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SQUEEKY2's avatar

If it wasn't for oil, would North America really care about the turmoil in the Middle East?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (22466points) January 3rd, 2016
27 responses
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AdventureElephants's avatar

No. They don’t care about turmoil in Africa…

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I agree, if it wasn’t for oil I don’t think North America would care if the middle east simple ate it self from the inside out.

ibstubro's avatar

Obviously, North America is now required to care about the turmoil in the Mideast, now that the conflict has been brought home.
Our response to 9–11 was heavy handed and misguided and has an almost direct causal link to the home-grown terrorism in San Bernadina.

We were instrumental in creating the vacuum that DAESH rose to fill. Now the West is in the position of fighting with Putin over which despot is best able to suppress radicalism in the region. Prop up a despot, and there is relative peace at the cost of gross, wholesale human right abuses. Knock them down in the name of Democracy, and chaos ensues.

Decades of that pattern haven’t taught the West one thing.
Well, we have learned that it is, indeed, a small, small world. “The other side of the world” doesn’t impart the smugness it once did.

tinyfaery's avatar

Many Christians demand we help Israel at all costs.

filmfann's avatar

Yes, because of its potential effect on Israel.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ibstubro Obviously, North America is now required to care about the turmoil in the Mideast, now that the conflict has been brought home.
9/11 and other attacks, and attempted attacks would never be here if Uncle Sam would have minded his own bees waxs. It is because of the meddling New York got bitch slapped.

@tinyfaery Many Christians demand we help Israel at all costs.
Many who aren’t as well, why, I don’t know since it has no significant to them. If Christians (fake and real) had that type pf clout we would not have a homegrown genocide here funded in part with government money.

Anywhere there are resources greedy men can glom onto, especially if they are citizen here, there will be an interest. The only other thing that did get an interest was if the nation had communist leanings or was communist. That is why N. Korea who basically has nothing the West wants is on the radar because they are communist. The saber rattling slowed when the N. Koreans demonstrated they may have joined the ‘A’ Bomb Club. One may have a big stick but if they are afraid to get hit, they won’t swing on a person with a smaller stick because that person might get lucky and get a very good lick in.

ibstubro's avatar

You felt a need to repeat what I said in my post as response to my post, @Hypocrisy_Central?

JLeslie's avatar

I think oil is the main reason “we” care. It’s probably part of the reason we voted for Israel to become a state. Now, that Israel is established and has prospered, and many Americans think it’s important to protect Israel (many people blindly support Israel, because either they are Christians and it’s part of their faith, or they are Americans and support Israel because it is a democracy, or because it’s just what Americans are expected to do) and so that keeps us involved in the Middle East.

Add that Middle Eastern groups want to blow up westerners, and we care about stopping that.

I guess the big question is, is if America had ignored the Middle East all of these years, and not needed the oil, would the radicals even be coming after us? Would they be there to begin with?

It would be nice to think North America would care about the raping and killing of women regardless of oil, but I have my doubts governments would do much.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s tough to say. What can be said is that the current turmoil would not exist were it not for oil.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@JLeslie If it doesn’t make big money for their corporate supporters I too doubt they would do much at all,despite what the christians cry out for.

JLeslie's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 There are a lot of Christians in America who have deep concern for Israel. It’s hard to know what would happen void of the oil problem at this point. 50 years ago I don’t think the average Christian American citizen thought much about Israel, I might be wrong. Now, Christians are all riled up about it. I think the average Evangelical Christian doesn’t think about oil at all when they talk about their support for Israel, and they do have some political clout. But, overall I think our governments concern has to do with oil, and keeping a piece of land in the Middle East for geo-political reasons. Israel is our strip of land if we need it.

AdventureElephants's avatar

Wait… We voted to make Israel a state of the United States? That is the most pompous thing I have ever heard. Of course we did. Because we are so much better than everyone else.

rojo's avatar

No, not unless those pesky Barbary Pirates acted up again and interrupted our commerce.

rojo's avatar

@AdventureElephants Don’t get your bowels in an uproar. We don’t really think they are good enough to be a state but making them one would give us the street cred we need to bomb the holy shit out of anyone who was messin’ with them.

It would make them the little sister we need to protect instead of that ugly cousin who is always in trouble and needs bailing out all the time.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ibstubro You felt a need to repeat what I said in my post as response to my post, @Hypocrisy_Central?
Was it? What you seemed to have said to me was by Uncle Sam’s over the top, heavy handed response to 9/11 it spawned many fanatic jihadist, which can be tied after all these years to the shooter in San Bernardino. I am saying there would never have been the need for any heavy-handed response if the US would have left them to themselves to sort out their own problems. Those who attacked the Twin Towers (in which most came from out good ol’ friends’ the Saudis) would hardly have reason or time, seeing they had their own neighbors to contend to.

JLeslie's avatar

@AdventureElephants No, we voted to creat the “state” of Israel with the UN. I should have used the word country to be more clear. I wish we had given the Jews part of Alabama (chosen randomly by me) instead.

I feel Israel was created, because Europe liked the idea of getting rid of more Jews, and the Western world liked the idea of having a big ally in the Middle East. A place to land planes, get intelligence, fight against the Arabs, and yes, the Middle East had oil. Like that horrible, Holocaust denying, Iranian President Ahmadinajad (sp?) used to say, “if the Germans really did that why weren’t the Jews given half of Germany.” I realize many Jews wanted to go to Israel, reclaim the land as Jewish land, but mostly I want the Jewish people to be safe and live in peace. Being a little strip of land surrounded by Arabs, and Persians who want to destroy the country and people isn’t very safe.

