The United States has a long and bloody history in the Middle East.

Everything from the nightmarish Iran-Iraq War to the grotesque Syrian Civil War has our imprint on it. That’s not to say that America can be blamed for all the ills of the region, but our influence cannot be overlooked.

What’s so frustrating about the whole thing is the fleeting nature of any progress that is seemingly made because of our involvement.

Take for instance, our aforementioned support for Iraq’s war with Iran. According to the BBC article “Saddam’s Iraq: Key Events,” Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranians and Iraqi Kurds.

Tens upon tens of thousands of civilians were killed by the state. The support from the US and a number of other Western nations went unfazed by international condemnation of Iraq.

Why our support? Our leaders feared the rise of radical Islam — Saddam ran a secularist government while Iran was (and is) an Islamic Republic.

Later, President George H.W. Bush and his son would both battle Hussein during their respective presidencies. It didn’t end with the Republicans, either.

According to, Barack Obama has invaded more countries than Bush Jr.

One could make the argument that either Obama has been cleaning up Bush’s mess or that he ruined all that Bush worked so hard for.

When has US involvement in the Middle East been decisively productive? Even the state of Israel, which is commonly brought up as a “success story,” has led to a decades-long turmoil within and surrounding the tiny country.

Not only is war expensive for the United States and costs our citizens life and limb, it’s just not worth it. We can’t shape the world in our image, try as we might.

Our politicians are like gambling addicts, who’ve had a long losing streak and just need one big win to get their groove back. But which of the two major presidential candidates is the least warlike?

First, Hillary Clinton is no pacifist. According to The Guardian, Clinton has called for more ground troops as recently as 2015. NPR has called her “more hawkish than President Obama.”

But on Sept. 7 she said during a forum that she would support the Iraqi government rather than put troops on the ground. How likely is she to follow through on this promise? Personally, I have my doubts.

As for Donald Trump, we have an answer as well. According to Fox News Insider, Trump says he would deploy troops to combat ISIS. Trump often says things that he doesn’t really mean, but in this instance we should take him seriously.

Both candidates supported the war in Iraq: Clinton with her Senate vote and Trump on “The Howard Stern Show”.