- The American Conservative - http://www.theamericanconservative.com -

How the U.S. Wrecked the Middle East

What if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003? How would things be different in the Middle East today? Was Iraq, in the words of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the “worst foreign policy blunder [1]” in American history? Let’s take a big-picture tour of the Middle East and try to answer those questions. But first, a request: after each paragraph that follows, could you make sure to add the question “What could possibly go wrong?”

Let the History Begin

In March 2003, when the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq, the region, though simmering as ever, looked like this: Libya was stable, ruled by the same strongman for 42 years; in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak had been in power since 1983; Syria had been run by the Assad family since 1971; Saddam Hussein had essentially been in charge of Iraq since 1969, formally becoming president in 1979; the Turks and Kurds had an uneasy but functional ceasefire; and Yemen was quiet enough, other than the terror attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Relations between the U.S. and most of these nations were so warm that Washington was routinely rendering “terrorists” to their dungeons for some outsourced torture.

Soon after March 2003, when U.S. troops invaded Iraq, neighboring Iran faced two American armies at the peak of their strength. To the east, the U.S. military had effectively destroyed the Taliban and significantly weakened al-Qaeda, both enemies of Iran, but had replaced them as an occupying force. To the west, Iran’s decades-old enemy, Saddam, was gone, but similarly replaced by another massive occupying force. From this position of weakness, Iran’s leaders, no doubt terrified that the Americans would pour across its borders, sought real diplomatic rapprochement [2] with Washington for the first time since 1979. The Iranian efforts were rebuffed [3] by the Bush administration.

The Precipitating Event

Nailing down causation is a tricky thing. But like the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that kicked off [4] the Great War, the one to end all others, America’s 2003 invasion was what novelists refer to as “the precipitating event,” the thing that may not actively cause every plot twist to come, but that certainly sets them in motion.

There hadn’t been such an upset in the balance of power in the Middle East since, well, World War I, when Great Britain and France secretly reached the Sykes-Picot [5] Agreement, which, among other things, divided up most of the Arab lands that had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Because the national boundaries created then did not respect on-the-ground tribal, political, ethnic, and religious realities, they could be said to have set the stage for much that was to come.

Now, fast forward to 2003, as the Middle East we had come to know began to unravel. Those U.S. troops had rolled into Baghdad only to find themselves standing there, slack-jawed, gazing at the chaos. Now, fast forward one more time to 2015 and let the grand tour of the unraveling begin!

The Sick Men of the Middle East: It’s easy enough to hustle through three countries in the region in various states of decay before heading into the heart of the chaos: Libya is a failed [6] state, bleeding mayhem into northern Africa; Egypt failed [7] its Arab Spring test and relies on the United States to support its anti-democratic (as well as anti-Islamic fundamentalist) militarized government; and Yemen is a disastrously failed [8] state, now the scene of a proxy war [9] between U.S.-backed Saudi Arabia and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels (with a thriving al-Qaeda outfit and a small but growing arm of the Islamic State [ISIS] thrown into the bargain).

Iraq: Obama is now the fourth American president in a row to have ordered the bombing of Iraq and his successor will almost certainly be the fifth. If ever a post-Vietnam American adventure deserved to inherit the moniker of quagmire [10], Iraq is it.

And here’s the saddest part of the tale: the forces loosed there in 2003 have yet to reach their natural end point. Your money should be on the Shias, but imagining that there is only one Shia horse to bet on means missing just how broad the field really is. What passes for a Shia “government” in Baghdad today is a collection of interest groups, each with its own militia [11]. Having replaced the old strongman prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, with a weak one, Haider al-Abadi, and with ISIS chased from the gates of Baghdad, each Shia faction is now free to jockey for position. The full impact of the cleaving of Iraq has yet to be felt. At some point expect a civil war inside a civil war.

Iran: If there is any unifying authority left in Iraq, it is Iran. After the initial 2003 blitzkrieg, the Bush administration’s version of neocolonial management in Iraq resulted in the rise of Sunni insurgents, Shia militias, and an influx of determined foreign fighters. Tehran rushed into the power vacuum, and, in 2011, in an agreement brokered by the departing Bush administration and carried out by President Obama, the Americans ran for the exits. The Iranians stayed. Now, they have entered an odd-couple marriage with the U.S. against what Washington pretends is a common foe—ISIS—but which the Iranians and their allies in Baghdad see as a war against the Sunnis in general. At this point, Washington has all but ceded Iraq to the new Persian Empire; everyone is just waiting for the paperwork to clear.

