Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

History? What History?

December 25th, 1979 - The Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Hmmm, I can't seem to remember how long that lasted. Oh yes, about 9 years. How did that go by the way?

Well, it largely contributed to the collapse (not entirely) of the Soviet Union.

See, here's the thing; If we all had a good education the voting populus would have gone back to our local library or even Google and cracked open some reading. We have plenty of history behind attempts at nation building and attempts at controlling the Middle East.

Fact is, Democracy has never been successfully delivered at the end of a weapon. And don't give me any crap about Nazi Germany being flipped to a democracy from a dictatorship. Our troops are still there and they had democracy before Adolph ever got there.

The Middle East always has been and will continue to be a powder keg. It is the corner stone of many cultures, relegions and actions that have influenced most of humanity. Throw in the effect of a finite and costly resource like oil and well, you have a powder keg and oil. Or to put it another way the Middle East will continue to be a volatile place for an extended period of time.

But let us forget for one minute about the region's many wars and extremely long tumultuous history and just consider very recent history. Well, if the Soviet's hadn't fiddled with Afghanistan for 9 years who is to say what it would have looked like? Maybe it wouldn't have been the fertile breeding ground for Al Qaeda that it seems to have become courtesy of the Taliban. The problem with arming your friends (IE The Mujahadeen) is that they may not be your friends forever (IE the Taliban and Al Qaeda). See some similarities with Iraq?

Let me throw out one idea. This war and the desired effects are intentional. Most people that look at the history of the region can see that any attempt at democratic nation building is out of the question. The region just doesn' have a track record that mirrors democratic politics.

But Iraq does have over 112 billion barrels just below the surface and most likely more than 100 billion that haven't been discovered yet. How do we keep the price high of a finite resource? Well, I don't need to be a history or economics major to know that if you quash competition for a finite resource, it is likely that a sole provider (think OPEC) will have the cash until THEY see fit to pull the crude out of the ground.

Think, ask questions and go look at the history of Iraq and Afghanistan. Don't make any snap judgements about what's happening in the Middle East. There are no fast answers and as we can see from our current quagmire, no easy one's.


PS The tank above is a Russian tank in Afghanistan. It is rusting away. Prophetic, although I wish our soldiers weren't there at all. Brave men and women are too few and far between.

PSS We still need to catch Bin Laden. I'm not sure why everyone isn't focused on that just a bit more??

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