Sunday, January 4, 2009

Part One: STOP KILLING EACH OTHER

The following post is the first in an ongoing series I am starting that represent one person's (mine) perspective on what's going on in the Middle East and Southwest Asia conflagrations. I am NO expert, NOR am I claiming to be one. I am going to assume most of my audience is American (although I know folks from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and the UK are among my international readers).

Also, (and again I am speaking only for myself) I have a hard time confronting what is going on in these regions because I have lived in a country where people don't kill each other over religion (anymore, and if so, rarely). They may shout a lot and file law suits to have "so help me God" taken out of the Inauguration Oath (and occasionally bomb a perfectly legal Planned Parenthood). It's hard for me even to begin to comprehend the hatred and hopelessness created by this never-ending cycle of violence, especially on this scale.

Nor am I going to propose any kind of solution other than: FIRST, STOP KILLING EACH OTHER.

What I write here is cobbled together from years of reading Amero-centric media reports, being raised in a country where we are supposed to support Israel no matter what, and following developments through the international news. I have included a map for reference because it is important first off to be aware of the geographic situation:



If you are unfamiliar with the region I suggest right clicking on the image to open it in a new tab so you may have an enlarged view.

Over the years I have had very contradictory feelings about Israel's foreign policy. I think there does not exist a word to describe the pinnacle of man's inhumanity to man witnessed in the Holocaust. But, the holocaust is not over in terms of the cycle of violence that is still ongoing between Israel, Gaza, and all other countries which have been forced to take sides.

It's an unpopular thing to say anything bad about Israel. Even the New York Times didn't want to get invovled. To do so immediately classifies one as an anti-Semite. The thing is, there is a distinction between Jewish people as a faith and the Israeli aggression/defense toward/against its neighbors. There is a distinction between ideology and theology, no matter how much we try to deny that distinction. Perhaps better put, there should be a distinction. And if the separation of Church and State nay-sayers think this is wrong, pay close attention to what is happening in that part of the world.

The conflicts in the Middle East and Southwest Asia have been brewing for millenia. Fights over resources, land, religion, and power do NOT boil down to ownership as one might think. As time has passed, more and more excuses are given why these people hate each other and are justified in their hate (again, land, religion, power, economics, etc., etc., etc.)

These wars are revenge-driven blood-feuds, and I'm not talking Hatfields and McCoys, either.

In no way do I mean to belittle the scale of these conflicts. This is beyond important for all of us to be paying attention and warming up our keyboards to write our congress-people and get ready to protest.

Now I know I am no expert on Middle East policy; I've only read a couple of books about the US relationship to the Middle East (Power, Faith, and Fantasy is the most recent). In terms of books about the countries' relationships to each other, not read one.

I do read international news papers online and get a pretty good sense that emotion has been winning and will continue to win over logic in these wars.

I'm not saying people don't have a right to be upset, angry, scared of each other in that part of the world.

What I am saying is that I believe that most people want the killing to stop. They want the parties involved to come to a lasting peace agreement. However, I think Zbigniew Brzezinski hit it on the head recently on Morning Joe when he said these countries are obviously incapable of sorting this out for themselves.

The only hope I am proposing here with this first installment is a cease fire to stop the killing.

I would love to read anything anyone has to say on this topic.

Food for thought: Bush 43's first presidential visit to Israel and The West Bank was in January of 2008. Took him seven years to get his own ass over there.

4 comments:

True Blue Texan January 4, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

You hit the nail on the head with the anti-semite part. I was hesitant to write anything since I was afraid that anything I said would be taken by some to mean that I was anti-semitic. I am not. I have no problems with the Jewish faith. I do however have problems with the state of israel as a political entity and their tendency to overreact.

D January 4, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

Israel was given a certain portion of land years ago. However, the lands that they decided to settle in addition to the given land should be awarded back to the Palestinians. I find it horrible that Israel is getting into the preemptive strikes now. It's horrible. Our country always sides with Israel, no matter what and that needs to stop. If another country is doing something wrong, we shouldn't stand beside them just because we have some sort of agreement. Just like if other countries don't care for what we're doing, then they shouldn't be forced to stand next to us either.

willpen January 4, 2009 at 10:45 PM  

We all seem to be riding this same wave of emotions over this. I have been trying to get out there and read as many opposing views as I can so that I can make my own well founded conclusions.

The thing is, as you so succintly put,I don't really know if one on well founded conclusion.

As for links. I came across a very interesting one while reading something at Salon.com

It's called "J Street" and it is apparently a Pro Israel group that is looking Middle East peace and security. Here is the link:

http://www.jstreet.org/campaigns/statement-jeremy-ben-ami-executive-director-israeli-airstrikes-gaza

I am looking forward to reading the rest in this series.

Seeing Eye Chick January 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

If you want to understand the blind alliegance that the US gives to Israel, you need to understand the American Expression of British Israelism. There are powers and principalities of within the US who believe they have a vested interest in promoting the conflict between Israel and everyone else. This is to bring about Armageddon and the Second Coming. Insane but true. They dont help matters. I mean when one looks to inject reason into a discussion, bizare fanaticism certainly isnt the quarter to draw from. In that respect the U.S. has been of no help to Israel. In addition to that, much of the current conflicts are basically war by proxy between the U.S. and chosen-Mid-Eastern Powers [read Iran and Syria], using Israel as a finger puppet. Its really our only sure foothold in the region, our only true ally, Israel is important to us for many reasons.
About the Sensitive stuff:
I dont have anything against Judaism, but as a supporter of the institutional separation between church and state, the set up of the Israeli Government in that respect isnt an entity I would want to live under. Especially as a non Jewish person. I dont need to be reminded of the holocaust every 5 seconds, whenever there is an issue of perceived or actual international criticism. I am very well aware of what happened. I live in a country who systematically created similar outcomes for our indigenous people, I know the face of racism quite well. That being said, being a victim, is never an excuse to victimize.

Its quite simple:
2 wrongs dont make a right.

I for one would like to see more coverage of moderate Arabic, Muslim, Israeli, Jewish, and Christian leaders in the international press. I would like to see their thoughts and goals emphasized OVER gun toting maniacs we see daily on the evening news here. We give international terrorists so much press coverage now days and it lends credibility to their cause, because this coverage is in the absence of equal time for the voices of reason. Ratings trump Reason, another simple truth.

I would like to see Peace Talks emphasizing things like Human Dignity and racial and ethnic and religious diversity as positives, rather than negatives.

I realize that this will take years to sort out. That these ideas are soft, not hard sell techniques, that the results wont be immediate. However it appears to me that this situation like so many others is the result of many bandaids plastered over arterial wounds. The Near East has been financially ravaged by the West since the first Crusades. We are reaping what we have sewn. The only way to make a peace last is to create a sense of community between these peoples. That cannot happen so long as Jim Crowe similitudes are alive and well in Israel or anywhere else for that matter. I have never witnessed nor experienced states of being where equality can happen in separateness.

The problem is prevalent, and presents many different obstacles at every level of Israeli and Palestinian societies. If nothing else I wish that factions within the US, both Govt, and nonGovt groups would stop contributing to the conflagration.

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