See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .I cannot believe that I live in an age (long after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and totalitarian communist regimes, and where, in Europe at least, nations who were once great enemies, are now joined in an economic union, and those that are not yet part of this union wish to become part of it), where a supposedly civilized democracy, Israel, is systematically killing countless innocent men, women and children, by bombing from the air, destroying the buildings, bridges, roads, and telecommunications infrastructure, and bringing fear, misery and pain, to another democratic country, Lebanon, whilst we, the United States, stands by and lets it happen without protest or demur, and seemingly supports it all. And then, we send our Secretary of State to the region to negotiate a cease-fire, who refuses to talk to the very people necessary to help bring an end to this madness, namely Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, and this is considered to be "diplomacy"?
Today I saw a beautiful young Lebanese woman, along with several other people, taking shelter with a reporter from one of the cable networks, in a corridor of a building in Tyre (which was being bombarded by Israeli jets), and she was shaking uncontrollably with fear. The image brought home to me just how awful this Israeli bombing is. The unbearable noise of the jets, the sonic booms, the fear when a rocket or bomb falls near to your building and your own building shakes as though there was an earthquake, the uncertainty as to whether it will be you next; the terror and helplessness of being caught in a nightmare that you never wanted, nor created.
In that single short piece of news footage, I realized that this whole thing is wrong. It is totally wrong on moral grounds; it is wrong on humanitarian grounds; it is wrong that we and or our government supports it. And ultimately, we are all diminished when we stand by and watch warplanes destroy a whole country because Israel is annoyed with Hezbollah.
It is readily apparent that Hezbollah, Hamas and Israel are locked in an insane struggle. All of them keep doing the same thing, over and over again, hoping for a different result. The true definition of insanity. Israel's policy seems to be best expressed in the saying, "If you don't stop running round in circles, I'll nail your other foot to the floor!" and Hamas and Hezbollah seem to think that the oppression of occupation, and the overwhelming aggression of Israel, can be defeated through a few inaccurate rockets lobbed blindly, like stones over a wall, at the Israelis, or the occasional utterly futile "suicide bombing". They can never defeat Israel militarily, ever. And Israel can never defeat the Palestinians and Hamas, by destroying Gaza, nor destroy Hezbollah, by destroying Lebanon. Yet they keep trying!
If one looks at history, then it is apparent that bombing causes untold death and destruction, from the bombing of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War in the Thirties, to the Blitz bombing of London, to the bombings of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and fire bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, to the "carpet bombing" of Vietnam, the bombing of Iraq, and now the bombing of Lebanon. Bombing only causes people to unite (it always happens; it strengthens the resolve of people when they are being bombed from the air. It unites them in enmity against the would-be unseen destroyers) yet Israel (and recently we in the US, against Iraq) still keep believing the old idea that bombing will weaken the resolve of the populace, despite all the historical evidence to the contrary). So, instead of the United States telling Israel "You know, old chaps, this won't work. You'll never destroy your enemy this way; only strengthen them". We say they have a right to "defend themselves". We have become like enablers of drug addicts, or alcoholics.
And then, instead of talking to the "adversaries" whom we say are ultimately responsible for the unwarranted attacks on innocent life by the Israeli state, we say we won't speak to them at all!
We are in the midst of utter madness, being led by representatives who don't seem to understand what diplomacy actually means, and I am in total despair as I watch Israel plunge the innocent in Lebanon into a humanitarian disaster, as we stand idly by, and say and do, nothing.
And I cannot get the image of that beautiful young Lebanese woman shaking with utter fear out of my head. How many more of them are there? And when, as humans, will we ever realize that war solves absolutely nothing, it just brings fear, terror, misery, death and destruction. And the people doing it all now, without apparently any second thoughts about the innocent victims, half of whom have been children, are the Jews (of ALL people!)
May God have mercy on us all. We seem to have become inured to Hell!
- Kevin Geary 2006