OpEd: The Powder Keg of the 21st Century

by: Trevor Miles

The Middle East. Just mentioning it in political circles creates tied tongues and a list of opinions longer then the number of years the United States has had troops deployed there.

An economic and energy powerhouse, an area of deep history and powerful religious dedication, a region shaped by substantial external meddling and imperialism, and the graveyard of countless American youths since the early 2000s; the Middle East is everything except simple. Being only 27 years old, I’ve never truly known a United States at peace, and at the rate the current global geopolitical situation is deteriorating, I fear I never will. Now, even after we have left Afghanistan, at least for the moment, we find ourselves once again threatened with a Middle Eastern conflict, this time sparked by the ever-present issues presented by the United States’ entangling alliance with Israel. 

Since coming to have some understanding of global geopolitics, I can’t help but wonder why we the people continue to tolerate the government supporting a country who is clearly able to defend itself (see the multiple full-scale conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors). Perhaps it’s because the conservatives feel some theological need to protect the Holy Land (even though we are not a Christian nation, and never have been), or maybe because the warhawk democrats feel the need to ensure control over a constant supply of oil to line their pockets with lobbying money. 

Understand, I am not defending any of the actions of Hamas, nor am I taking a side in this conflict. Rather, I am saying that, in my political opinion, the U.S. needs to exit the Middle East entirely. The people of the Middle East have suffered from centuries of imperialism by the Europeans and Americans. The first step to ending the American empire and restoring our country to the Shining City on the Hill - a beacon of freedom and peace for the whole world - is to stop distracting ourselves with pointless conflicts in the sandbox. Israel has proven itself capable of its own defense. Let them be the ones to bury their sons and daughters in defense of their nation, as it should be with all foreign conflicts, instead of bleeding us dry and shattering another generation of American youth with the horrors of war that can never be won.

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