Unbelievable. That is the only word that describes the possibility that our nation would go to war on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Recent reports say we are sending troops there because Iran bombed a large part of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields.

How did the U.S. ever get into this position, especially with a president who campaigned on getting our nation out of the business of protecting other countries around the globe? Don’t we Americans remember 9/11? Isn’t that day, when close to 3,000 Americans perished, indelibly ingrained in the American psyche? Don’t we recall that 15 out of the 19 terrorists were citizens of Saudi Arabia?

What made those Saudi men so ready to destroy American people and places? What had they learned from their leaders, schools and their families? While the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have had ongoing governmental relationships since the end of WWII, they have not been as close as those with our long-term international friends such England, France and NATO countries. Perhaps, it is simply the old adage, “My enemy’s enemy is my friend.”

Fast forward to 2018. That’s when we were supposed to be impressed that the Saudi nation under their new young ruler, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was modernizing the country, evidenced by his decreeing that women would be allowed to drive cars.

That modernizing theme might have struck a positive note, but then the Saudis showed how they operate with people who publicly disagree with their leaders’ views. Most informed sources agreed that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was murdered by Saudis at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018. Mr. Khashoggi is reported to have fled Saudi Arabia in 2017 but needed his Saudi documents for his forthcoming marriage; he thought he’d be safe to both enter and then leave the Saudi consulate as it was in another country. He wasn’t; unbelievable.

The United States and government of Iran have had limited and hostile relationships since Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979. In 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the “Iran nuclear deal,” was signed by Iran and China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and the European Union to limit Iran’s nuclear capacities for a 10-15-year period. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from that agreement in 2018 and more sanctions were again placed on Iran. The frosty relationship between our countries became more glacial.

While there isn’t conclusive proof that the Iranians bombed the Saudi oil fields, most governments believe this. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “accused Iran of being behind what he called ‘an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply’ and said that no evidence of the attacks came from Yemen,” even though Yemen rebels claimed the credit. Now the U.S. has become Saudi Arabia’s protector.

Our country’s urge to help the Saudis is likely to have much to do with our nation’s addiction to oil. President Trump, in a call to MBS said, the U.S. “remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied.” The U.S. has reportedly already provided Saudi Arabia with anti-missile defense systems, which for reasons as yet unclear, didn’t do the job of protecting the oil fields.

America is again the world’s protector, or at least when oil is involved. But when is it to our advantage to send troops, that obviously cannot include females, or go to war to protect a country that has done much to injure us and shares few of our nation’s social, ethical and legal values? It’s unbelievable.

Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist. Her email is dwmufson@comcast.net.

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