Here, for reader’s edification, is a letter to The Economist by our good friend Cy Chadley.

Cy expresses exactly the feelings of so many of us in America:

Editor, The Economist


Your leader Murder in Libya, September 15, fails to recognize that America has lost its credibility in the Middle East because of its support for Israel and for authoritarian regimes. People have seen from Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and the many cases of rendition that the U.S. is just as likely to suppress dissidence, to fail to provide justice and to employ torture, as their own governments. The U.S. has consistently ignored the aspirations of the ordinary people who want a say in their governance, a fair distribution of their national wealth, elimination of corruption, and a better future for themselves and their children: Islamists of all stripes, like politicians everywhere, play on these desires to obtain popular support. It is going to take generations for the peoples in the Middle East to weave their way to democracy and we have no choice but to leave them to their own devices.

The U.S. has no special interests to protect in the Middle East; unlike the EU and China the U.S. obtains less than 15% of its oil from there and this quantity is diminishing rapidly. The U.S. has no greater responsibility than the nations in the region to contain the development of nuclear weapons in Iran. Nothing can be done to effect regime change in Syria without recognizing Russia’s special position there; the establishment of a no-fly zone should first obtain the blessing of the Arab League, then of the UN Security Council which would require Russia’s and China’s support as in the case of the Libyan intervention.

It is time for the U.S. to quit the Middle East in the same way as the Brits did years ago; the U.S. presence achieves nothing but opprobrium and is a drain on its treasure at a time when it can ill afford wasteful expenditure.”

Cy Chadley

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