, you are always welcome, whether in vain or otherwise... 8>)

Dora said...

I appreciate that.

If you want to really get scared, read about Viktor Bout, the russian arms dealer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Bout

Not only does this man arm everyone from Serbs to al Qaida, he will sometimes arm both sides of a conflict, and then provide the airlift services to deliver UN aid. The guy has a fleet of 60 aircraft that fly to all sorts of random places.

And without fail, the US has used him in Iraq. The same guy who arms al Qaida!!!

You can listen to this podcast interview with the authors of a new book about him. I must say that I think the Bush administration has made me pretty jaded and shockproof with respect to outrageous governmental misdeeds, but this completely shocked even me.

Dora said...

Off-topic, but, "the griper," i left a comment on your blog, and you just deleted it? why? :(

repsac3 said...

"he will sometimes arm both sides of a conflict,"

We did the same in the Iran-Iraq conflict, I understand...

For Viktor (& maybe us too, sometimes) it's all about the Benjamins...

I'd prefer to think that we had (& have) something more politically highminded when we do these things--"national security," "spreading democracy," somethin' good--but I'd be a fool not to recognise that "the money" is often a convenient byproduct of those more highminded goals.

The Griper said...

dora,
welcome and i thank ya for the comment on my blog. i did not delete your comment. i just moderate comments before they are published.

Donald Douglas said...

Hi repsac3!

I'm returning to comment on your page. I'm back from vacation and ready for more of the great debates!

Have a great week!

Go America!

repsac3 said...

Welcome back, Don...

I look forward to hearing about the trip, & then disagreeing with you pretty much constantly, on whatever blog we meet 8>)

You'll note that a few of us made some use of your blog whilst you was gone...