As the body count continues to grow, the U.S. should get out
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2012 17:09
We all saw and heard the tragic news last week from the Middle East.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were tragically killed by Libyan terrorists in an attack Wednesday.
The motivation for the killings seemed to stem from an American-produced Anti-Muslim video that was uploaded to YouTube.
The fact that not one but four innocent Americans had to lose their lives in such a tragic incident is reason to completely abandon diplomatic efforts in the Middle East.
According to the Washington Post, 6,572 American service members have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to date. Iraqbodycount.org says that from 2003-10, more than 108,000 Iraqi civilians died from violence.
These deaths, which do not include the current slayings in Syria or Yemen, reflect a decade of extremely poor decisions from both the United States and the Middle East.
The fact that so many innocent people have died in a cause that has neither changed the Middle East for the better nor made the U.S. a more positive role model is abhorrent.
By staying in the Middle East, both militarily and diplomatically, the U.S. is putting a large target on itself. Deaths, like the ones that occurred last week, will only continue, as long as the United States has ‘boots on the ground’ in places like Afghanistan.
It is fair for the U.S. to vow justice for the killings of Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans. However, if the United States continues to make its presence known in the Middle East, more funerals and calls for justice will occur.
It is clear through protests and various government leaders that the United States is not viewed as a peaceful country. The act of going into countries that effectively hate the United States is a mind-boggle to me.
Why should we continue to pour billions, perhaps even trillions, of dollars into a cause that has not changed our global perception at all?
According to Reuters, the cost of the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is $3.7 trillion — $3.7 trillion that could have helped the jobless, homeless and sick in America evaporated in a cloud of gunfire and bombs.
As long as there are troops in the Middle East, I will continue to support them. The idea of the war, however, makes me sick.
Let’s face the ultimate fact. Muslim terrorists and some citizens of the Middle East do not like us and frankly never will. Why not let them be? Get our troops home and let’s worry about our own problems. God knows we have a lot of ‘em.
Shane Newell is a sophomore journalism student and the assistant city editor for the Daily 49er.