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Understanding the Middle-East Crisis

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Message Stephen Osborn
I'M just a simple man and I sometimes have trouble understanding some of the things that go on in the big world. It is really hard to sort out what goes on in places like Israel and Palestine and Lebanon, but let me try to put what I see into local terms, then maybe it will make more sense.

Let's say I live in a neighborhood in the suburbs. Our houses are pretty close together, with adjacent yards. I love birds, but my neighbor's cat comes into my yard and hunts at my bird feeders. I complain to my neighbor, but he isn't too concerned. He tells me that cats are cats and they hunt, but he is really tired of my dog coming over and leaving brown spots on his lawn.

After griping at each other for a while with no result, I decide to trap his cat and I build a spite fence, just a little way inside his property line. He meanwhile has managed to catch my dog and informs me that he is taking him to the pound unless I return his cat. I'm not about to return his cat to him, but am outraged that he should touch my dog.

Now, to me the obvious solution to this problem is to sit down and talk to my neighbor over a beer or two and find a solution. Perhaps he will bell his cat and I will try to keep my dog on my own property. I may even agree to come over with a pooper scooper should my dog transgress. If all else fails, one of us may sue the other and let the court decide.

But, this is the suburbs so it calls for a measured response. I tell my neighbor that I am keeping his cat and he must return the dog, with an apology to me for taking him and for complaining. My neighbor refuses, so I throw a Molotov cocktail into his home and shoot his family as they run screaming from the flames. Then I find out that his wife was visiting his neighbor, so I burn his home also and gun down the survivors to make sure I got the wife.

The Neighborhood Association and the City Council tells me that maybe my response is excessive, but the Mayor praises me for my restraint, blaming the neighbor for the whole thing and saying that his neighbor was courting this disaster by being friendly with him in the first place because he knew he had a cat. Furthermore, the Mayor says it was all the fault of the adjacent cities because they still allowed cats to roam freely. He says that perhaps our city should destroy theirs to get rid of the possibility of cats hunting birds.

There, I think I understand Middle-East politics and the current crisis better. I think my solution would have been better, but what do I know? I'm just a country boy.
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Biobyte: Stephen M. Osborn is a freelance writer living on Camano Island in the Pacific Northwest. He is a columnist for the Populist Party website and has had a number of articles published internationally. He is an "Atomic Vet." (Operation (more...)
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