Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Monday, August 14, 2006

the middle east

I've been thinking a lot about the past month's troubles in Israel and Lebanon. I even got a book from the library on a history of the holy land - and I have two more requested that haven't arrived yet. From my first reading of the first history book, it looks like nothing has changed over the past 4000 years or so. First one group and then another fight for power and control and who gets to charge taxes. The strongest group gets control for a while. A lot depends on the personality of the leader of the strong group. When that changes (he is often assassinated no matter what his origin or culture) then power changes.

My understanding of the present problem is that Hezbollah fired rockets into Israel and then kidnapped some soldiers so Israel fought back. It reminds me of a playground fight - one kid picks on the other and then there's a fight. Does it matter who started it? Sure it does, both in the playground and in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, innocent civilians in Lebanon are paying the price because Hezbollah hides in Lebanon. I thought back to the late 60s and early 70s when I was a kid living in Quebec. Quebec had a lame sort of terrorist organization called the FLQ. I say "lame" because they weren't violent much, thank goodness. They did kill a man but they didn't have suicide bombers targeting marketplaces like Hezbollah does. Anyway, what if the FLQ were violent and the army was called on to quell the terrorism? But what if the FLQ had rockets and fired them at Ottawa? Would the army be justified in firing rockets back at suspected FLQ locations? And what if civilians were killed in the cross fire?

I understand it's not a direct parallel but if the legitimate army stood down and stopped trying to kill the FLQ, there would be nothing to prevent the FLQ from continuing its attacks. Should the army track down the FLQ terrorists one by one and arrest them, all the meanwhile suffering bombing attacks on the rest of Canada? So what happens in the Middle East when Israel stops firing rockets at Hezbollah? Will Hezbollah stop too? And what if it doesn't? What should Israel do if (when) Hezbollah attacks it again?


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