August 2nd, 2006

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I've heard tell that Bravo is cancelling Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which is too bad. I do think that the team lost its edge somewhere along the way, though. I hope they all do well in their fields in the future.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

There's a lot of talk going around about the situation in Israel/Lebanon/Gaza lately; much of it shows limited knowledge of the history and cultures involved.

Typically American comments have been flying about, giving truth to the old adage of "wars being the way that Americans learn geography".

Answers to the questions posed by the hothouse of the Middle East I have none. Why? Because everyone there has strong opinions, strong enough to fight over, and they all have their points. Negotiations there work poorly, because nobody's goals are met.

Israel wants complete security for their people. You'd think that this would be easy, but as Americans, we have no concept of what a tiny place Israel is, and how comparatively simple it would be to wipe it out. That's why they have to have such a powerful military; they barely stopped the invasion of their land in 1948, and after that they were forced to militarize, and they had to swamp the overwhelming numbers in the Arab armies with vastly better technology and tactics. When their tactics failed, many died.

The Arab nations are very divided in what they want, even within their borders. Jordan and Egypt wanted peace, and they have it. Syria wants chaos, so that they can become the ascendant Arab nation, and they can lead the Arab world. Lebanon was left by the French with their Christians in charge; when this political structure collapsed, it led to the 1982 invasion by Israel to force back the terrorist groups on their border. Iraq also used anti-Israeli sentiment in its own attempts to lead the Arab world; Iraqi forces fought alongside the Syrians during some of the previous wars. Saudi Arabia doesn't want to fight anyone, but they'd rather see their neighbors focusing their armed forces on Israel than on Riyadh. Libya? Tunisia? Morocco? Too far away to be a direct problem. Iran? Not Arab, not close, but they love stirring up the pot; they'd love to see Israel fall, and be able to take the credit for it by bankrolling it, or by nuking them.

Palestine.

There is no Palestine.

There's never been a Palestine.

The Arabs of the area used to be under Turkish rule, followed by British under the League of Nations, and later the United Nations mandate. The UN, useless as it has been to anyone but the South Koreans, instructed the parties to divide up the country and to form a Jewish and an Arab state, side by side. Those who spoke for the soon-to-be Israelis, agreed. The Arabs, however, invaded.

Poor folks of Palestine. Having raided and killed Jews for so many years, they weren't really able to believe that the new Israeli Army would be able to hold their ground. They did, barely.

The "Palestinians" fled, and were shuffled off into refugee camps where their host nations left them to rot, living off of the largesse of the UN.

So, how can Israel learn to trust these nations which have backstabbed and fought and suppported terror, and so forth? Well, they managed, nation by nation, with a small number. Maybe if they would sit down, one by one, and hammer out accords, like Egypt and Jordan did. But several want the conflicts to continue, and they peg their own negotiations on Israel successfully supporting the institution of a Palestinian state, which the other nations arm, and encourage in furthering terror.

So, you know that the US has a history of terrorists crossing the US border, and raiding our people, stealing, killing, etc. And we have a history of sending a punitive expedition after. Pancho Villa; General Pershing. Not all that long ago. So why is it not acceptable for Israel, a sovereign nation, to protect its troops and its civilians? Hmm?

Poor Israel.