American politicians frequently declare that the government's first duty is to protect us from foreign threats. If that's so, why have they embroiled us in the Middle East? Instead of keeping us safe, they seem to strive to put us in harm's way by provoking one side or the other in sectarian, ethnic, tribal, and political conflicts, writes Sheldon Richman.
With one glaring exception—Israel versus Palestine—the U.S. government has been on almost every side of these complicated conflicts at one time or another, depending on the geostrategic context. Considering that record, maybe we should reassess this thing called government, Richman argues. Perhaps if we didn't have it, we wouldn't need it.