Thursday, August 03, 2006

More war has made the world safer for terrorists

Once again, the voices who preach war have made the world safer for terrorists.

The Israeli government thought making more war, instead of agreeing to a cease-fire, would make Israel safer from rocket attacks from the Hezbollah. Wrong--and maybe dangerously so.

And this is only strange to those who haven't read Chomsky's "The Fateful Triangle": Labor Party leader, and Defense Minister (in this coalition government), Peretz, is now urging a wider and longer war in southern Lebanon than Likud Prime Minister Olmert is willing to approve.

I keep wondering: If the Israeli government had even tacitly supported the Palestinian referendum that Palestinian Authority president Abbas had pushed; had the Israeli government agreed with Abbas to help foster the then-growing split among the Hamas in the spring of 2006...Wouldn't that have been a lot better than invading Gaza, which led to the Hezbollah kidnapping of Isareli soldiers, which led to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and rockets from Hezbollah...and where we're at now?

But, no. We had to have the so-called "hardliners" push their "clash of civilizations" bullshit.* And now, those hardliners in the US, who have our military bogged down in a morass known as Iraq, and the hardliners in Israel, who have got the Israelis grasping at straws in southern Lebanon, have made things worse for those of us who truly despise and wish to defeat the scourge of Islamicist fundamentalism that continues to grip significant elements in the Middle East. With any luck for Israel, the Olmert government will fall, Peretz will leave the Labor Party, and the next leader of Israel will proimse to work with President Abbas to stop the cycle of vengeance and retribution long enough to establish parameters of peaceful co-existence.

* The Samuel Huntington thesis, "Clash of Civilizations," is bullshit because there is more often in the Arab world a clash within each of the nations and societies. In Iran, there is a vast (now underground) market for American music and film, and most importantly, American lifestyles. In various Arab nations, there is the fight between Sunni interpretation of Islamic laws (much less stringent) and Shi'a interpretation of Islamic law.

The "let's declare massive war" doctrine does nothing to exploit those fissures. Instead, the "Let's declare massive war" doctrine creates and then reaffirms a solidarity among Muslims and simultaneously undermines or betrays our best values of open government, personal freedom and economic development. The saddest and possibly more frightening aspect is that if one listens carefully to bin Laden's videos, he talks like Huntington when reducing the battle to "Islam vs. the West." In fact, the battle is between the best values of modernity and the worst values of the past--and that battle is happening at different levels inside nearly every nation, including the US (witness the cultural wars against science in the US).

1 Comments:

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Betsy L. Angert said...

Dear Mitchell . . .

For me, no war has been won, nor are they winnable. I sincerely believe, “Violence begets violence.”

If Israel, the United States, Hezbollah, Iran, Korea or any other nation or group thought as you state the Israeli government did, “making more war, instead of agreeing to a cease-fire, would make [fill in the blank] safer from rocket attacks from the [fill in the blank]” than I believe they have learned nothing from history.

I do think this is well said though for me, the reasoning is more complex, “In fact, the battle is between the best values of modernity and the worst values of the past--and that battle is happening at different levels inside nearly every nation, including the US (witness the cultural wars against science in the US).”

I offer these from a man that has more knowledge of war than many world leaders today. He may not have been my favorite President; still Dwight can speak on war.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech, American Society of Newspaper Editors, 16 April 1953

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Jethro Tull . . . Betsy
Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

 

Post a Comment

<< Home