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Political Shortsightedness: A Repeat Offender
Political Shortsightedness: A Repeat Offender
Amir Arsalan


Political nature has, by slavery of shortsightedness, dictated numerous courses that have in retrospect found to be not only fallacious but also immoral. Although thousands of such examples can be cited throughout history, only three such examples will be given in this article. These three are picked, because all involve the US as a party and are relatively recent.


1. The Mujahedin

As Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union, Islamic fundamentalists rushed in from the region to defend the predominantly Islamic nation from the advancing infidel. The task seemed almost lost from the beginning, as a rag-tag band of impoverished and unorganized fighters attempted to defy one of the world's two superpowers of the time.

Fortunately for them, that once supreme superpower was tenaciously antagonistic towards the other, which meant that the other superpower was always looking to undermine anything the other did. The US was therefore not far away from this conflict between the Mujahedin of Afghanistan and the Infidels of the USSR.

Shortsighted political nature dictated that the US should support the enemy of its enemy. Such action may prove beneficial for the present and immediate future, but it is not always the soundest recourse if the long-term future is considered.

Shortly, the US was knee deep in fighting this proxy war with the USSR. US funding, military training, military supplies, and logistical support were placed at the fingertips of the Warriors of God, in order to punish and repel the Communists. Within those ranks was, of course, the blooming Osama bin Laden. The training and support that was given to these Mujahedin helped them expel the Soviets, and placed them at a powerful position within Afghanistan, and later, globally as Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda, the groomed puppy of the US, would grow up to rabidly bite the hand that fed it years later. The scar of that bite is now visible in Manhattan, and on the psyche of every American.


2. Saddam

Hostage taking, chants of "death to America," and the vow to extend fundamental Islamic Revolution throughout the world was enough to scare the US into picking another junkyard dog to fend off the now hostile Iranians. Political nature, again through shortsightedness, dictated an allegiance with a shady character - Saddam.

Financial, military, and logistical support again poured into the hands of a criminal in order to combat a greater perceived threat. What's worse and unforgivable is that a blind eye was turned to an utterly immoral occurrence: the use of chemical weapons by Saddam against Iranians. Don Rumsfeld visited Saddam personally, shook his hand, and gave him a nod of approval with his beady little eyes. That photograph, along with the countless others of disfigured bodies of Iranians and Kurds from chemical attacks, will forever haunt the psyche of every Iranian, if not every human.

Years later, with a slight change of political climate, the once again rabid dog that the US kept as a pet was identified for what it truly was, and was itself attacked. However, by that time, that Iraqi dictator had already done too much damage, and the wrongs of the past could not be rectified.


3. The Islamic Republic

In the present we are potentially witnessing the once again political shortsightedness and desperation of US policy. In its attempt to deal with the error of example #2, the US went to war with Saddam's Iraq. After 4 years of turmoil and occupation, the US has found itself chasing shadows. A demoralized US constituency and Congress demands every day that the US abandon its efforts in Iraq, which appear fruitless to most.

Out of the fiasco of this Iraqi invasion has emerged an Islamic Republic with more power and boldness than ever. It is a vicious cycle, whereby the civil turmoil leads to loss of US authority and influence, which leads to more Islamic chaotic authority, which enables further civil turmoil and so forth.

In its predicament, the US appears to be reaching at straws. The political need for immediate gratification has apparently influenced the man who once called the IR part of an Axis of Evil to reconsider his call for outright demolition of that axis, and simply ask that the axis kindly reorient its angle. This is echoed in the words of Rice, who said that the Bush administration is not looking for a regime change in Iran but to "have a change in regime behavior."

Political shortsightedness knows no bounds. The historical errors of the US follow each other, and it seems that one has actually led to another. To change stance with regard to such a regime will only prolong the inevitable showdown of the US with the Mullahs. Such prolongation and retreat will only lead to the emergence of a more powerful, determined, and emboldened enemy to face in the future.

Elected politicians have a responsibility to not only serve and protect their nation, but to follow a moral path. Many a times have politicians allowed morality to take a back seat to their shortsighted goals. Every time, such a policy has proven to be a mistake both pragmatically as well as morally. This is why elected officials need to be held to a higher moral standard and of higher philosophical character than what is currently deemed acceptable.

Aligning itself with the likes of Mujahedin and Saddam has been a pragmatic and moral mistake. The immoral enemy of my enemy ought not be my friend. Why? First, because morality must be a main goal in and of itself. Second, because the immoral enemy of my enemy will eventually come after me once our common enemy has been neutralized. History is a witness to this.

I have cited two examples of the past, where the US' need for immediate gratification proved disastrous in the long term. Currently, the third example is unfolding. It is too late for the first two, but the third error in the making can yet be averted, should the US choose to reconsider its currently charted course with respect to Iran.

A rabid dog will bite by nature. One cannot tell it to change its biting behavior, and expect to safely lie down next to it after making such a statement. A rabid dog must be neutralized. Requests and appeals made to it will be in vain. An axis cannot change its angle, and a dog cannot cease to be rabid.

 
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