The Enemy of my Enemy: Encore!

Old Arab saying (likely Bedouin), “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” or better still  “I against my brother, my brother and I against my cousins, then my cousins and I against strangers” These are more than mere sayings for they describe how the Arab Tribes, who are all descended from the Bedouins, go about the complicated business of conducting their affairs. There is nothing new about this since the timeless tribal rivalries between the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds, and various subsets, have kept the area known as the Mid East locked in conflict for centuries. The problem is that Judeo Christian ethos does not allow for a continuation of the untidy situation such as we are now experiencing in the Mid East. We desperately feel the need to fix and pigeonhole problems regardless of whether they are a result of our own making or someone else’s. In the past we have relied upon a broad interpretation of ‘national interest’ as an excuse for intervention. In 1914 Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was keen to advance the cause of his creation the Anglo Persian Oil Company (B.P.)  Backed by the remaining mite of the British Empire, and the League of Nations, he succeeded in recasting the Mid East into nation states such as Palestine, Syria, and Jordan, and Persia (now Iran) along tribal lines. The Americans, then seized in the grip of isolationism, left it to the Standard Oil Companies to protect their national interest. The  result was the formation of Aramco, a joint venture with the ruling Sunni Tribes resident in what is now Saudi Arabia. These arrangements worked well provided there was a superpower willing and able to back up the arrangements with deadly force. Now there is only a vacuum bought on by the miserable failure in Iraq and more lately Syria. Wisely America seems to be finally getting the message concerning the folly of becoming involved in Civil Wars, and Russia, bruised by low oil revenues, looks likely to do the same. Finally the argument for the national interest in protecting oil supplies is getting thin because we now have more oil in North America then we know what to do with. Ron Paul the eloquent elder statesman for the libertarian ideals, put it this way in an open letter to the ‘Daily Reckoning'”There is no doubt in my mind that the American People, financially and for security reasons, would be better served if we just came home and avoided these nonsensical military interventions, that are carried out in  behalf of various special interests (the Military Industrial Complex) that control our foreign policy” Ditto Canada. The same arguments should apply to the never-ending Arab Israeli conflict. Israel, as the only nuclear power in the region (the elephant in the room) is, as has shown on numerous occasions,  very capable  of taking care of itself. We can be allies, but we do not need to drive the whole peace process. The Arab tribes, can, and likely will, muddle through on their own or under the auspices  of the Arab League or the United Nations. They resent our present intervention, that as we have seen in the past weeks does nothing to advance the cause of peace.

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