Opinion: Leave the Middle East to Middle Easterners


Continued efforts in the Middle East have proved to be a money pit for the United States Government.

With the recent conflicts raging throughout the Middle East, questions about U.S. intervention and authority have been brought up. For the past 12 years, America has acted as the police force of the world, backing both democratic and dictatorial regimes and attempting to put down terrorist cell insurgencies. After killing Osama Bin Laden, Islamic fundamentalist attacks have been at a minimum, until just recently. With the circulation of an anti-Islam video on YouTube, assaults have been numerous and deadly. Starting with the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya, mob attacks have occurred almost daily throughout the Middle East. Just recently, the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan was stormed by protesters. Before that, attacks had raged on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, and even the German Embassy in Sudan.

But what is the true cause behind these protests and attacks? Obviously, there is a large outcry against the YouTube video, but many of these attacks are much more organized and vicious than simply a mob of angry Middle Easterners. The attack on the U.S Embassy in Libya, which raged for three hours before finally being put down, was fought with mortars and rocket launchers by the Islamists. These are no ordinary weapons that ordinary citizens can get their hands on. Without question, there was a terrorist cell that had been planning an 11-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and just used good timing of a hateful video to encourage more people to join their cause. These terrorist groups (which comprise only a small minority of the actual population of the Middle East) utilized the circumstances given to them to their best advantage, creating further unrest and instability in the region. They also used these circumstances to promote an anti-US rhetoric that has become stronger and stronger within that minority and is just beginning to leak out into the general populace.

The question many Americans should be asking of their government right now is “Should our country continue to provide money and services to countries that don’t want our help and attack our embassies?” As it is, $500 million of foreign aid gets sent to Libya per year. What good does that do America? Apparently, not much. It helps fund a Libyan army that provides no support while our citizens are under attack. For the entire attack, there was no aid from the Libyan government or army. The terrorists had free reign to the entire embassy, even hoisting an al-Qaeda flag where the U.S. one was formerly flying.

Is this really what our money should be going towards? How about using that $500 million to help improve education, or get better transportation, or help feed the 5% of starving Americans? Why waste American money in a place that does not want or appreciate it? And why waste the lives of American troops in a war that will never resolve itself? The purpose seems pointless, and the motives seem to have all but disappeared. It seems to be a much smarter and less costly idea to simply give the Middle East back to the Middle Easterners.