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mazingerz88's avatar

Would Uncle Sam still need to get involved with the Middle East if oil and democracy were not critical issues?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18444 points ) 2 months ago

As asked. Thanks. : )

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35 Answers

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I always thought we (USA) got all our oil from the Middle East until I read this article.
http://www.npr.org/2012/04/11/150444802/where-does-america-get-oil-you-may-be-surprised

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. There will always be nut jobs willing to cause destruction on US soil in the name of their religion or political belief system. It is so easy to fund an attack, and so difficult to stop one in progress the best defense is nipping it at the source.

People with nothing to lose and many mouths to feed are easily swayed by a wild eyed, lunatic, swinging a holy book and threatening violence.

zenvelo's avatar

Oil and democracy are not critical issues. We don’t get our oil from the Middle East anymore, and other countries have a right of self determination.

The US doesn’t need to get involved. Our only responsibilities there are for helping to resolve our past interventions. We owe it to Israel and Palestine to work out a peaceful solution to the displacement of the Palestinian people and to the right of teh Jewish people to a homeland.

We do owe the Iraqi people some responsibility for breaking their country 11 years ago. But military intervention is not the solution.

We do have an obligation to humanity to work towards peace in the world.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You’re kidding right? Our involvement in the ME has nothing to do with democracy.

The WAR machine is the most profitable business in history. We just spent a gajillion dollars to rid the world of terrorism. Now ISIS returns taking over half of IRAQ within a couple of weeks. Where are those soldiers coming from? I thought we killed them all. Where are their weapons coming from?

It’s on going friend. This world is hell.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Democracy a critical issue? Hardly. The United States gives not one shit about democracy. We overthrow democratically elected governments who don’t align with our interests, and prop up dictatorial regimes that do.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

We shouldn’t owe the rest of the world anything. We aren’t getting oil or democracy out of our involvement in the middle east. We aren’t getting anything but into debt and losing a lot of our finest young men and women.

If we really wanted to win the war in the middle east, we would have blown them off the map. So why are we there?

We have been fighting policital wars since Vietnam, and we lose every time. We don’t even try to win, we just go over there and have our soldiers march around with a target on their back. Is it to shut up the bleeding hearts that say we should “do something, but don’t kill anybody”? It is a mystery to me.

flutherother's avatar

Uncle Sam’s motives for getting embroiled in the Middle East are obscure even to itself. When it has been able to articulate a reason the reason has turned out to be nonsensical.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It doesn’t matter WHERE we get our oil, as long as we have to import it. The price is driven by global demand. It is because such a large percentage of the world’s oil is concentrated in the region that we and other Western powers have stumbled stupidly in a part of the world we don’t understand. The preposterous idea that what we call democracy might take hold in the region merely serves to illustrate how truly ignorant Western powers are about the history of the place and the people who inhabit it. There will be NO stable democracy in any Muslim country for straightforward reasons, and our failure as a nation to appreciate this fact about a region so critical to our well being is shameful, and frankly inexcusable.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Oil and democracy are not critical issues in the Mid East. Where did you ever get this idea?

Of course we would still fight wars there. How do you think our politicians are funding their retirement programs? From Social Security! Haha

kritiper's avatar

The US (hopefully!) learned from lessons of the past that we have to get involved for the benefit all of the worlds inhabitants. Sitting back and doing nothing doesn’t work!

Darth_Algar's avatar

@kritiper

Like in Iraq, where we completely fucked that country up, empowered the extremist factions that are now seizing control over large swaths of the country, and greatly destabilized the region as a whole.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Darth_Algar Through the lens of 20–20 hindsight, what should have been our response to Saddam Hussein’s Invasion of Kuwait? What should have been our response to Sept 11 9/11 and the training camps?... (You and I can list dozens more) What should be our response to ISIS and their inevitable, well funded well resourced attacks around the world?
I honestly don’t know. Do you have any suggestions?

It’s clear sitting back and waiting is not an option.

Darth_Algar's avatar

- Nothing.
– Nothing in Iraq, as Iraq had not a thing to do with it. As for Afghanistan – a full military invasion was extremely stupid and costly and ultimately unnecessary.
– Speculative. I prefer to not start additional wars on hypothetical.

- Yes. What’s a few thousand more American lives and a few trillion more dollars on our tab compared to the excitement of being self-appointed “world’s police”?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

As General Smedley Butler wrote, War is a Racket

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@LuckyGuy As I mentioned before, we should have blown them off the map. Trying to pick terrorists out of the general populations is like trying to pick gnat shit out of pepper.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt

So genocide is the solution?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

No, but I am an “eye for an eye” kind of person. After 9/11, we should have gone over there and cleaned house. Just my opinion.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt

You’re basically advocating the slaughter of millions of innocents over the actions of a few men.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Yeah, I guess so. No one matters to me but us.

kritiper's avatar

@Darth_Algar The lesser of two evils. It is still the best way, although not perfect.
The world obviously needs a police force. I don’t know of any country that could do it better than the US. An ugly job that somebody has to do.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt

No one matters to me but myself and a handful of people I’m close to, but I’m not going to advocate the senseless murder of millions of people. That smacks too much of the same kind of “they’re worthless/sub-human/have less value than me/us” attitude that has sparked countless genocides, mass murders and acts of terrorism throughout history.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@kritiper

How does the world “obviously” need a police force? And why is that our place? Because our elected officials say so? Whatever happened to countries working out their own problems?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, the way I look at it is, kill or get killed kind of thing. Someone kills thousands of innocent Americans, they get their country blown up. You have your opinion and I have mine. In an emergency situation, I would be more likely to survive than you. Survival of the fittest, the meanest, the most heartless. I don’t care as long as me and mine are the survivors.

