Random Thoughts on the Situation in the Middle East

Squeezed July 23, 2006

Ever since the Israel-Hezbollah conflict ignited, Richard Silverstein, one of my favorite blog reads, has not been a happy camper. He has launched a counteroffensive of his own, with this, this, and this. And a heck of a lot more. He’s practically been blogging the Israel-Lebanon conflict 24/7 over the past week.

Not that I blame him. His blog’s raison d’être is working toward lasting peace in the Middle East, with particular emphasis on Israel’s actions vis-a-vis the Palestinians and their other Arab neighbors. And the region just took a step backward last week. Not just a step backward…a running jump backward. Summarizing his position (my words, not his…)

And the rockets red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
Ehud Olmert don’t care…

Of course, this conflict has been going on for centuries. When you read the Bible, hundreds of chapters and thousands of verses talk about the nation of Israel going to war against this nation, that tribe, or what have you. Of course, it’s all about territory and land. When God gave the promised land to Jacob’s descendants, he didn’t create a new island in the middle of the Mediterranean. The land that was given to the Jews was subtracted from that of the Canaanites. It’s been a zero-sum game ever since. Or at least, it’s been posed that way.

Not that ancient history excuses in any way the current behavior of the governments and groups in the Middle East toward each other. Unlike the religious right, who seem to believe that we should blindly support Israel because, well, they’re the hero of the Old Testament, I do believe that blame has to be shared by all involved.

I have to ask myself: If it’s Hezbollah that’s really behind all of this, why hasn’t Israel confined its bombing to confirmed Hezbollah targets? Why do they find it necessary to bomb Lebanon’s airport to smithereens, thus stranding foreign citizens, including Americans whose government now has to devote significant resources to getting their citizens out of harm’s way, resources that could be devoted to, oh, brokering a cease-fire?

Of course, seeing our government’s response toward its own citizens in New Orleans, I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised about our response regarding Lebanon. They’re just Lebanese, after all.

To end on a light note, though, a Lebanese blogger has decided to create some satirical cartoons on his blog (hat tip to the aforementioned Richard). Check his site for the original cartoon, but I’ll include the text of one here:

Damage to infrastructure: $200 million.
Loss of civilian property: $100 million.
Loss of civilian life: irreplaceable.
Chance to see Arab leadership for the impotent cowards they are: PRICELESS.

One Response to “Random Thoughts on the Situation in the Middle East”

  1. Joy Says:

    Typical U.S. response to disasters. Watch. Wait. Get yelled at for waiting. Oh yeah, then send help — out of guilt and embarassment as usual. I really feel for these people stuck in this endless religious war. I’m sure God wanted happiness for his followers..but instead left a sacred land full of unhappiness, pain and death.

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