Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another Guarantee of Continued Violence in the Middle East

Guaranteed. Place your bets now, before the rush. We have just guaranteed more years of violence and mayhem in the Middle East -- and probably in many places around the world. How? It's easy.

You just give thirty billion (that's 30 with 9 zeros after it) dollars worth of military aid to the nation of Israel so they can maintain their military advantage over everyone else in the Middle East. See the story here. Oh, and at the same time, DO NOT ask them to treat the Palestinians with any kind of justice!

The Israelis have unjustly occupied Palestinian territory since -- 1948? No doubt there has been injustice on the part of the Palestinians over the years, but their oppression at the hands of the Israelis is just as -- at least! -- horrendous. Many web sites recount the history of this conflict, but one I've found useful is called "Palestine Remembered."

My point here is not to place blame (there is more than enough to go around, and it doesn't stop with the Israelis or the Palestinians), but to point out the obvious: the US is continuing to feed the fires of conflict in the Middle East. If we were serious about peace, we would work hard to resolve the Palestinian conflict. When we side with Israel (as we have always done), we provoke all of the allies of the Palestinians. We're not trying to solve this conflict -- I suspect it is way too profitable for the US oil and military interests. This is big business!

I want my country, the United States of America, to live up to its claims of being a peace-loving nation. We can only do that by bringing peace in Palestine. The "War on Terror" (a stupid name for it, just for starters) is only throwing gasoline on brush fires. The root of the issue is in Palestine. When we can stop the oppression of the Palestinian people and bring a resolution there, we will have made great strides toward reducing the terroristic threat world-wide. Period. The US can do this -- we have the political and economic (as if they're different!) clout with Israel to get it accomplished. But it will require that we give up some of our own economic interests. Hmmm. Fat chance.

4 comments:

James Mc. said...

Chip,

You know sometimes I have to disagree with you, not on the topic of justice or military weapon sales, but on the assumption that Israel has illegally occupied certain territory it seized after being attacked by its neighbors. It is hypocritical for America to ask Israel to cede territory back to the ones it was taken from through military conquest that started as defensive action.

Are you willing to give your home back to the native Americans from whom it was taken through conquest, betrayal, and one of the worst acts of genocide in world history? Are you willing to move back to Europe, so American Indians can have their land back? I'm not saying you should, but the concept is the same.

chip said...

Fair enough, James. In that case, I suppose we would have to have given Kuwait to the Iraqis rather than launch the first Gulf War -- and Germany would still have Poland and France (Curt would think that was ok, I'll bet! :-) ). There are still people living whose lives were disrupted not only by the acts of 1948, but by the Israeli aggression in 1967 and over the last decade.

I have a good friend who is native American, and I asked him what he thinks Euro-Americans should do to rectify the centuries of injustice. Should we give back the land? His response was that the issue is way too old, and there is too much "water under the bridge" for that to happen or to be fair. I'm not sure I agree -- I do think compensation ought to be made, and in some ways it IS being made as the Native American tribes capitalize on the gambling habits of Euro-Americans. We'll make them all millionaires yet!

I don't know what the "statute of limitations" is on such injustices as we enacted on the native Americans, but I know that many still suffer from them, and that we should make them right somehow. The case in Palestine is, obviously, much fresher, and needs to be made right. I don't think we should just cede land to whoever grabs it by force, as has been done -- and is still the case -- in Palestine. Would you agree?

James Mc. said...

I'm not sure what to do about the middle east. When the British pulled out of there in the 1940's they pretty much just drew lines on a map and created countries, just look at Iraq: three distinct ethnic groups forced to be one nation. The Palestinians were supposed to get Jordan but were pushed out of that land and into refugee camps. None of the Arab nations wanted them in their countries so they were forced into the situation they are in.

From everything I have read, prior to 1948 there was a Jewish presence in the land and only nomadic pockets of Arabs, because other than the mosque the land was viewed as barren.

I'm not sure that giving territory to the Palestinians will solve the problem because for a generation they have been teaching their children that it is their duty to annihilate the Jews and drive them into the sea. For decades they have received billions of dollars in aid that has not gone to the people but into the private bank accounts of corrupt leaders.

From what I have seen, Israel has tried everything to begin a process towards peace, but the Palestinians continually change their demands. The best example of this is seen in their kidnapping an Israeli soldier and then demanding hundreds of Palestinians (most of whom have blood on their hands) in return for that one soldier.

Until both sides want to honestly sit down and work this thing out (which means the Palestinians would have to recognize Israel's right to exist) I don't see peace occurring in that region.

In all honesty, I think America is playing both sides. We say we support Israel, but I see American weapons flowing to Muslim nations as well. We are providing the means for the bloodshed to continue indefinitely. How can our president's go on TV and say America wants peace when it proliferates tools of war and death to countries that hate each other?

I hope humanity wakes up soon, but I fear that this nonsense is only going to cost more human blood, create more widows and orphans, and at the end of it there still will not be peace, just a truce while the sides rearm.

S. Starr said...

Forgive me for recycling something I wrote recently... but I think this fits with your thoughts here:

Here is a quote from Lyndon B. Johnson concerning the War In Vietnam:

"The peacemakers are out there on the field. The soldier and the statesman need and welcome the sincere and the responsible assistance of concerned Americans. But they need reason much more than they need emotion. They must have a practical solution and not a concoction of wishful thinking and false hopes, however well intentioned and well meaning they may be. It must be a solution that does not call for surrender or for cutting and running now. Those fantasies hold the nightmare of world war three and a much larger war tomorrow."

Now, this quote sounds eerily like many quotes and the logic being bantered around today regarding the Occupation of Iraq. Take note that we essentially lost the conflict in Vietnam. World War Three did not ensue. Then, as now, calls for an orderly withdrawal were rejected as emboldening our enemy to attack America. Instead of facing reality we sunk deeper and deeper into a morass of delusion, horror and futility. The conflict left nearly sixty thousand of our own men dead and countless other wounded and/or scarred for life mentally, physically and spiritually. The toll on the families those men came from and the blot that the conflict left on the soul of America has yet to heal.

Also there were millions of Indochinese that died. The legacy of the destruction that our blindness, pride and arrogance left on that population is unfathomable to most Americans then as now. All of this horror was propelled by the fear of communism and the refusal to empathize with those we called our enemy. In the end- the whole thing was a disasterous waste. Everything we thought about our enemy, all our dire predictions about what would happen if we withdrew were absolutely false. Are we so deluded by the caustic political discourse today that we are both unable to take lessons from history or see what is right in fron t of our face? Even addressing this question is now seen as defeatism and cowardice in the minds of many. Watching millions of my fellow citizens turn off their brains and be intimidated by this tired, used, hollow argument about cutting and running is stunning...sobering...shameful, crushing and mournful. Its tantamount to watching someone you love cave in to the schoolyard taunt of "Chicken" and then doing something that causes permanent damage to themsleves and the community at large. Watching fellow Christians being driven by fear into blessing mass violence, the fever of warfare and the toxic political discourse of today is especially disheartening. It makes me sick and it makes me weep.