Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Managing the Middle East

I joined the Marine Corps in 1990 because Saddam Hussein appeared the Hitleresque figure Washington said he was. But after hearing what the intel community had to say it quickly became apparent the war was a favor to wealthy Kuwaitis who wanted their oil revenues back. Chemical attacks cited in justification were carried out under surveillance that didn't appear to alarm Washington. In fact, they weren't mentioned until they were used to build support for Kuwaiti Liberation.

As the years wore on I became interested in al Qaeda and preparing the Marine Corps to confront that challenge. In 1998, I began serving under Marine Corps Intelligence Schools and Naval War College towards that goal. The color coded terror alert system is about all you saw of the work we did because Congress would refuse to let us go after the Saudi Arabian Wahhabists who funded and recruited the primarily Saudi Arabs sent to train at militia style facilities in Afghanistan. The plan carried out on 9/11 was also on our radar, but Congress refused to fund the airline security requested to thwart those hijackings.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think it is important that you hear the truth at least once. The experts I worked with warned Washington to avoid regime change in the Middle East because similar actions had led the Saudi Wahhabist to build al Qaeda with Osama bin Laden's help. Their training camps were located in Afghanistan because that was the site of the Soviet led regime change operation responsible. Although the Taliban were responsible for defeating that Soviet operation, by the 90s they were little more than landlords accepting payment from the Saudis who financed al Qaeda's training facilities.

Al Qaeda has grown and spread as we said they would given the instability generated by regime change in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen. The attempt to overthrow Syria's Assad gave birth to ISIS, who have since spread throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East along with al Qaeda. Regime change in Iran would only contribute to this mess.

Jamie Beaulieu
Farmington

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15 Responses »

  1. Thank you Jamie.

    Listen to Tulsi Gabbard discuss her stand on these regime changes.
    She knows what she speaks of.
    It's worth consideration.

    We only make it worse.

  2. Well written....

    Syria, Iran, North Korea- not places I want to live but many worse out there. What makes these 3 special? Why do their atrocities get broadcast as news while others not so much? Google can be your helper, find the dots and connect them. Just follow the money, and for kicks take a look at the haves and who’s that are heavily invested in North Africa, learn about the 18-25 yo workforce they have coming available and maybe get a clue why so much news about China and china made goods and real reasons for tariffs...etc.

    Finally listen to what president Eisenhower said in his farewell speech about the industrial war complex.

  3. The U. S. should've gotten out the regime-change business decades ago. Although the goal of overthrowing oligarchies and dictatorships has usually been touted as "to promote democracy", the reality is to gain possession of resources like oil/gas, minerals, etc., in the Middle East.

    When The Brits wanted to protect its oil field holdings in Iran, Truman wouldn't go along with the proposal to remove the democratically-elected govt. there. Once Eisenhower was in office, however, they succeeded in conspiring to orchestrate a CIA-led coup in 1953 to return the then-young Shah to power. It is no wonder that the animus between Iran and the U.S. has a long history.

    Perhaps Tunisia in North Africa initially had a modicum of success with its "Arab Spring" uprising, but Libya Egypt and Syria did not. That Assad is still in power in Syria is largely attributable to military help from Iran and Russia. And then there are the "Banana Republics" that benefited huge corporations that market fruit, coffee and sugar. And now many Caribbeans and Central Americans are seeking refuge from the chaos and injustice in those countries.

    If "regime change" is so noble, bring back the military draft and make sure that your sons, daughters and grandchildren put their lives on the line to defend that notion.

  4. If "regime change" is so noble, bring back the military draft and make sure that your sons, daughters and grandchildren put their lives on the line to defend that notion.

    Folks interested in something like the above might take a read at "Skin In The Game, Poor Kids and Patriots", by Major Gen Dennis Laich, a critical look at the short comings of the All Volunteer Forces (AVF)

    If conscription (draft) was in play does anyone think we'd still be in Afghanistan or Iraq?

