The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, December 14, 2009


During the height of the Iraq war, every antiwar protestor, most Left-leaning media outlets, and virtually all Left-leaning blogs characterized our effort as a “War for Oil.”

It’s interesting, therefore, to note that not a single US oil company has been given a contract to develop Iraqi oil fields – not one. I suppose that this result confirms my belief at the time that the “war for oil” meme was patent nonsense.

But on the other hand, you’d think the Iraqis might feel just a little beholden, given that the United States spend a trillion dollars and over 4,000 lives ridding them of a brutal dictatorship.

Nah, what am I thinking? This is the Middle East, after all, where most Arab countries (and Iran) view themselves as a perpetual victims, where every promise is negotiable at a later date, where every statement has to be triple checked for veracity, and where collective memory is very short when it comes to help provided by the West.

President Obama should observe the Iraqi response to our efforts and extrapolate it to Afghanistan. Regardless of our attempts to nation-build in a country that is better suited to the 8th century, our efforts will be met with cold eyes and little reciprocity. Sure, they’ll take our money, and they’ll allow us to shed blood, but at the end of the day, they are who they are … and they are not, nor will they ever be our friends.

Come to think of it, with the singular exception of Israel, we have no friends in the Middle East, and that's unlikely to change.