The Iranians continue to meddle in Syria as well, supporting Bashar al-Assad. Under Russian air cover, Iran is increasing its troop presence there, too. According to a recent report [12], Tehran is sending 2,000 troops to Syria, along with 5,000 Iraqi and Afghan Shia fighters. Perhaps they’re already calling it “the Surge” in Farsi.

The Kurds: The idea of creating [13] a “Kurdistan” was crossed off the post-World War I “to do” list. The 1920 Treaty of Sèvres [14] at first left an opening for a referendum on whether the Kurds wanted to remain part of what remained of the Ottoman Empire or become independent. Problem one: the referendum did not include plans for the Kurds in what became Syria and Iraq. Problem two: the referendum never [15] happened, a victim of the so-called Turkish War of Independence. The result: some 20 million angry Kurds scattered across parts of modern Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria.

That American invasion of 2003, however, opened the way for the Kurds to form a virtual independent statelet, a confederacy if you will, even if still confined within Iraq’s borders. At the time, the Kurds were labeled America’s only true friends in Iraq and rewarded with many weapons and much looking the other way, even as Bush administration officials blathered on about the goal of a united Iraq.

In 2014, the Kurds benefited from U.S. power a second time. Desperate for someone to fight ISIS after Iraq’s American-trained army turned tail [16] (and before the Iranians and the Shia militias entered the fight in significant force), the Obama administration once again began sending arms and equipment to the Kurds while flying close air support for their militia, the peshmerga. The Kurds responded by fighting well, at least in what they considered the Kurdish part of Iraq. However, their interest in getting involved in the greater Sunni-Shia civil war was minimal. In a good turn for them, the U.S. military helped Kurdish forces move into northern Syria, right along the Turkish border. While fighting ISIS, the Kurds also began retaking territory they traditionally considered their own. They may yet be the true winners in all this, unless Turkey stands in their way.

Turkey: Relations between the Turks and the Kurds [17] have never been rosy, both inside Turkey and along the Iraqi-Turkish border.

Inside Turkey, the primary Kurdish group calling for an independent state is the Kurdistan Workers party (also known as the PKK [18]). Its first insurgency [19] ran from 1984 until 1999, when the PKK declared a unilateral cease-fire. The armed conflict broke out again in 2004, ending in a ceasefire in 2013, which was, in turn, broken recently. Over the years, the Turkish military also carried out repeated ground incursions and artillery strikes against the PKK inside Iraq.

As for ISIS, the Turks long had a kind of one-way “open-door policy” on their border with Syria, allowing Islamic State fighters and foreign volunteers to transit into that country. ISIS also brokered significant amounts of black market oil in Turkey [20] to fund itself, perhaps [21] with the tacit support, or at least the willful ignorance, of the Turkish authorities. While the Turks claimed to see ISIS as an anti-Assad force, some [22] felt Turkey’s generous stance toward the movement reflected the government’s preference for having anything but an expanded Kurdish presence on its border. In June of this year, Turkish President Recep Erdogan went as far as to say [23] that he would “never allow the establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Syria.”

In light of all that, it’s hardly surprising that early Obama administration efforts [24] to draw Turkey into the fight against ISIS were unsuccessful. Things changed in August 2015, when a supposedly anti-ISIS cooperation deal was reached with Washington. The Turks agreed to allow the Americans to fly strike [25] missions from two air bases in Turkey against ISIS in Syria. However, there appeared to be an unpublicized quid pro quo: the U.S. would turn a blind [26] eye to Turkish military action against its allies the Kurds. On the same day that Turkey announced that it would fight the Islamic State in earnest, it also began an air campaign against [27] the PKK.

Washington, for its part, claimed that it had been “tricked [28]” by the wily Turks, while adding [29], “We fully respect our ally Turkey’s right to self-defense.” In the process, the Kurds found themselves supported by the U.S. in the struggle with ISIS, even as they were being thrown to the (Turkish) wolves. There is a Kurdish expression suggesting that Kurds have “no friends but the mountains.” Should they ever achieve a trans-border Kurdistan, they will certainly have earned it.

Syria: Through a series of events almost impossible to sort out, having essentially supported the Arab Spring nowhere else, the Obama administration chose to do so in Syria, attempting to use it to turn President Bashar al-Assad out of office. In the process, the Obama administration found itself ever deeper in a conflict it couldn’t control and eternally in search of that unicorn, the moderate [30] Syrian rebel who could be trained [31] to push Assad out without allowing Islamic fundamentalists in. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda spin-offs, including the Islamic State, found haven in the dissolving borderlands between Iraq and Syria, and in that country’s Sunni heartlands.

