The Washington Times
The recent fall of Fallujah, Iraq, to an Al-Qaeda-linked group provides an unwelcome reminder of the American resources and lives devoted in 2004 to 2007 to control the city – all that effort expended and nothing to show for it. Similarly, outlays of hundreds of billions of dollars to modernize Afghanistan did not prevent the release of 72 prisoners who have attacked Americans.
Al-Qaeda takes over in Fallujah, Iraq.
On the flip side, the poorly constructed Mosul Dam in Iraq could collapse, drowning half a million immediately and leave many more stranded without electricity or food. Sewage runs rampant in Gaza. Many countries suffer from electricity black-outs, and especially in the oppressive summer heat that routinely reaches 120 degrees.
An artist's rendition of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam now under construction.
Vast reserves of oil and gas have distorted nearly every aspect of life. Miniature medieval-like monarchies like Qatar become surreal world powers playing at war in Libya and Syria, indifferent to the lives they break, as a vast underclass of oppressed foreign workers toils away and a princess deploys the largest budget for art purchases in human history. The privileged can indulge their cruel impulses, protected by connections and money. Sex tourism to poor countries like India flourishes.
Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (b. 1983), sister of the emir of Qatar and chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority, reportedly has about US$1 billion a year to spend on art.
Middle Eastern life suffers from acute biases – often official – based on religion, sect, ethnicity, tribe, skin color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, work, and disability. Slavery remains a scourge.
Conspiracy theories, political zealotry, resentment, repression, anarchy, and aggression rule the region's politics. Modern notions of the individual remain weak in societies where primordial bonds of family, tribe, and clan remain dominant.
Alaa Hussein Ali (r) ruled the Republic of Kuwait for 6 days in August 1990 before the country was annexed to Iraq by Saddam Hussein (l).
Economic and political failure creates large bodies of refugees; Afghans have made up the world's largest refugee population since the 1980s; Syrians now threaten to overtake them, sowing poverty and chaos in their lands of refuge. Desperate souls attempt to leave the region altogether for Western countries, with more than a few dying along the way. Those who make it bring their region's maladies to such tidy countries as Sweden and Australia.
Nineteenth-century diplomats dubbed the Ottoman Empire "the Sick Man of Europe." Now, I nominate the whole Middle East the Sick Man of the World. The region's hatreds, extremism, violence, and despotism require many decades to remedy.
While this process perhaps takes place, the outside world is best advised not to expend blood and treasure to redeem the Middle East – a hopeless task – but on protecting itself from the region's manifold threats, from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and harems to mega-terrorism and electromagnetic pulse.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
Few days ago, Israel's channel 2 main news, in a newly released video revealed that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein told his generals to launch missiles with WMD warheads at Israel should he be toppled or cut off from his military staff.
‘Saddam gave orders to fire chemical weapons at Tel Aviv if he was toppled in First Gulf War’; Tapes reveal Iraqi dictator told generals to launch missiles with WMD warheads at Jewish state should he be cut off from his military staff: http://www.timesofisrael.com/saddam-gave-orders-to-fire-chemical-weapons-at-tel-aviv-if-he-was-toppled-in-first-gulf-war/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=671714ddbf-2014_01_25&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-671714ddbf-54560305
So President George Bush, Saddam had WMD after all!
Another released tape shows Saddam promising to gleeful Arafat, "Iraq will not hesitate to use WMD against Israel."
Both videotapes were collected from one of Saddam's palaces during the Iraq war and have just been released. It is a pity that our governments do not release such bombshell evidence once they have been found.
We need to remember how the media assaulted president GW Bush for going to war on Iraq without a good reason! Now we know he had a very justified reason: Saddam, who by the way had already used chemical weapons against the Iraqi Kurds, had WMD, which he was prepared to use against Israel, for unknown to us reason, we just did not find them.
What we see now is that the USA failed its mission to make Iraq a democracy. Now Iraq is fast falling into the hands of Al Qaeda and it is in a worse state of affairs than when Saddam was in power. Blood bath in the menu of the day all over the Middle East, except for ….. one little sane country called Israel. And the sad part in all of that is that the USA, under Obama, continues in its foreign policy destructive path putting pressure on Israel to capitulate to the murderous Arabs...
From Benghazi, in Libya, to Iraq and as far away as Afghanistan, the Obama foreign policy is causing havoc, destabilizing the entire world and putting the West in an increasing peril.