Sunday, July 30, 2006


We seemed to be bogged down into an era of constant War, be it in Iraq or in Israel. The News Networks are covering the conflict in Israel and Lebanon night and day, 24/7, with colorful descriptions of each missile, each bomb, along with the damages they have inflicted.

Heaven knows no people should have to live with Suicide Bombers in their midst, exploding themselves in markets, in restaurants, along bus stops, or any place there is a gathering of people. And sometimes the ages of these Suicide Bombers is enough to give one pause, along with the fact that their actions are glorified by their families and by the people who inspire them to kill themselves.

This is not right, especially in the eyes of a civilization where life is considered to be a gift, and that it is an abomination, a sickness, to destroy this gift at any time before age, disease or an accident takes it away. Even then, we believe in a constant struggle to maintain this gift, to breathe just a while longer, to battle to keep this gift for every golden moment that we can.

We just cannot understand any culture that would ever sacrifice its citizens to prove a point. Although our soldiers are said to "die for a Cause," this is usually just a way to make these deaths bearable, lest it be said that they died in vain. Even as we say it, we know that these deaths will fade in memory, that the soldiers glorified on the field of battle will become the veterans remembered on certain holidays and on certain statues, but who will go on with their lives and must even battle bureaucracy to attain even rudimentary health care.

On the other hand, the practice of killing thousands of innocent people in retaliation for these cultural differences may not do any good at all and may, in fact, create more hatred among the two factions that are fighting each other. It would be like some foreign entity attacking and destroying U.S. citizens because a portion of us make up the Ku Klux Klan.

As we watch, on television, the leveled, destroyed cities, with buildings turned into rubble and people running for their lives, huddling in Shelters, or carrying dead or wounded children for medical help, if it can be found, we wonder at the senselessness of the whole thing.

Israel has been in trouble with its neighbors since its inception. There seems to be endless animosity, constant violence, and never-ending deaths. Why? What is the root cause of these problems? Is it just a difference in religion? Is it a resentment of the Jewish reclamation of their Biblical territory? Have the Israeli then shoved others aside and expanded their territory? Or is it resentment that the U.S. has so solidly and so financially supported Israel?

I confess to a limited knowledge of these things. But I am reminded of the animosity of the American working families toward the flood of Illegal Aliens in our country, and the resentment my fellow citizens have felt toward the Illegal's claim to certain "Rights."

Perhaps the Palestineans shared these feelings when the Israeli arrived. Perhaps they, too, worried about territory, jobs, social programs, etc. Perhaps this animosity began and has continued to this day, never stilled, never solved, never ending.

One thing that impresses me is the seeming lack of conversation between the leaders of the two antagonists. If there ever is to be a hope of peace, it has to come through conversation. It has to come through compromise. I am not going to call it Diplomacy, because I have learned to dislike that word. Diplomacy is what Colin Powell called his trip to the U.N. to explain how many Weapons of Mass Destruction Saddam Hussein was aiming at the United States. Diplomacy is Condoleezza Rice in her business suit and her clacking heels and her repetition of the rhetoric of her employer.

I am not wise enough to know the answers, but I believe the leaders of these various concerns should be locked into a room together and told not to emerge until they can agree to end the conflict. I am tired of war. We are all tired of war, except for a few Armchair Combatants who get a vicarious thrill out of atrocities and bloodshed. It is time for talk, for solutions, for answers. I don't want to lose my grandchildren in a World Conflict that will solve nothing and leave them as mere names on a Memorial Wall. I don't want to see pictures of children left dead, maimed or orphaned. Enough, already! I want peace, and I expect our President to give it to us.

For some reason, the key to ending this carnage seems to lie, not with Israel, not with Hezbollah or the Lebanese, but with George Bush. Thus Tony Blair came over in an Emergency meeting to ask for a Cease Fire. They emerged from this meeting with no Cease Fire, but an agreement to approve a peacekeeping force along the Lebanon, Israeli border.....I presume to watch the bombs and missiles fly by and shake their heads in wonder!

If Bush can end this Conflict, he should do it! He can save lives and point the way to a peaceful solution. And he can remind the Israeli that the Lebanese citizen, who is being bombarded, has no more control over their hotheads than we Americans do.

We just sit back and wonder if we are all doomed to perish in a nuclear disaster, every man, woman and child in this fragile, explosive world!