Mind you, I’m not saying all Arabs and Persians want such a thing, just saying there are enough, including governments, that it’s pretty horrible that Israel needs to live in such a defensive mode, with threats constantly.

AdventureElephants's avatar

Whew, thanks for clearing that up. I was pretty confused.

JLeslie's avatar

@AdventureElephants I meant to ask, why would you see it as pompous to offer the Jews a state in the US?

AdventureElephants's avatar

We don’t need to own and control everything to be of assistance. The last thing that I would see as a benefit is to absorb ANY country into our own.

JLeslie's avatar

@AdventureElephants We are talking about after WWII when the UN voted to create Israel right? It didn’t exist before that. Not in recent history anyway, it depends how you look at it.

You must not be Jewish. Any country willing to take us in would get big credit for being altruistic, and set them apart as having done something great for the Jewish people in a sea of antisemitism in the world. Actually, giving up land to let a Jewish state be created would be incredible. If the US offered it today I would be thrilled that they made that move. Although, part of me prefers not to have a Jewish state, but to just allow everyone in. But, it seems we Jews need to know we can always go somewhere where we will be accepted as citizens.

Even if every last Jew from Israel came to resettle in the US it’s just about 7 million people, and the majority are educated, a high percentage are physicians, scientists, inventors; overall, it’s a good group to take in. They have turned a desert piece of land into the land of milk and honey.

Who is talking about owning? I don’t understand what you are talking about.

AdventureElephants's avatar

Right… My original misunderstanding, as you can read above, was that we had voted to make Israel a state of the USA… Which means absorbing or owning… Which I think would be pompous. That original misunderstanding was cleared up and you asked me why that would be pompous. I responded with the original misunderstanding still relevant. If it wasn’t relevant, then owning anything also isn’t relevant, and pompous becomes irrelevant also.

None of it has anything at all to do with being Jewish or inviting them to move here. Not sure where you got that.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I got that from me. It has everything to do with them being Jewish. How would it be owning them by letting them into the country or giving them US land to be a state, or giving them US land to be completely autonomous? How is that pompous? Giving them/us a safe place to live is pompous? I don’t get it.

AdventureElephants's avatar

But you are putting words and thoughts into my head and saying things I did not say, so I can’t answer you.

JLeslie's avatar

Where? I must not be understanding. I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

What do you mean by owning or pompous if the situation were hypothetically what you were commenting on?

AdventureElephants's avatar

It’s not worth going in circles about, @JLeslie. I never said anything at all about giving land to Jews or offering them asylum or anything like that. My comment was about absorbing a European country (any European country, pick one) into the United States of America, which was not at all what was going on. I misunderstood something very early on, making everything else invalid after I got what was actually done. I have no interest in discussing something hypothetical when I was confused to begin with and you aren’t understanding what I was saying.
My comment had zero to do with Jews.

JLeslie's avatar

Ok. I didn’t catch you were talking about Europe. I still don’t know exactly what you were talking about, but I’m fine letting go of the conversation if you prefer.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes. The Suez Canal is one reason. About fifty large ships traverse the canal daily, carrying 8% of the world’s seaborne commerce. That may not sound like much, until the prices of those goods suddenly rise significantly due to an added 3,000 miles to shipping distances. It happened once before, in 1956, and the incident brought the Soviet Union and the United States to the brink of nuclear war for a few days and essentially closed the canal for eight years. Prices suddenly went up, goods disappeared from markets in certain developing countries, famine occurred in others, causing political instability and vacuums throughout some others still. The closure contributed significantly to the world economic recession of 1958–59.

Work began last year to widen and improve the canal. It is expected to carry 20% of the world’s seaborne commerce in the near future. The canal’s importance is about to double.

Before oil, before the Suez Canal, there were trade routes. Through the Middle East ran the trade routes between Europe and Asia and the British, Russian, German and French troops were there to protect those routes and keep them open. War between the Turks and their the Muslim caliphate, the Persian Empire, the Afghani warlords and the European Powers had been a threat since the days of Marco Polo—to say nothing of the wars among the Europeans that were fought in the Middle East (Crimean War, etc.) and those trade and territorial wars among the Middle Easterners themselves. So, even if the Suez had never been built, there would today be superhighways along these same East-West routes to fight over and/or hold hostage.

Interest in the Middle East—the same international interests, the same arguments about trade, territory and Gods—are as old as the Old Testament. The occupations of the Romans, the Athenians, the wars with among the Assyrians, the Persians, the Sumerians, and the Babylonians are well documented in other literature. Oil is only the latest interest.

As to Israel: I’m quite proud that my country, among others, supported the creation of Israel. I think it was the right thing to do and I think it was done in the right place. I’m not so naive to believe that this was purely altruistic on the part of the important players in the world, but hey, with friends like these, you take what you can get. I am also not so naive to think that we shall see peace in the Middle East in the near future. But Israel is worth defending. They have the right to exist. As long as the countries around Israel want to be all pissy about this, there will always be a threat of war. War causes instability and instability at such an important crossroads affects the world economy, and the world, including the U.S., will protect their economic interests. This would have been the case with or without oil.

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