An indecisive Barack Obama allowed America’s involvement in Syria to ebb and flow. In September 2013, on the verge of a massive strike against the forces of the Assad regime, Obama suddenly punted [2] the decision to Congress, which, of course, proved capable of deciding nothing at all. In November 2013, again on the verge of attacking Syria, the president allowed himself to be talked down after a gaffe [32] by Secretary of State John Kerry opened the door to Russian diplomatic intercession. In September 2014, in a relatively sudden reversal, Obama launched a war against ISIS in Syria, which has proved at best indecisive.

Russia: That brings us to Vladimir Putin, the Syrian game-changer of the moment. In September, the Russian president sent a small but powerful military force into a neglected airfield in Latakia, Syria. With “fighting ISIS” little more than their cover story, the Russians are now serving [33] as Assad’s air force, as well as his chief weapons supplier and possible source of “volunteer [34]” soldiers.

The thing that matters most, however, is those Russian planes. They have essentially been given a guarantee of immunity to being shot down by the more powerful U.S. Air Force presence in the region (as Washington has nothing to gain and much to worry about when it comes to entering into open conflict with the Russians). That allows them near-impunity to strike when and where they wish in support of whom they wish. It also negates any chance of the U.S. setting up a no-fly zone in parts of Syria.

The Russians have little incentive to depart, given the free pass handed them by the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the Russian military is growing closer to the Iranians with whom they share common cause in Syria, and also the Shia government in Baghdad, which may soon invite them to join the fight there against ISIS. One can almost hear Putin chortling. He may not, in fact, be the most skilled strategist in the world, but he’s certainly the luckiest. When someone hands you the keys, you take the car.

World War I

As in imperial Europe in the period leading up to the First World War, the collapse of an entire order in the Middle East is in process, while forces long held in check are being released. In response, the former superpowers of the Cold War era have once again mobilized, at least modestly, even though both are fearful of a spark that could push them into direct conflict. Each has entangling regional relationships that could easily exacerbate the fight: Russia with Syria, the U.S. with Saudi Arabia and Israel, plus NATO obligations to Turkey. (The Russians have already probed [35] Turkish airspace and the Turks recently shot [36] down a drone coyly labeled of “unknown origin.”)

Imagine a scenario that pulls any of those allies deeper into the mess: some Iranian move in Syria, which prompts a response by Israel in the Golan Heights, which prompts a Russian move in relation to Turkey, which prompts a call to NATO for help… you get the picture. Or imagine another scenario: with nearly every candidate running for president in the United States growling about the chance to confront [37] Putin, what would happen if the Russians accidentally shot down an American plane? Could Obama resist calls for retaliation?

As before World War I, the risk of setting something in motion that can’t be stopped does exist.

What Is This All About Again?

What if the U.S. hadn’t invaded Iraq in 2003? Things would undoubtedly be very different in the Middle East today. America’s war in Afghanistan was unlikely to have been a big enough spark to set off the range of changes Iraq let loose. There were only some 10,000 [38] America soldiers in Afghanistan in 2003 (5,200 in 2002) and there had not been any Abu Ghraib-like indiscriminate torture, no equivalent to the scorched earth policy in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, nothing to spark a trans-border Sunni-Shia-Kurd struggle, no room for Iran to meddle. The Americans were killing Muslims in Afghanistan, but they were not killing Arabs, and they were not occupying Arab lands.

The invasion of Iraq, however, did happen. Now, some 12 years later, the most troubling thing about the current war in the Middle East, from an American perspective, is that no one here really knows why the country is still fighting. The commonly stated reason—“defeat ISIS”—is hardly either convincing or self-explanatory. Defeat ISIS why?

The best Washington can come up with are the same vague threats of terrorism against the homeland that have fueled its disastrous wars [39] since 9/11. The White House can stipulate that Assad is a bad guy and that the ISIS crew are really, really bad guys, but bad guys are hardly in short supply, including in countries the U.S. supports. In reality, the U.S. has few clear goals in the region, but is escalating anyway.

Whatever world order the U.S. may be fighting for in the Middle East, it seems at least an empire or two out of date. Washington refuses to admit to itself that the ideas of Islamic fundamentalism resonate with vast numbers of people. At this point, even as U.S. TOW [40] missiles are becoming as ubiquitous as iPads in the region, American military power can only delay changes, not stop them. Unless a rebalancing of power that would likely favor some version of Islamic fundamentalism takes hold and creates some measure of stability in the Middle East, count on one thing: the U.S. will be fighting the sons of ISIS years from now.

