RE: Can anyone tell me the US policies in the Middle East?
Oil is the middle east's dirty little secret. About 90% of the US's oil supply comes from there, right?
Actually only Saudi Arabia is a significant source of US imported oil, and Mexico is about on par with it. As is Canada. Given the political climate I'd much rather invade those pesky Canadians then the middle east. Note that pre-war figures for oil from Iraq were pretty much nil.
So the Saudi's are tops when it comes to oil production? Not exactly. The US actually produces more oil than the Saudis consistently. Only the former USSR has begun to produce more oil thanks to some new technology.
This is not to say that oil has nothing to do with US policies around the middle east, but we're hardly dependant on them. Much of the problem in the middle east stems from oil, though. It creates a few extremely rich people living in stark contrast to a lot of very poor people which creates discontent. The leaders have been very successful in blaming the US for all of the problems in the area, but I find it hard to believe that the US carries more blame than the hardline theocracies and uber-rich oil sultans.
Regarding Isreal, I can understand how carving out a country in one of the holiest areas can cause some ill will. What I don't understand is why the US still holds all the blame for this when all of the Allied powers did this. The US has had a history of being fairly inflexible when it comes to Isreal but more recently we've been much more apt to push back (the infamous wall, for example).
In short, blaming the US for all the middle east problems is fairly short sighted and too much of a distraction from facing the real issues.
I do qualify that I say this without ever having visited the ME region. I may be well-traveled, but with a US passport and a German last name I'm not even setting foot in the relatively friendly Isreal until things change.
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