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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/14/15

Terrorism: As it Escalates, Who Must Shoulder The Greatest Blame?

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Message Michael Payne

The world just witnessed how the actions of a handful of terrorists could send a nation into a state of near hysteria, striking fear into the hearts of its people. The deadly attacks that took place in Paris recently are an example of what is called "blowback"; acts of revenge taken by those who believe that their nations and people have been continually intimidated and humiliated by aggressive, oppressive forces.

This tragic event should not really come as a shock, something totally unexpected. Why? Well, simply because the European nations and the U.S, in decades past, planted the seeds that have now produced a harvest of these terrorists; when you create your own enemies they will come after you.

What specifically is fueling this intense hatred that motivates terrorists to commit such horrific acts? And why do I advance the premise that we that we in the Western world are greatly to blame? To answer those questions all we need do is study modern history and see how this situation has developed.

We know that most of these terrorists, or what some refer to as radical Islamists, have their roots in the Middle East. So what is it that has happened, over time, in this region of the world that we can identify as the root causes of this terrorism?

Let's begin with what happened after World War I when European powers, mainly Britain and France partitioned, or we might say, carved up and colonized the Middle East, reshaping that region of the world based on their own concept of how it should be configured. The citizens of those countries had no real say in the process; they were powerless to prevent what happened, and it would be accurate to say that this partitioning gave birth to the growing anger and massive resistance of the Arab nations against those that they consider to be their oppressors.

Thereafter, over subsequent decades following World War II, the U.S. slowly but surely increased its presence in the Middle East. It quickly formed an alliance with Saudi Arabia because of mutual interests in oil. It interfered in the internal affairs of Iran as the CIA deposed its Prime Minister Mohammad Mossdegh. More unrest and turmoil followed during the 1970s as America sought to tighten its control over oil reserves in the region. The Carter Doctrine, in 1980, stated that the U.S. would not hesitate to use military force to defend its "national interests", namely oil, in the Persian Gulf -- and it did exactly that with the Gulf War in 1990-1991 when Saddam Hussein's forces were quickly defeated.

Fast forward to the 21st Century as U.S. involvement and control over this region intensified. Bush/Cheney attacked and occupied Iraq, destroyed its infrastructure, caused the deaths of several hundreds of thousand Iraqis and sent several million fleeing into other countries. Then in Central Asia, U.S. forces took control over Afghanistan and Pakistan and attempted to overthrow the rulers of Iran and Syria.

In 2014, President Obama initiated what might be called Iraq War II as he, once again, sent troops, supposedly advisers, into Iraq and initiated an aggressive bombing campaign against that country and Syria intended to destroy ISIS. He also has conducted an ongoing program to launch drones into Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians and generated thousands of new revenge-seeking enemies.

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