Back to World War I. The last time Russia and the U.S. both had a powerful presence in the Middle East, the fate of their proxies in the 1973 Yom Kippur War almost brought on a nuclear [41] exchange. No one is predicting a world war or a nuclear war from the mess in Syria. However, like those final days before the Great War, one finds a lot of pieces in play inside a tinderbox.

Now, all together: What could possibly go wrong?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during the Iraqi reconstruction in We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People [42]. A TomDispatch [43] regular [43] he writes about current events at We Meant Well [44]. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent [45]. His next work will be a novel, Hooper’s War [46].

Copyright 2015, Peter Van Buren

19 Comments (Open | Close)

19 Comments To "How the U.S. Wrecked the Middle East"

#1 Comment By Fred Bowman On October 22, 2015 @ 1:27 pm

In one word “Everything”.

#2 Comment By Jake On October 22, 2015 @ 1:40 pm

How could you forget the elephant in the room – Israel.
Prior to our invasion of Iraq, suicide bombers were having a field day in Israel – blowing up buses, etc.
I have not heard of one suicide bomber in Israel in 10 years.
– Does anyone doubt how Israel has benefited from our invasion while citizens of the United States have suffered?

#3 Comment By charlie G On October 22, 2015 @ 2:27 pm

Actually you should trace it back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Which led to the rise of the Mujhadeen, which led to 9/11 which led to the invasion.

#4 Comment By Kurt Gayle On October 22, 2015 @ 3:23 pm

Peter Van Buren’s “How the U.S. Wrecked the Middle East” is a brilliant analysis of how “a once stable region descends into chaos thanks to continuing repercussions from the 2003 Iraq invasion.”

Yet, sadly, Van Buren begins his analysis of “the worst foreign policy blunder in American history” at the wrong place – at the wrong point in time.

Why begin – as Van Buren mistakenly begins — with the Iraq invasion itself? Why not instead ask the most important, most central question: Who was behind the Iraq invasion — what political forces led the US to invade Iraq?

Pat Buchanan asked that question in its simplest, most direct form when he asked “Whose War?” (TAC, March 24, 2003) And Pat Buchanan answered that question with the simplest, most direct answer: “A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interest.”

[47]

The following facts are but one illustration what is most crucially absent from the Peter Van Buren analysis: Pat Buchanan makes reference to THE NEOCONS 29 times, but Van Buren doesn’t mention their key role at all; Buchanan makes reference to ISRAEL 56 times, but Van Buren analysis is silent about the role of Israel and the Israel lobby in engineering the US invasion of Iraq.

Without the neocons and without the state of Israel there would have been no 2003 US invasion of Iraq. It’s that simple! The Iraq war was THEIR WAR – and it is for a recognition of that central fact that Van Buren’s otherwise brilliant analysis cries out.

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 22, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

” The commonly stated reason—“defeat ISIS”—is hardly either convincing or self-explanatory. Defeat ISIS why?”

I think there is a sense that perhaps, now is the time that the winner take all.

And while I appreciated the information on the Kurds, I think in the long run their position is untenable. The idea that Iraqis are going to permit some state to be carved out of Iraq minus their assent is a stretch. And while they may tolerate the matter for now, I remain highly dubious that it can be sustained over time, their patience will run thin.
____

Just today,

“A Palestinian suicide bomber killed seven people on a bus in northern Israel today, posing a threat to U.S. efforts to secure a halt to nearly 18 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The attack, claimed by the militant group Islamic Jihad and condemned by the Palestinian Authority, was the most lethal single incident since U.S. Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni arrived in the region last Thursday on a ceasefire mission.”

[48]
___________________

One can only respond with a sigh here. I would agree that if not for the Iraq invasion, we would not be here.

Now if in light of the above, you could explain the candidacy of Sec. Clinton, gold stars all around. Though, you seem to be indicting the current executive about his choice to thwart a “no fly zone” incident, I am not sure that was unwise, one of the few choices I place in that column.

#6 Comment By Fazal Majid On October 22, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

You give the US too much credit. Most of the instability in the Middle East can be traced directly to the UK, and to a lesser extent France.

#7 Comment By Randal On October 22, 2015 @ 6:41 pm

Magnificent summary – a tour de force.

