You know what can be done?
The United States could back off - leave the Middle East to figure out their own problems.
A very long time ago, the British took control of what was then India (both Pakistan and India), used them, subjected them to feeling inferior and unworthy, put forth suspicion in the minds of muslims and hindus against each other, and hence forth resulted in the division of India into India and Pakistan. That was one interesting religious war that is still going on but on a much smaller scale!
Then, we had the breaking down of Russia - the troops that were used were actually trained by the US, since their birth, certain ideas were fed to young children, and were made to believe they were right.
A lot of people in the past have abused their power to get one thing - more power, more control, more anything they can get their hands on like hmm, oil. How bright of an idea is it to weaken the middle east by helping them fight against each other? It's all about weakening the others and stealing what they can from them. I think it's absolutely disgusting.
Thanks for bringing this to light! At least, somebody is noticing what has been going on for so long! Somebody needs to take charge and stop this before the Americans have to bear the burden of countless more deaths and the bloodshed that will ensue if we continue to add fuel to fires that would be much better left untouched by America.
For goodness sake, please leave the Middle East alone!
Thanks for your insight and take care. :)
EDIT: This is a response to Apope190's criticisms of my answers, as well as the thumbs down I recieved - I apologize that my answer didn't settle well with you. =)
Firstly, outsiders are the ones who have fuelled this feeling of separateness amongst people in the Middle East. And the purpose of these invasions as well as the bloodshed is simply to further that cause considering the Iraqi's didn't want Americans in their country, yet the Americans decided they had the right to go in anyway. Tell me, as you've formulated this great plan, how are you promoting this supposed peace? by invading a country that doesn't want you and then killing off countless people in it? Do you realize that you are creating the hateful atmosphere, using these people's paranoia to your advantage and fuelling their negativity?
My example only highlights the negative aspects? Do you really want to take a balance and compare the costs and benefits of that incident? It almost seems like comparing the costs and benefits of staying close to home or moving away...you seem to take it very lightly. That's probably because you're so far away from the situation, you cannot understand the damage that lasts to this day; try thinking about people who saw it up close, and continue you to see the damage up close. I suppose the rapes, killings, injustices, servitude that resulted b/c of such an invasion was perfectly justified b/c of some good things the British brought with them that weren't actually noticed until much after. And one thing that amuses me is that you believe medicine and education didn't exist in that country before the British stepped in. This is the inferiority complex you have instilled in the people of that nation - that they aren't comfortable with the colour of their skin or anything about them b/c you build yourself up by breaking them down. Where do you get that anyway? How do you come to assume that people in the Middle East were savages before the British came over to help them? Were they too stupid, according to you? I think I'm missing something here, b/c I believe they've contributed to fields such as medicine, education, etc, just as much as any other place.
I think you need to read my answer over and see a common pattern I was pointing out - all these power control tactics are used to break those countries down. This supposed strength you talk of about India, well that is exactly what you broke down. Do you realize that? You targeted a country that was prospering, and before it got to far, you pried it into pieces. Isn't that what happened to Russia (now the USSR)? I'm sure there are more historical examples.
I would like you to accept some things here:
What my answer's intention was, and what I meant you to understand is that you will never "better" a country by invading it by force, as you claim. You have to realize that when you punish a child through physical punishment, they only come back to bite you from behind in the end, even if they don't behave that way on the surface level. Hmm, can you see that happening, maybe in the future? Do you realize how many enemies you're making like this? Take a step back, and breathe in the view - it's smoky and contaminated. I'm sure you see positives in the people that die everyday because of these useless wars. I'm sorry, but I have enough empathy to not be able to look at many of the gory and bloody pictures of innocent children (killed in the Iraq war), who are probably only feeling one thing right now, and that is vengeance. Remember this for the future, b/c this is where the whole vicious cycle of revenge and violence begins
And we can stop it now: we can leave them alone. NOTHING good can come from war, or from promoting war. Nothing good ever came from handing rifles and twisted vendettas to young impressionable children in the past either, b/c that's how dangerous people like Al Qaeda came into being. Remember that.
Just because there have been barbaric and unjust military invasions in the past does not mean that we should continue the cycle. We are supposed to learn from the past, not repeat our mistakes over and over again. Maybe it's time you picked up a history book or maybe a mirror, and see what (not who) you are becoming. It's not pretty; you're only making people hate you.
And I don't see any way you could make a positive impact in Iraq, I guess once everyone is dead, you'll have all the peace you want? I don't know. While you have an idealistic approach, (and I urge you to keep you optimisim) take it from someone who's a conscientious objector to war and violence, someone who's seen the real evils of the world up close, don't support this, don't urge it on. You are not being realistic. In the real world, we can't just invade another country and expect them to hold hands with us around a campfire.
I think handing weapons to these people, is like handing a knife to an angry kid. I ask: What's in it for you? Another breaking down of a victim-child? Wouldn't the adult way to deal with this be to not look for your personal gain, wouldn't it be wiser to pull them up instead of taking away the little power they do have?
I'm giving you very sane and good advice: Don't give the world a reason to hate you. Please, don't support this. It's a personal vendetta, not a cause.
