[Florida, July 18, 2009] Last Wednesday, I flew to Atlanta to meet up with an old friend from my misspent youth who became a lifetime member of the ZZ Top fan club in 1983. Ever since, she has received two free tickets when ever they tour. They opened for Aerosmith who will remain forever young on Youtube:
The next morning I awoke fully conscious that it was the first Thursday of a weekly global call to fast for Gaza http://www.fastforgaza.net/statement during daylight hours so that the hearts and minds of the leaders of the world would open up to the human misery in Gaza Palestine and be moved to end the siege and occupation. Three hours and three cups of coffee later, I boarded the hotel elevator for the last time.
In next walked three sharp dressed tan/brown/grey camo covered young men whose parents might not even be as old as many years as ZZ Top have been a band: forty years and they still are sharp:-
I asked where were they going and a baby faced blond responded, "I am going to Iraq and they are both shipping out to Afghanistan."
I mumbled how sorry I was that it had to be the way it is, but I do hope, pray and work for the day when all our troops come home and go to concerts and may they still be young.
In the Atlanta airport, as I made my way from ticketing to security, I counted dozens more tan/brown/grey camo covered soldiers. After removing my belt and shoes for SECURITY, I turned and looked into the eyes of one of three other soldiers-but these guys were much closer to my age.
I asked, "Is there a base around here? You tan/brown/grey camo men are everywhere."
replied, "No, we are all shipping out after a two week R and R. I am going
back to Iraq and they are both going to
I blurted out, "How do you stand it.?"
He shrugged and replied, "It's our job."
I know how that is and upon taking my seat, I opened back up to Jeff Halper's 2009 edition of Obstacles to Peace. On page 86, Jeff wrote:
"When the Oslo process began, about 200,000, Israelis lived beyond the Green Line; by the end the number had doubled to 400,000...Tensions came to a- head with Sharon's provocative foray to the Haram/Temple Mount triggered the outbreak of the second Intifada.
"For the Palestinian 'street' the uprising, which was initially either non-violent or limited to the throwing of stones at soldiers erupted out of fear that Israel and the US would succeed in pressuring Arafat to sign the Camp David "agreement". Rather than being directed by Arafat, an accusation discredited even by the Israeli Security Services the uprising was directed against him as much as it was against the ever more repressive Occupation.