Opinion: You’re not going to fix the Middle East

By A. J. KIERSTEAD

Published: 10-25-2023 11:00 AM

A. J. Kierstead is founder and host of The New England Take and a resident of Concord.

If there is anything we should take away from more than two decades of Middle East intervention since 9/11 it’s that the West cannot fix it.

Our failures to nation-build in Iraq and Afghanistan are proof that Western sensibilities do not create a stable nation in the Islamic-controlled region. I have considered so many ways of approaching the issue of the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but it always goes back to my lack of wanting to side with either group of people.

How can a liberty-minded individual side with a police state that is run by religious extremists and funded by the military-industrial complex? On the other side, how can I side with a theocratic government run by terrorist organizations whose charter calls for the genocide and destruction of a nation and its people? The scales do lean towards the Israelis due to global security and the West needing a friend in that part of the world, but it is something I have serious ethical concerns over.

I’m not apathetic to the situation, though many confuse my analysis as such. My knee-jerk reaction to the brutal, genocidal attack by Hamas was that Israel should finally put the hammer down. I didn’t wear my John Bolton hat very long though, reminded of the devastatingly complex situation that is these territories and the many military conflicts aimed at stopping the situation for decades have been utter failures. An even worse angle on the military response was presented by Israel, though…

Israel was going to “punish” Hamas for what they did. The implication being that Gaza was going to get brutalized, with its terrifyingly dense and poverty-stricken population stuck between a terrorist organization using them as shields and a Western-funded military assault. This fixes nothing and will likely breed further expansion of Hamas as the Palestinian children will now see their homes destroyed with the organization in power brainwashing them (alongside leftists the world over) that they are “freedom fighters.”

We cannot trust either side of this conflict to act in good faith and everyone needs to open their eyes to the evil espoused by them. Both sides have leadership calling for the destruction of the other’s people and both sides have historical claims to the land. Both sides are also problem children for their neighbors with no one really wanting to deal with refugees or military assistance.

This is not a piece with a solution, more a warning. Do not invest yourself, government, or treasure in this situation in any way other than cold diplomatic relations. Ignore the activists shouting from the hilltops and the posturing by our politicians. Take a stand that we have no place in this conflict and wash our hands of as much of it as we can stand.

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