Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In the Middle East

I haven't really made any comments on what's happening in the Middle East, it being a complicated situation.

I remember when I was a teenager watching the events and strife going on in the Middle East. At the time, I didn't understand what the issues were other than borders and control over land. I didn't know what the West Bank or Gaza was. I've never been overseas, so I don't have any hands-on knowledge.

But I believe the media has done a terrible job in explaining the situation there. Most of the time, you hear a bomb went off, missles were fired, and a lot of innocent people died. There's little on WHY there were attacks in the first place.

So I'm going to try and sort this all out here... and please bare with me, this is my current understanding of the situation...

There's a lot of history going back thousands of years, but especially in the past 60 years, since the state of Israel was officially created and modernized, there have been signs of hope and peace in the area. I don't believe this conflict is or has ever been a war about whose God is better. While it may be about control over land, eventually, everyone is going to have to face reality and simply live with each other.

Surely that's the ultimate goal--peace and stability. And there's obviously fanatical factions within the Israelites, within the Palestinians, and within the Lebanese, so the question comes down to how far is each government able to go to surpress or prevent terrorist factions from taking control of their society? The Israelis appear to do a much better job, as I'm not even aware of any Israelite terrorist faction.

Hamas, a known terrorist group which promotes death to Israel, is now part of the Palestinian government. Hezbolla appears to have control over Lebanese affairs. I'm not sure how they do that, but the reality is they illegally went and kidnapped Israeli soldiers, which Israel construdes as an act of war--thus the current state of conflict.

But terrorism is terrorism. As long as these ignorant, selfish fanatics are able to recruit and conduct horrific acts, peace will only be maintained by military means. As I understand, for many terrorists in the Middle East, they've lost hope in their lives and being a part of something meaningful is what they are looking for, whatever it is. Religion is then invoked and misinterpreted to give legitimacy to the political program.

However, despite this, we simply cannot be held hostage as a society by terrorism, as what appears to have happened in Lebanon, while at the same time, let us NEVER ever put the blame on any religion, as that is NOT the issue to begin with anyway. This isn't about Jesus vs. Muhammed, or Jehovah vs. Allah. The clear, large majority of people in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism tolerate and respect each other to no avail. We know that. More an more people are educated on the similarities of each religion and more and more celebrate that.

But what I'm hearing is those who talk about "sides". "Both sides need to utilize diplomatic means for peace." Well, WHICH "sides" are you talking about? The Israeli government is certainly one side, but what about the other? Did the Lebanese military kidnap the Israeli soldiers? No, Hezbolla did. So is the other side the Lebanese government? No, its the terrorists.

Peaceful democractic governments deserve support, including the Lebanese. But how far will such a government tolerate acts of war on its soil and defend itself to prevent further attacks and protect its people? As well, how far will such a government allow foreign support from individual countries such as the U.S. and U.K.?

To further complicate the matter, you have to throw in the idea that Hezbolla receives support from Iran and Syria.

Is a U.N., NATO, or E.U. peacekeeping force needed to stand in the middle of the conflict? Or is the current full-on Israeli attack in Lebanon against anything that moves or breathes Hezbolla the final answer?

As long as Hamas, Hezbolla, and other factions don't face reality like everyone else, actively want to eliminate the state of Israel, will there ever be peace and stability?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The long answer is that it's complicated - the short answer is that it's same.

I'm reading a cool book about societies through history and the planetary alignments that may or may not shape the conflicts and times of peace in any given century. Kind of interesting.

Terrorism has its ebbs and flows in history - even in 19th century suicide killings were a reality - but this latest ugliness will sure have all the apocalyptic doom and gloomers running for cover, I'm sure. Wish we could all learn to play nice.