  5. When has meddling in the lives of another country ever worked out, for anyone? Why can't we accept that people on the other side of the world might actually be able to govern themselves, make their own decisions and choose their own leaders without our interference?

  6. Thanks to jamie for calling attention to certain government policies.

  7. Yes, working, we should let all the regimes that support terror and hate us build all the nukes they want. What could go wrong?

  8. "When has meddling in the lives of another country ever worked out, for anyone? Why can't we accept that people on the other side of the world might actually be able to govern themselves, make their own decisions and choose their own leaders without our interference?"

    Absolutely, Working. AS LONG AS we accept that 1/2 the world hates us (and always has) due to our skin color, religion, that we have formed a gov't and system that lets us have material affluence and comfort. So, they'll always try to harm us and our allies. I propose we only use B-52s and bomb the hell out of nations that mess with us, using carpet bombing tactics, if necessary. No more boots on the ground. Use hacking/tech interdiction, jam their communications, etc. If Iran decides to go nuclear...well, we have those, too...

    "If you leave us along, we'll leave you alone". That's how this country was intended to be; the elites, over time, meddled constantly in others' affairs, and that is not right. They did it in OUR name, but not to OUR benefit - just like our politicians today, importing half of the Third World without consent and all the other things we argue about on here...same exact thing. They didn't have the consent of the governed then, and they don't now!

  9. OverRegulated
    August 19, 2019 • 4:55 am

    Absolutely, Working. AS LONG AS we accept that 1/2 the world hates us (and always has) due to our skin color, religion, that we have formed a gov't and system that lets us have material affluence and comfort. So, they'll always try to harm us and our allies. I propose we only use B-52s and bomb the hell out of nations that mess with us, using carpet bombing tactics, if necessary. No more boots on the ground. Use hacking/tech interdiction, jam their communications, etc. If Iran decides to go nuclear...well, we have those, too...

    When exactly did another country “mess” with us due to material influence and comfort? Wasn’t that the bush tagline for Iraq, they attacked us because Britney Spears... was it Vietnam? Was it Syria,Libya, Afghanistan? Funny how all the places that mess with us tend to not have central banks (or actual military in some cases)...don’t ya think?

    Do you really think that bombing as you speak of makes people less likely to want us dead? Even the liars in charge and some media will speak of something called blowback, if China bombed Maine tomorrow would that make you less likely to want to fight China? As for hacking...lol...the US is way behind on this front and should we jam Iranian communication with the electronics we had built in China or....

    WW2 was a long time ago and keep in mind that hitlers propaganda machine was installed here at home, look at the way people will fight over Bush, Clinton, Obama and now Trump- I dunno who you can trust but I trust Thomas Jefferson who said in no uncertain terms “Do Not Trust The Federal Government” he didn’t say it’s all cool as long as Obama or trump is running things he said Never Ever trust them....

    Your last paragraph was spot on- btw

  10. The federal government was established to provide for the public welfare, uphold the public trust and handle foreign trade, it was not intended to govern the people or the individual states. Our constitution and preceding Declaration of Independence pretty much makes us an isolationist country when it comes to meddling in foreign affairs. Our government when playing by the rules(which isn't often) has a very small scope of power. The states actually have more power over themselves than the federal government does, the 10th amendment sums it up nicely, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Some things the feds can't do, make decisions on guns, abortion, free enterprise, marriage(straight, gay or other), Declare war on a state, or create a state within a state unless that state agrees to it. Going to war with foreign countries over that country's heads of state or agenda pushing on the part of the American people, are a couple more things the federal government can't do, Iraq had never done anything to us as a country, they have never attacked us, nor have they ever given us cause to attack them. North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Syria have all done nothing to us, yet we have attacked them all. We slaughtered an army and almost destroyed a country in Europe and Asia in the 40s because its power hungry leaders attacked a bunch of countries they had no reason to attack. It's like a quote from a Batman movie "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

  11. The U.S. is NOT hated because it has a large white population or because it has a large Christian community. The U.S. has been a "colonizer" in the past, installing its chosen rulers in countries that made the U.S. richer while they ignored the plight of their own people.