When you draw the (apt, imo) parallel with the origins of WW1, I am led to thinking again about the Nuclear Peace. It’s my opinion that if it were not for nuclear weapons the US and Russia would be at war by now, over either Syria or Ukraine (the two are not entirely unconnected, as imo it’s clear some elements in the US establishment thought they could distract Russia from interfering in what, comically, they saw as US business in Syria, or punish Russia for it, by fomenting trouble in Ukraine).

Nuclear arsenals on the scale of those wielded by the superpowers put world leaders and their families directly in the firing line, and that seems to concentrate their minds admirably. A noble cause, an honourable requirement, or a price worth paying, all suddenly seem less compelling when it’s you who is paying the price.

#8 Comment By vato_loco_frisco On October 22, 2015 @ 9:30 pm

Good point, Fazal Majid. Fortunately, Eisenhower was in the White House to reign in the French & Brits & Israelis. We have no one of that caliber within 500 miles of D.C. today…

#9 Comment By Tom On October 23, 2015 @ 12:33 am

Actually you should trace it back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Which led to the rise of the Mujhadeen, which led to 9/11 which led to the invasion.

The Soviet Union did not invade Afghanistan, any more than the British invaded France in World War I. The Afghan government requested Soviet troops to help them fight off the jihadists. (Mujahideen is the Arabic word for what we now call jihadist.)

The Soviets managed to keep the jihadists at bay with heavy firepower and bombing raids. Then we started arming the jihadists with Stinger MANPADS. The Soviets had to move their planes to high altitude to stay out of MANPAD range, which reduced their targeting accuracy by 90%.

It was not the “Soviet invasion of Afghanistan” that started all this. It was our support of the Afghan jihadists that got us into the current mess. Without Stingers to protect them from Soviet aircraft, Osama bin Laden would have been killed in 1987 by a Soviet bomb.

#10 Comment By Chris 1 On October 23, 2015 @ 1:20 am

What if the point was to leave Israel as the sole regional power?

#11 Comment By Winston On October 23, 2015 @ 1:55 am

Chas Freeman also said something about destabilizing a stable ME.
[49]
A Plea for Mideast Policy Realism
[50]
Hillary Clinton’s Failed Libya ‘Doctrine’

#12 Comment By David Smith On October 23, 2015 @ 2:50 am

Mr. Putin may be chortling, but perhaps in the same way that the architects of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were chortling about their success in 1989. It is hard for me to imagine that Russia will ultimately have much more success in the Middle East than anyone else over the last couple of centuries. It is a lot easier to start these things than to finish them.

#13 Comment By Aiman Nachawati On October 25, 2015 @ 7:04 am

Most Arabs consider the old Arabic regimes such as in Egypt, Syria and Saudia Arabia as stooges of the colonial powers after WW2. Those stooges fought and lost the 1967 and 1973 wars with Isreal. After so many losses, the Muslims and Arabs realized the facts that they can win. Afghanistan against Soviet Union in 1979, and then again Afghanistan and Iraq against USA. They did find that they can win by simply changing the war strategy to guerrilla war. Our imperial invasion brought us to awaken the Muslims up, and not just the Arabs. It was wrong to invade Iraq in 1991 and 2003 and killing over 2 million people. Isreal, who won against the stooges leaders, have no chance to win against those fighters. Actually, as I see it, the more the fighting will go on in middle east, the stronger the middle east will become. The Syrian fighters are so fragmented, but with that they destroyed the Assad regime, then Shia entered into the war in major numbers, and now all the Shia have been lost to the Sunni and felt humiliated and destroyed in both Syria and Iraq. Now, Russia entered into the mayhem, and I am sure the Russian will loose so badly.

#14 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 26, 2015 @ 3:48 pm

“Actually, as I see it, the more the fighting will go on in middle east, the stronger the middle east will become. The Syrian fighters are so fragmented, but with that they destroyed the Assad regime, then Shia entered into the war in major numbers, and now all the Shia have been lost to the Sunni and felt humiliated and destroyed in both Syria and Iraq. Now, Russia entered into the mayhem, and I am sure the Russian will loose so badly.”

1. Wkile, there are questions about the issues here. The Us did not really invade Iraq. The coalitions main goal was push Iraq out of Kuwait. Now I think I understand the issues as to justify Iraqs action, and sadly our press seemed wholly ignorant on the same, it was pretty clear that even most other Muslim states in the region thought that Pres. hussein over reached. And advance into Iraqi territory were to secure Kuwaits sovereignty. Notice there was no move to take the capital and other major cities.

