The middle east has always been rife with conflict. Religious ideological differences, land disputes, and more have turned the region into a hotbed of aggression. Couple this with American interference in the name of peace or retribution and you get what we have now… a shit show.
In September 2001, a terrorist attack perpetrated by Marwan al-Shehhi (United Arab Emirates), Fayez Banihammad (United Arab Emirates), Mohand al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Hamza al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian), and Ahmed al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian) among others took place on American soil. It was not the earliest terrorist attack in American history… our history is littered with terrorism going back to 1782 in Gnadenhutten, Ohio during which the Pennsylvania militia executed 96 unarmed natives, to the 1838 “Mormon War” during which anti-Mormon militants were issued a “Mormon Extermination Order” by the Missouri government, to the 1920 Wall Street bombings where a series of bombs were sent through the mail to businesses and government officials. Our history is a veritable smorgasbord of terrorist activity. Hell, some would say that the United States is a nation founded on terrorism. On person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist, right?
Fast forward to September 11, 2001 in New York City. Members of the terrorist organization al-Queda, mostly from the united Arab Emirates operating out of Hamburg Germany, flew two plains into landmark buildings in the financial district of New York City killing nearly 3000 people and injuring another 6000. In addition, a third plane hit the west wall of the pentagon and a 4th on route to another target was crashed near Shanksville Pennsylvania. This was the largest loss of life to a foreign terrorist attack in American history and what did we do? We started committing hate crimes. We pointed fingers at the middle east as a whole…. but strangely not the United Arab Eremites. We sent troops onto foreign soil with little proof any of them had anything to do with it. We reacted in a fearful way striking out at anything Muslim and especially at anything fundamentalist Muslim.
Iraq, the first place we went, had nothing to do with Al-Queda. They had a dictator who was a horrible human being and we helped put him in power… but he made for a good target. We sent troops anywhere we could think of that might have oil and Muslims that seemed to have good optics so that the people of our great nation could feel like their leaders were doing something other than serving their own interests. Through these actions, we emboldened these small but vocal minority groups and we toppled governments in the effort to “bring peace and equality” or at least our skewed idea of it, to these “savage” countries. What hubris. What arrogance.
Fast forward again to this past week when finally, after realizing that we had no businessmen being there and wasting our time and effort to protect people who are, on average,
unwilling and unable to protect themselves and after twenty years of creating a reliance on us that now they can’t break free of, and after years of not even trying to hear what the “enemy” had to say for themselves and not recognizing that we were the invading force…. we did the only thing we could do. We left. Just like our fear of communism in the 60’s and 70-‘s kept us in Vietnam, our fear of “Muslim Extremists” kept us in Afghanistan. We failed to realize that we were attacked for a reason…. not a good one, but a reason. We failed to learn from the event and we continued to do the very thing that caused the problem in the first place and now we’re leaving a region with improved infrastructure that we put in place for ourselves and we’re handing it to our perceived enemy strengthening their position.
The men and women who went there and fought for the freedom and liberty of the people of the middle east are left emotionally scarred and are not being taken care of. The men and women who risked their lives to aid our troops are now left to fend for themselves. The entire situation is just plain wrong. It could have been avoided, but now it just has to be dealt with. There was never going to be a good time to leave. Maybe, the years of conflict have shown both sides something. Maybe the Taliban will not go back to their precious iron-fisted rule like they claim. Time will tell. As of right now, today, we need to wake up and look at this situation as it stands. We were wrong to go there in the first place and we could not have helped but to leave. We have committed ore terrorist acts against ourselves than others have perpetrated against us and that’s the pill we need to swallow. We are not the police for the world and we need to work on ourselves before we start trying to solve the rest of the world’s issues.