I have not offered my thoughts about the new or ongoing conflicts or military actions in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Gaza, Yemen, etc. for a number of reasons.
#1, I am not educated enough to have a valid opinion. It seems to me that very few people really are. Who really knows what is going on in all those places, with all those people? Why are they doing what they are doing? What are the thought processes and motivations of all the different individuals and groups?
#2, I don’t really believe I can become educated. Do we really even have accurate information about what is happening? What, of the information that we receive, is accurate, and what is bullshit? There is no way to know. If you are a citizen of one of those areas, you might have a chance of knowing what the facts are in the place you live. Or, if you are a journalist who goes there to find out, you might get some accurate information. Or, if you are tasked as a UN factfinder. But most of us just have the internet, and there is just no way to determine what is real and what is propaganda.
#3, The situations are too complex to have one simple opinion. “Let’s send drones to kill all the bad guys!” Hahaha. If only. Here’s an interesting article that gets at some of the complexity (try to ignore the tone here). The conclusion of this piece from David Stockman’s site?
What should the United States do about ISIS now that they’ve taken over half of Syria and a third of Iraq?
The answer is: let Assad, the Iranians, the Turks, and, yes, the Russians take care of it, since they are the states directly threatened by the growth of the so-called Islamic State. Why should we fight their war for them?
And I guess this leads to the only opinion I have, which I cannot defend on other than purely gut feeling: We need to get the hell out of there, as much as possible, as fast as possible, and dedicate the resources currently used in war to instead figure out how to eliminate our need for oil, so that we no longer have any national interest to defend in the region. (Yes, I know, Israel. I already said I can’t defend it.)