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Fri Aug 22, 2014, 01:14 PM

History repeating itself? For years, many Americans (including top policy makers) [View all]

saw us facing a Communist monolith - all Communist nations were working together to destroy us. Many held that the North Vietnamese were following orders from Moscow.

Now, I think the North Vietnamese were perfectly happy to accept any material help and military advice they could get, but that they had their own agenda. But, our mis-perception of the situation is the major reason we went to war. In addition, the perception that somehow the Soviets had "won" is one reason the CIA gave so much support to the Afghans following the Soviet invasion.

So - my question is how many Americans are making the same mistake about the Middle East? How closely tied is Hamas to the Palestinian Authority to the Taliban to Isis to the Syrian rebels to the Saudis? Put the question that way, and it becomes obvious that there is a tangle of groups and governments willing to work together when their interests match, and willing to stab each other in the back when their interests don't. For example, I would think that Isis and the Palestinian Authority would both be very glad to see Jerusalem under Arab control, but that they have very different ideas of what that would mean.

A second mistake is to think that every problem can be solved with a hammer, and that hammer is our military establishment. That turned out so well for us in Vietnam.

I think we need to step back, untangle these groups, figure out if they are an actual threat, figure out why they are a threat, and develop alternative methods for dealing with them. For example, we need to stop knee-jerk support of a right-wing Israeli government busy stirring the pot and ask ourselves how best to ensure a peaceful solution for everyone on both sides. Again, we need to look at alternatives such as identifying who is financing these groups, who is arming them, and see what we can do with that information.

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Reply History repeating itself? For years, many Americans (including top policy makers) [View all]
hedgehog Aug 2014 OP
upaloopa Aug 2014 #1
hedgehog Aug 2014 #2