Smoke billows over Mosul, Iraq, after an airstrike by U.S.-led international coalition forces targeting the Islamic State on July 9, 2017. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images) Source foreignpolicy.com

3 Reasons Why the United States Loves Occupying the Middle East

Today we learned that Iran will no longer be abiding by the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal Framework, and will enrich its uranium supply “without limits.” This comes to the surprise of many, including myself, because this is the perfect excuse the United States needs to launch a full scale invasion of the Middle East once again.

Why does the United States consistently look for every excuse to occupy the Middle East?

The US has been so desperate to occupy that region in the past that it has manufactured reasons to invade, as the recently declassified Afghan papers made clear that the invasion of Afghanistan was all based on propaganda.

Many believed the US occupation of the Middle East was an attempt to hunt down those who concocted 9/11. In some ways this is true, as al Qaeda had clearly set up shop in Afghanistan, but all of the 9/11 attackers came from US-friendly countries. So why invade Iraq and Afghanistan, and not Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, or Jordan?

And why even go after the Taliban? Many confuse the Taliban and al Qaeda as the same entity, but the Taliban hate al Qaeda and would have gladly helped kill Osama bin Laden. Instead, the US hunted them too, because there was never a true purpose to the war. It was a mixed bag of both hopeful and psychotic motivations that led to a mobius strip of mindless violence.

al Qaeda likely led the US to Iraq and Afghanistan on purpose, for those were the same regions that they were able to successfully bleed the Russians dry in the Soviet-Afghan war.

An entire generation later, al Qaeda and the Taliban have expanded and branched off into dozens of various factions, all with their own creative and unpronounceable names. Many of the same factions the US once hunted are now allies, and many US actions have led to the rise of even more powerful Islamic militants.

After all of this destruction, what benefit could the US government possibly see from this mobius strip of mindless violence?

Whoever controls the Middle East controls the world.

It’s not just about oil. The US is the largest oil producer in the world and America has never heavily relied on Saudi oil. It’s far easier to get oil from Canada, where about 40% of US oil comes from, compared to around 10% from Saudi Arabia.

However, other countries do rely on Middle Eastern oil, so it’s certainly true that oil is a factor here. This is just one reason why “whoever controls the Middle East controls the world.”

The Middle East is the center of the world. From that position an empire can become a terminal cancer and comfortably extend its arms to nearly every corner of the planet.

This is likely the most significant reason why the US has meddled in Middle Eastern affairs long before 9/11. It’s no coincidence that all the 9/11 attackers came from US friendly countries. Those were the very places the US had installed puppet regimes. Osama bin Laden even made this clear, that the motivation for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks was because of the US intervention in their affairs — of course this does not justify his horrifying actions nor does this make him a freedom fighter. bin Laden was a violent psychopath who deserved nothing more than a bullet to the head, but his reasoning for attacking Americans was certainly not the commonly-repeated, ridiculous belief that “he attacked us because he hates freedom.”

Russia also knows the significance of the Middle East, and Russia has its own puppet governments, the largest being Bashar al Assad’s dictatorship in Syria. Russia also holds a significant influence over Iran; Russia is one of the only countries that supplies Iran with military supplies.

Russia and the US are two players of a very real-life chess game, where 4 or 5 boards are in play simultaneously, each board representing a Middle Eastern faction they influence or outright control.

It’s a proxy war for world domination.

The US has devoted more money to military expenditures than any other country by a large margin, and that money must be spent.

US military expenditure as a share of export goods is around 40% and about 3.5% of GDP. According to the New York Times, “ Roughly 10 percent of the $2.2 trillion in factory output in the United States goes into the production of weapons sold mainly to the Defense Department.”

Even President Trump blatantly admitted to the existence of the military industrial complex as a reason for why the US can’t leave. Imagine all the millions of people employed under the defense department with nothing to do. Imagine the millions of people who may have to lose their jobs if we stopped blowing up the Middle East. It is a travesty that a significant portion of the US government is simply tied to the destruction of the Middle East.

The Middle East is 80% desert, it’s the perfect place to test out our new weapons and a great place to blow money in general. Vietnam was not the ideal place to do this, as the US could never get public support behind that war, and nothing works in the mud. But the Middle East is composed of far-away brown people, who many Americans imagine to be little more than Tusken Raiders living in cities of sand. The US can spend millions carpet bombing entire cities and the public hears nothing of it… and what they do hear about, they simply don’t care.

A Shia shrine in Samara, Iraq, 60 miles north of Baghdad. Left — 2003, Right — 2006. Source The Guardian

These conflicts keep the military state alive and the Pentagon with something to occupy their time. Keeping the Pentagon busy usually entails shooting things, this is a place where they can do just that without much public outcry.

There is an old essay by Randolph Borne called War is the Health of the State. I think that essay is better titled Fear is the Health of the State. It is just too easy to pass new laws when in conflict.

How many laws have been passed under the guise of “preventing terrorism?” Terrorism is that boogeyman which the American citizen can constantly be reminded of. As long as citizens are afraid of something, government has the justification to continue expansion.

Every new American president is elected under the pretense that they will bring the troops home. Upon finding the overwhelming opposition to ending the conflicts, every president soon learns that such a feat is simply impossible.

Just last October, the house overwhelmingly voted to keep troops in Syria, with a staggering 354–60 vote. It is clear that it is in the political interests of Congress to always have a boogeyman to use against the American people.

It doesn’t matter that statistically speaking Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist, or even a better chance of being killed in an animal attack. It’s a justification that can always be used for essentially anything, and all those who oppose can simply be labeled “pro-terrorists.”

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