I will pray for you; not as a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, an Athiest, or any other religion or faith. I pray for you as a person who believes in God, and respects ALL religions for their great ideology to bring morality and law into the world. So I really hope when I pray for you, everyone's God included, will be able to help you see that waging a war, or aiding someone else's war is not the answer to anyone's problems.
Take care, and may you help others find peace in a non-violent, non-intrusive, democratic and positive kind of way. =)
EDIT 2 especially for Apope190 =): The only reason it is laughable for you to believe other people could be prosperous and intelligent without your aid is because of this egotism and superiority complex. Do you really think the color of your skin makes you better or smarter than those people. Sweetie, before you make such sweeping statements, perhaps, you should back them up with some actual SOURCES. Once you can do that, we'll talk. India was prospering - that was the problem! So the Brits came over and took control. Of course, the Brits stole their precious diamond. These British people took over the land of people who rightfully owned it, and didn't pay a penny in return. Instead as a repayment, the Indian people were put in servitude. And no actually, the British shot off orders and for very little pay they Indian blood and sweat was used for the personal purpose of the Brits. (The British were treated like kings and queens, while the Indians were treated like garbage in their OWN country!) By the way, before the British invasion, the Hindus and Muslims were actually able to live with each other. If I'm correct, didn't the division happen after the British escapades (again a simple case of fuelling the paranoia that existed on a much smaller case, but was exaggerated into something much bigger)?
And by the way, is twisting someone else's words another form of persuasion? I guess it must be for you - I never suggested they created it. I suggested that it was "fuelled" by them over and over again - look up the meaning of that word in the dictionary if you're unsure. You are right: they are milking someone esle's weakness as far as it will go, and I find that incredibly childish.
And by the way, I do realize that American men and women are in fact dieing there, (of course not in the numbers that the Iraqi's were slaughtered) but still in very high numbers, and that only makes me wonder how heartless you are? How selfish do you have to be to allow your own to be killed in a war only to pursue your personal vendetta? I find that despicable. The BILLIONS OF DOLLARS you're pouring are again to promote those personal benefits. Considering you seem to think yourself a logical person: wouldn't it be smarter to spend that money on YOUR OWN COUNTRY and YOUR OWN PEOPLE to help and better them. You could work on your healthcare system, or education system, or anything else for that matter - I'm sure tons of people would be very happy with that. How is Iraq supposed to be an example of peace and security, when you took it over by waging a war against them and using force? Isn't that a bit hypocritical? I'm sorry, but that IS a bit laughable. You do realize that you are leading by example, right?
Perhaps, if America didn't constantly butt in, the Middle East would get a chance to solve their own problems. Perhaps if America didn't consistently fuel the fires burning inside those people, they would be much better off. Give them a chance to breathe - a moment when you're not lurking in the middle east - historically you've been there for quite a while haven't you? Did you know that Indians, Muslims AND even Christians do exist in India and Pakistan as well as many other Middle Eastern countries (if in small numbers). As for your argument of preparing those countries for great religious leadership - didn't you claim earlier that you educated India to come to the great height that it's achieved - well please take a look at both India and Pakistan's political history following the British take-over and let me know of the amazing differences it made, b/c I don't see them.
I am glad that you can see how open-minded the questioner is. I completely agree with him, and think of him as very intelligent for being able to point that out. We need more people like him. People that realize that it is not ok to use others for personal gain or to give them the tools to tear each other apart.
You're right, they take (outsiders). Maybe that's where it should end. This is not a give and take deal, where you give someone some of your bread so you can give them some of your butter. That kind of giving and taking doesn't put countless of lives at risk. It's not a game. It never will be. WAR is NOT a GAME! It is not about costs and benefits because the costs are always higher than the benefits, and the benefits mean nothing when they are at the cost of numerous innocent lives.
There is a civil way of dealing with every problem. After all we're not children - and this trade (this give and take) is really not a fair trade, as can be seen.
The one lesson that history is supposed to teach us, is to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. How can we go over and wage war on other countries, when we teach our own children that violence is not the answer to any of their problems.
I'm sorry, but I see this simply as a case of a bigger guy using his power to bully a little guy, and that just doesn't seem fair, in any situation.
You know what's funny though? I responded to everything you said - but you ignored a lot of the things I said - like for example the whole costs-benefits argument? You're still harping on about how great it was for the British to treat the Indians like that. I guess it was totally worth it. Let me tell you; India would be way ahead by now, if the Brits hadn't come into the picture.
The APPROPRIATE way for them to be able to work out their problems is not by handing them weapons and urging them on to continue this behaviour. It is by sitting them down, and talking to them, reasonably; preferably not Americans, because the damage is done from that side, and their word probably won't hold much weight. Peace can be promoted in other ways than war. Peace is promoted through awareness - and I do believe tons of Americans as well as others travel to other countries to spread that message - but it is done on a much smaller scale. Now if the Americans truly have these people's best interest at heart, instead of spending so much on a useless and barbaric war, they would invest it into awareness and education that happens on a much larger scale. It can be done, just not by waging war.