My country right or wrong, my country.  I may have lived in more than a dozen countries and see the rest but I have never been able to shake my American countenance.  But that does not mean I do not sometimes disagree with America’s actions or manner.  Witness our current two faced policy about spontaneous uprisings against government rule.

We support the rebels against the Assad Regime in Syria, now we oppose a major component of that movement, the ISIS or Islamic State in Syria.  We support Israel but object to its hitting civilians in its campaign to tame Hamas in Gaza.  We cry out against Israel killing and harming civilians in Gaza but say noting about the Ukraine Government killing civilians in Eastern Ukraine in its campaign to put down a rebellion.  We tell Putin to stop the rebellion in Ukraine but warn against getting involved in the fight.

Of course none of these is an easy proposition and one must take actions that sometimes counter your overall policy.  But we seem to have a particular penchant for giving out mixed signals.

My basic reaction to the strife in the Middle East is why do we waste so much time on a relatively small part of the world?   And to those who say we need the oil, I reply take a look at the energy supply picture of the world today, we don’t need Middle East oil.  We should make it clear, if we have not done so to date, that our main concern in the Middle East is the survival of Israel.  Now you may agree or object to this but it is a fact.

As for the rest of the Middle East, I often recall a line from the film, “Lawrence of Arabia,” in which, after seeing all the bickering between the various  Arab factions, Lawrence tells the future King Faisal that, “you Arabs are a little people and always will be.”  And we still see the area locked in factional disputes from Iraq, to Syria, to Lebanon, to Yemen, and so on.  The only stable place seems to be Saudi Arabia and that comes from a rather strong central control.

Our best policy would be to stay out of Middle East squabbles and simply provide Israel the support it needs to survive.  President Obama wisely stayed out of the revolving government play in Egypt and thereby avoided the US getting the blame for a return of military contril.

As for Ukraine, I have said all along that to understand this country one has to understand that it is divided along linguistic, ethnic and religious lines.  The only role for us to play is to promote national reconsciliation talks between the divergent groups while  encouraging the Russkies to join in this effort.  It is foolish and counterproductive to rattle our saber against the them.