Bring Them Home

With all of the news from the past week concerning turmoil in the Middle East, one item seemed to me to capture the madness of there. Two countries were guilty of mass murder against unarmed civilians: Syria and Israel. Syrian President Assad hopes to hold on to power in a country his father captured through a violent civil war in the 60s. Last weekend his troops killed an estimated 42 unarmed protesters in one city alone, Jisr al-Shughour. Israeli troops killed an estimated 20 unarmed Palestinian protesters near the Golan Heights, annexed by Israel. It seems that in the Middle East, there is not much difference between dictatorships and Democracies as far as killing unarmed women and children goes.

The problems of the Middle East are not political as much as they are tribal and cultural. Democracy didn’t temper the behavior of the Palestinians in Gaza any more than it has the Israelis. There is no political solution to a tribal culture of war and revenge that has existed for thousands of years.

I have a friend with sons who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and they say the same thing: these people kill each other all day long until Marines pass by, and then both sides fire at the Marines. Is there any doubt that if we pulled all of our troops out, that the various tribes and religious sects there would simply kill each other rather than American troops? Trillions of dollars later and, even more costly has been the blood of American heroes shed, there is no evidence whatsoever that creating democracy will create any peace or stability in the Middle East.

It’s time to bring our troops home.

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2 Responses to Bring Them Home

  1. InYourFaceNewYorker says:

    The whole thing with Israel is just crazy. I don’t mind Labor Zionism because it is secular and emphasizes the peace process and a two state solution, although I wonder if it makes it safe for radical Zionism to flourish.

    Zionism can be scary. In many ways it’s one form of non-thinking (patriotism) combined with another form of non-thinking (religion), which can be a deadly witches’ brew. Oddly enough, Zionism wasn’t originally a religious movement, but it’s definitely becoming one today. It frightens me when I hear people say things like that they would die for Israel, that only Jews should live in Israel, that God gave them this land, and so forth. Many of them don’t know (or don’t care) that when Israel was founded, the UN leveled Palestinian settlements. (There is a great graphic novel, Palestine about this).

    Then on the other side, you have Muslims who claim that God gave the land to them. And so there are suicide bombers. And I don’t blame people who fight back by throwing rocks or whatever; that’s understandable. But when you’re willing to martyr yourself with a suicide bombing… well… that’s the kind of non-thinking that religion can lead to.

    Both sides have done wrong, and I think it’s important to realize that most people on both sides are average citizens just trying to live their lives. But religion has largely perpetuated this conflict and people are going to go on killing each other as long as they “know” they’re right and that their god is the “right” one.

    Richard Dawkins sums it up nicely in this interview with a Jew-turned-radical Muslim. The scary thing is that this man now lives in Queens, New York.

    Julie

  2. Jim says:

    You are so right! You would think our government would have come to the same conclusion. Iraq was a gigantic blunder and one would think, at least this person does, that with all of the millitary technology we possess there should exist the means to monitor the volcanic eruptions that take place over there as a safer way to be on guard and be aware of any potential threat to our security and welfare.

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