Every time I look at the Middle East I start to wonder where the adults are. No kidding, it as if the parents turned their children loose on the Interstate in heavy traffic. The really bad part is that what few adults are looking on are busy trying to pick a favorite malefactor.
Look at the daisy chain called Israel/Palestine and then tell me who is responsible. Don't do the knee-jerk "their guys," actually look at it. The Israelis have used wealth and power to oppress and ravage the Palestinians who at virtually every given chance provoke the lion and brutalize their own. No one is encouraged to act like adults. A Palestinian state given the respect and authority due a state and held to the responsibility of a state might have a reason to have secure borders and control of its citizens. An Israel faced with an actual state might have reason to reign in those who take advantage of the poverty and desperation of the Palestinians and further to offer help rather than simply offer up retribution.
Who is acting in a responsible manner in Iraq? The Iraqi "children" are playing in heavy traffic and we've thrown blindfolded soldiers amongst them as some sort of palliative measure and act aggrieved when they get hurt. The Iraqis themselves are bad enough, but we've spent decades poking at Iran with un-sharpened sticks and seem surprised that they want to poke back now that we've given them a place to do it. So the solution is to yell at the Iranians and tell bogeyman stories about the smallest faction, al-Qaeda, taking over without our troops. The Child in Chief refuses to put down the sharp object and the children in Congress are afraid to take his toys away - because of old ghost stories.
Like an ADD child we started something in Afghanistan and then lost interest, we didn't take our hands off the wheel, we just started looking anywhere but where we were going. This creates a real problem for the team we were supposed to be playing with, they're still in the game and we're leaving them out to hang.
We gave one kid a hammer to break things in Lebanon, encouraged him and then are astonished that the results in Lebanon were not to their liking and broke things we liked there. As the pieces scatter we poke more sticks at Iran. Oddly enough, we create the biggest kid on
the block and let him bully and are surprised that we aren't popular for it.
Maybe these analogies seem simple and silly, I didn't set out to do a policy proposal, what I set out to do was set up a scenario that would promote adult thinking. If you counter pose the child like actions with adult thinking I believe you'll see that there are approaches that will be more productive. Productive thinking also does not involve dealing in fear and loathing, it involves looking at reality and dealing with reality.