2. I think sadly, most citizens understand just how badly we erred in 2003.

3. Guerilla warfare can be effective. Whether or not it is a guaranteed means of success remains in question. The Israelis are not unfamiliar with these tactics – in my view both populations here are well acquainted with these strategies. They can be defeated and defeated thoroughly. But the long term consequences in so doing have come back to haunt the victors. Algiers and South Africa are a keen examples.

4. I am unclear how Pres. Assad’s government is destroyed. Safe enough it seems for a visit to Russia. This not the Soviet’s in Afghanstan. This is the Russians supporting a well established and experienced military, who may have been close to breaking, but now are most likely reinvigorated by Russian air and other support mechanisms.

5. The divisions among the rebels may be a short tem stregnth, but over the long haul, will probably be a weakness against a concerted military assault on multiple fronts. Niether the Saudis nor US support will be helpful among so many divisive allies, in my view.

6. Your comment about a stronger ME because of the fighting has so many variances it’s hard to put a singular meaning on what you mean by “stronger.” It has not made Lebbanon stronger in any way in my view. Unless, events coalece into a victory by one so as to wholly govern te region or it returns to various states governed under some stability, I am hard pressed to comprehend your meaning. Though I could speculate some understandings, it would my assessment as opposed to yours, unless I got lucky by anyone of them or several. Long way of saying, some explication is needed here.

7. I am completely at odds with your assessment of the Shia. I think they have won big here and I don’t thik it is a good thing. I am not sure they have a multi-culture view in mind.

8. Hmmm, this not an issue for the Russians to lose. That is in the hands of the Syrian military and Pres, Assad.

#15 Comment By A Correction On October 27, 2015 @ 9:32 am

“What if the point was to leave Israel as the sole regional power?”

The largest immediate effect of the 2003 invasion was to gift Iraq to its numerical Shia majority, who align strongly with Iran’s Shia. Iran sponsors both proxy wars against Israel and terrorism against Jewish targets worldwide, such as the community center bombing in Argentina. Israel has reached a degree of co-operation with the Gulf states, which were US allies until being snubbed by the current US administration. The same cannot be said of Iran, which remains committed to ending Israel’s existence.

If the plan was to benefit Israel, it must have been formulated by someone who had no knowledge of the Mideast nor an inclination to ask what has been going on in the area for the last 1350 years.

#16 Comment By Amanda On March 23, 2017 @ 7:37 am

God said that the Jews are His chosen people and Jesus Christ said ” salvation is through the Jews”.
But I don’t believe in giving money to Israel because they have used it for their bombs and missiles that have killed civilians, including Christians, and their missiles have blown up Christian churches in the Gaza strip. Many Israeli’s including the Israeli government have rejected Jesus Christ, the Messiah, God had sent and promised. It’s not okay Israel has killed Christian civilians and non-Christian civilians.
Until Israel accepts Jesus Christ and stops invading land that isn’t theirs and stops killing civilians then I’ll understand the people sending money to Israel. To support Israel we can pray for them, pray to Jesus they will find Jesus, send them clothes and food, but don’t send them money because their using it to badly. I don’t understand people who call themselves Christian conservatives and are like ” stand with Israel”, they don’t get Israel has killed Christians from their bombs and missiles, including non-Christian non-combatant civilians. I’m not on palestine’s side either, and do feel for Jewish civilians that are afraid of getting killed by suicide bombers. I pray that both Israel and Palestine people will be safe and find Jesus Christ, and that the people who are the offenders will stop.

#17 Comment By Amanda On March 23, 2017 @ 7:44 am

I also think we need the money, ourselves, to shelter homeless people, build more hospitals, and feed the poor in our own country. The U.S. is sending it, instead, to other countries.
Our hospitals aren’t big enough and we can’t afford more doctors and nurses and build more hospitals, because the money is being spent on other countries. People have died in hospital waiting rooms because they couldn’t be attended to. The taxpayers money is not being prioritized.

#18 Comment By Kev On May 26, 2017 @ 1:21 am

What hope is there for mankind when people like Amanda start spouting off about Jesus?
Your imaginary friend is better than my imaginary friend. God help us (pun intended)!

#19 Comment By Mycountryisstillsafe On July 26, 2017 @ 4:08 pm

Thank you USA for killing millions of people, destroying countries, and ruining the lives of the remaining alive for made up causes, manufactured terrorism and of course OIL. God bless America. God Bless the Rothschild Family.