Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Middle East and wait, are we going there again???

 I have a friend who is informed regarding the Jewish perspective in her region regarding what is going on in Israel and Gaza. She and I tend to argue and not always taking dependable sides on each issue. Basically she says most of the American Jews she knows are not happy with what Israel is doing.

Then I came across the following on this 'war' and thought it made good sense-- if you read the actual words and don't jump to conclusions the words don't imply.
 "When did we get so "civilized" that we can't tolerate civilian casualties in war? The current coverage of the Israeli / Hamas conflict is just the latest example, just read an article crying out for "the sanctity of civilians". The last time I looked, civilian casualties were part of the price you pay when you get into this sort of thing.
"I don't want to debate the current conflict, but I'm sure the civilians in Dresden or London might have a few things to say about "the sanctity of civilians", or in Hiroshima, or in Paris, or many cities in mother Russia, or Vietnam, or ...... the list goes on and on.
"It seems now that one of the primary strategies in a wartime situation (as we've seen in Syria, Sadam's IRAQ during the war there, or in GAZA) is you embed your military assets in civilian areas (preferably next to a children's hospital if you can find one) so that any retaliation causes "human suffering" and the international press and UN officials can scream bloody murder about "the sanctity of civilians".
"Seems so strange to me, like these people really think that military action should take place in an isolated field somewhere, with each side lined up like the British infantry during the revolutionary war. I would suggest it would be more helpful if the press and the UN focused on identifying the truth about the conflicts and bring pressure on the "bad guys" (and yes, I know that's an oversimplification) and quit whining about the omelet makers breaking a few eggs. (and yes, I know that's a crass way of dealing with dying civilians)."         Smoke
I agree that we have somehow gotten the idea a war can be fought strategically with very narrow targets that protect civilians. It's unrealistic. Even in early European Wars, our own Revolutionary and Civil Wars in this country, war was fought amongst the people with collateral damage that no newspaper rushed to record. Later warfare began to be fought in newspapers and Jingoism led us into many a foreign war as feelings were manipulated. Today Americans have had a very unrealistic view of what war is. 

I doubt anybody in the US likes what they see happening in Israel between the Jews and Palestinians for humanitarian reasons if not the very real possibility it could drag other countries also into it. The issue though is what can we do about it from this distance and when it's their decision/their consequences and not ours?

This has been an ongoing undeclared war, but the most recent set of excesses began when the Israelis reacted to the murder of three of their young men, which sounds like a criminal enterprise gone wrong. It began with horror and escalated into the brutal and horrifying murder of a Palestinian youth. The horrors of seeing young people murdered, especially when they are innocent of any wrong, escalated when the whole thing turned back into a war or rockets and destruction. 

The latest example of 'collateral damage' four young boys running on a beach, trying to get somewhere safe right before they were killed by shrapnel from a nearby Israeli ship's shelling. It would be hard to imagine anyone, in Israel or anywhere, feeling good about seeing those photos and then having to wonder why!

It's obvious the Palestinians are paying the price for what Hamas is doing. Whether they fairly voted for Hamas to represent them can be debated but right now the war is between two political bodies-- Hamas and the Israeli government who are each using what weapons they have. The ones to pay the greatest price are the civilians; and in some cases, when one power is weaker, the plan can be to let the civilians pay that price to win what they consider to be the higher goals. It's how terrorism works

If I had a wonderful answer to it and a lot of other things that seem so terrible in today's world, I'd be offering it. I just know sometimes we have to wait to assess a situation. And for most people to read about what is happening there, like this piece-- [What it is like to live and die in Gaza] -- it is very sad and hard to even imagine how it has to be to be for those living in Gaza or Israel right now. :( It doesn't help when we over here offer our easy answers because we can't really imagine what it's like for them. Is there just something about a certain type of human that always takes us to these places?


Ingineer66 said...

They voted for Hamas because they were mad at the Fatah party because it came out after Yassar Arafat's death that he had stolen a billion dollars in aid money and bought property in the US with it among other things. I am sure if they had it to do over again they might have voted differently.

I predict Israel will go in to Gaza for 5 to 10 days and blow up the missiles hidden under the hospital parking lot and some other command and control facilities that are being protected by human shields so they can't take them out by air.

Like Netanyahu said, Israel uses missiles to protect its people. Hamas uses people to protect its missiles.

Rain Trueax said...

It's hard to say why anybody else does anything. The thing that began this was not really Hamas. It was outlaws who kidnapped three young men and then murdered them when they saw they were not going to get a ransom and might get caught. Then came the horrible murder of the Palestinian youth, again by a fringe element probably. So here we are with four boys killed on that beach. Seriously that was supposed to be a major Hamas headquarters in a beach shack. How can anyone justify that? I don't like Netanyahu who hasn't been exactly a peaceful type guy if you follow his career or what he does. I know righties always defend Israel but I am not a rightie. They can be wrong and they can overstep. They are human not gods and frankly I don't believe they are God's chosen people either as so many Christians do. They are just people and sometimes they can do wrong!

Rain Trueax said...

Time will tell how their ground operation will work out for them...

Rain Trueax said...

Kucinich had a good piece on this situation which I think is worth reading. I know he's a peacenik but that's not a bad thing sometimes-- Israel invades Gaza. We need some who step back and look at a situation without leaping into it.

Ingineer66 said...

I usually do not agree with Kucinich politically, but at least I think he is honest. And he doesn't change his tune based on polls or pretend to be somebody else to get votes.

Rain Trueax said...

I wanted to vote for him in the primary when he ran got President but he was already out of the running by the time it got to Oregon. Redistricting cost him his seat in Ohio.

The American people want Bush types-- and that keeps getting us into trouble but you can't say that it's not about the American people and their voting as much as any one leader.

As for Obama changing his mind, a lot of them did about arming the ones fighting in Syria against Assad, when he turned up to be leading ISIS in Iraq and appointing himself Caliph which has a spiritual meaning to Muslims. It was his way to call for a global war.

If a leader can't change his mind based on not enough info or further info coming in, he's stubborn and bull-headed in my opinion, and we, as voters, should be the same way. Sometimes we do not have all the facts and those gung ho to get into Syria with arms, tend to want war somewhere, anywhere (yes, it's Lindsey and Johnny I'm thinking of).

Rain Trueax said...

For anyone reading this who would never dream the Hamas would use humans as shields-- Stashes of rockets found by UN next to housing of 3000 displaced Palestinians.