I do not share the opinion that if we leave them alone they will leave us alone. Maybe if we had never got into the middle east in the first place, they might. but it's too late for that. Retreating now will not placate our opposition. Besides that, our reasons for being there are not trivial. Protecting our foreign interests is critical to our nations security and ensures our prosperity. these are not hollow concepts. I've heard the "No blood for oil!" argument before. Frankly, it's naive. Throughout history, nations the world over have meddled in foreign affairs to improve their own global positions, with the goal of providing a better life to themselves and hopefully their people. Let's take a look at the middle east recent history.
It would be difficult to look at the middle east without going back to the end of WWII to say the least. To date, no democracy has ever gone to war with another democracy. So by supporting foreign democracies we are working to prevent war. That is one of the reasons that we have supported Israel for so long. Supporting Israel has angered many of the surrounding Muslim nations. Largely because of that fact, we supported the Shah of Iran in the 70's because it gave us a Muslim ally in the middle east. Even though the Iranians Are technically Persian, not Arab, it's close enough for Americans. From Wikipedia:
"In January 1963, the Shah announced the "White Revolution", a six-point program of reform calling for land reform, nationalization of the forests, the sale of state-owned enterprises to private interests, electoral changes to enfranchise women and allow non-Muslims to hold office, profit sharing in industry, and a literacy campaign in the nation's schools."
This threatened the Islamic fundamentalists. The result was that the Shah was eventually overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini. He set up a fundamentalist Islamic nation under wilayat al-faqih, or rule by a marja` Islamic cleric -- i.e. by him. We wanted him out and the deposed Shah returned to power, so when Saddam Hussein invaded in response to Khomeini's call for his people to overthrow him and set up Islamic law, we supported Iraq. This led to the 8 year long Iran-Iraq War in which more than 3/4 million people lost their lives. America supplied Inteligence and weaponry to Iraq to prevent The Ayatollah from conquering Iraq. That was fought to a stalemate, with both sides returning to their pre-war borders.
Wow, Look for Part 2 Later, as I must go do some work in the Garage.