I also don’t agree with the “world police” thing. I don’t care who is killing who in other parts of the world. If they come here and threaten me, different story.

kritiper's avatar

@Darth_Algar Do you mean like how countries worked out their own problems when faced with pre-US involved WWII Nazi Germany, Japan. and Italy? If the US had acted at a much earlier point in time, millions of lives would have been saved, untold suffering avoided. As it was, when the US did get involved, it was almost too late.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt “In an emergency situation, I would be more likely to survive than you.”

That’s a mighty lulzy assumption to make based off absolutely nothing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@kritiper

You’re comparing a situation where allies of ours were attacked/invaded to situations where we presume to stick our nose into other country’s internal problems.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Darth_Algar Because I am willing to do whatever it takes to defend me and mine, regardless of the perpetrator’s “rights” or who might get hurt. That’s all.

Darth_Algar's avatar

As am I, but if my neighbor assaults me I don’t walk a block over and punch a random stranger in the face to “defend” me and mine.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Darth_Algar When I asked what we should have done after Kuwait, 9/11 , etc. You said “Nothing.”
Really? Would that stop the next 10/12 attack at the train station? Or the 11/13 attack at the nuke plant?
I personally don’t think so. Of course I am not a fortune teller and have no absolutely no data, but I believe it is highly unlikely the nut job psychopaths would come to their senses and suddenly agree to lay down their arms and start building housing instead of blowing it up after making an attack.

What do you think? Do you think the attacks would stop if we just became passivists?
I’d honesty like to know. I wish we could have a coffee and talk about it for half an hour. You can PM if you like.

What is going to happen with ISIS? They are well funded and are financing their army with oil money, extortion, protection, kidnapping and forced labor. Do you think they will stop killing when they reach half of Syria and half of Iraq?
It is very likely they will soon use this strength to attack other areas outside of their control.

Should we wait until they set off one of the nukes they will no doubt acquire?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@LuckyGuy

Evidently you only read the first word of my post. Try reading the rest.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Darth_Algar Of course, I read it all. I just didn’t see any answer other than “nothing” and stating everything else was wrong.
(The last statement about a “few thousand lives and a trillion dollars”, while seemingly indicating an action, was most likely a bit of sarcasm. But I might be wrong.)

I want to know what response you would suggest for the different scenarios.

Darth_Algar's avatar

My response is that if we didn’t meddle in the affairs of these countries then we wouldn’t have folks there wishing to commit such acts against us. It’s time for us to stop sticking our nose where it does not belong and is not wanted.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Ahhh. You wrote “if we didn’t meddle in the affairs of these countries then we wouldn’t have folks there wishing to commit such acts against us.” You have so much more faith in the world. That’s where we differ.
I contend there will always be groups that want to commit acts of aggression for no other reason than we are a different religion, skin color, and/or have more than they.

Somali pirates are not hijacking ships and disrupting trade for ransom because we meddled. They are doing it to make money. Piracy is a quick way to make millions It is taking a international fleet to finally control them.
Islamist extremists going by their book believe everyone else is an infidel. And all infidels are given three choices: convert, pay a tax, or be killed. People blindly minding their own business become food when faced with that. (I won’t get into all the references – You can find it easily.)
There will always be nation leaders wanting what others have, be it, access to water, crop land, oil, nice beaches, potential shipping ports, hydroelectric facilities, etc. Do we sit by and let them bully the weaker?
Should we have let Hitler take over Europe unopposed?
Would you have ignored Kuwait’s request for help when 100,000 of Saddam Hussein’s Republican guard swooped in and took over their country. (I know it was not the whole country. It was just the oil producing part. )
Let’s take an example closer to home. I have no idea where you live. But let’s assume there is a bad area (drugs, crime, etc.) about 20 minutes from your house. Every morning you read about a home invasion, a robbery, a rape, a…. Check the news today and fill in the blank. You are free to ignore the situation and watch the news while eating supper and tsk tsk. the bad behavior of the rogues.
Why is that not your concern? Because there are others at the front line of that neighborhood taking the bullet for you. The police with the help of neighbors are trying to control it. If they do a good job you won’t be robbed. If the police were not there you could not sleep at night. Imagine if a gang started recruiting and began robbing other neighborhoods. Your neighborhood. Do you wait until they rob someone on the next street over? Do you wait for them to rob your neighbor? Do you wait for them to rob you?
As long as there is inequality there will always be someone wanting more – someone wanting what you have. Leaders of countries and religions are no different.

Sadly, I also contend that there will always be inequality. Some people don’t want to work. Some would rather play than do their schoolwork. Some will have many more children than others. Some will work hard and build things. Some will get involved with drug. Some will get sick. Some will exercise and be healthy.
And the inequality grows.

~Now give me that nice iPhone you’re using. Mine is old and the battery needs to be replaced.

mazingerz88's avatar

Based on some posts I read, oil issue is not critical for the US. Not at present maybe-? What about in the future-? Uncle Sam’s support ( and enforcement-? ) of democratic ideals globally….not critical as well-?

Wondering what in the long run would make the world a better place for the US, or for that matter, now. Shut all the States in and open them to the rest of the world later-? Seems damn if you do, damn if you don’t.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@LuckyGuy

Answer me these – do you really believe for one second that we would have bothered with Kuwait had they no oil? (BTW: if Iraq’s claim was true, that Kuwait was slant-drilling into Iraqi oil fields, (which they complained of well before invading Kuwait) that would constitute Causus belli for Iraq). Do you really believe that our nation would be the target of extremist attacks if we had not been carrying out aggressive foreign policy in their region for decades? (Hell, the CIA foresaw this and coined a term for it, “blowback”, way back in the mid-1950s.) Do you really believe that they would bother much with us “infidels” if, say, our military was not parked in their holy city?

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