    Ever hear of ethics, morals? Bombing innocent civilians is no way to gain the higher ground.

  12. Marie E. August 19, 2019 • 12:54 pm

    The U.S. has been a "colonizer" in the past, installing its chosen rulers in countries that made the U.S. richer while they ignored the plight of their own people.

    In some cases this may not be a bad thing, most rulers do overlook the plight of their people even if not persuaded by our government to do so.

    I think many may argue that if we don’t do it, Russia or China etc...may turn more countries socialist or communist to which I say let it happen- it fails everywhere it is tried (including here-now) let it fail.

    Hrtlss Bstrd
    August 19, 2019 • 10:38 am

    Right on man, that was eloquently put...I would only add that power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts.

  13. Marie E, Two scenarios, two very different outcomes,

    In WW2 we pretty much bombed without a care and won a major war in 5 years and brought a sort of tenuous peace to Europe and created a power struggle in Korea. That is scenario one.

    Scenario 2
    We took out all the good weapons and tactics that we used in previous wars, the napalm, cluster bombs, nukes, no indiscriminate bombing, and instead adopt a door to door policy where our troops go in the front door and the bad guys go out the back, we can't blockade entire countries like we did in WW2 Germany, and as a result of the Geneva convention, we have been fighting a war in the Middle East going on 20 years using ethics and morals, they have no place on the battlefield.

  14. Pure - as said, our gov't doesn't play by the rules. No gov't does. Ever. Anywhere. Our system was set up brilliantly, but over time, progressive desires have ceded the power of the citizens to the elites in the gov't, creating a system where a few people have all the power and use it to manipulate and get rich. This includes meddling in foreign affairs probably best left alone. This is a story as old as time. Japan meddled with us, and Germany did too, did they not? Didn't France and the UK meddle with Germany when they invaded Poland? Treaties (aren't they important??) should have weight....but that's another story.

    The more we want gov't to 'do' (welfare...take from others and give to us for "free"), the more power they obtain, the more they will do this, whether conservatives or progressives are at the helm. Once thru that golden door, their values go away, I am convinced. The ONLY hope this nation has is to massively shrink gov't...good luck.

    If we stripped those elites of their power and returned to first principles, we'd likely be OK. But that won't happen, too many demands that gov't do it all for us, and total lack of independence and ambition. It is what it is.

    I merely point to bombing vs. boots on the ground to stop Iran, Russia, China or whomever from becoming world-dominant. It's better than 'invading'. And WWII being 75 yrs ago or not, would could still annihilate the entire planet, LOL. I am being facetious...we're destroying ourselves, and the peeps in the UN who are helping aren't going to have to do much more than watch, really.

  15. No one should have formed an opinion on Middle East regime change without having first understood the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. Had you done this you would have learned that the promise of cultural change was used by that government in a failed attempt to defeat the Taliban. Further, you would have learned that while the Soviet people were at first motivated by this objective, the cost of war eventually proved too much to overcome. The Soviet Union fell shortly after this experience due to the depression that gripped that nation and efforts from without to sow discord within the union.

    Afghanistan was what it was before we got involved largely because the population changed in response to the efforts to create division and to motivate rebellion within through the promise of cultural change. The French had tried this before the Soviet Union with the same disastrous consequences. Saudi Arabia and the West involved themselves in the Soviet attempt, siding with locals who called for autonomy and providing support necessary to achieve it. In other words, both shared some responsibility in reinforcing what we later called radical religious controls over that population.

    We will see a similar response in Afghanistan in coming years. The strict adherence to old ways will return as community leaders seek to undo the foreign cultural reeducation they have seen repeatedly used to divide them into factions.

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