The Gaza War

War is coming in the Levant…again. War is coming just as surely as Winter follows the Fall. The Netanyahu Government in Tel Aviv wants a war; they are certain they can handle most of the Islamic states that surround Israel, and positive that the United States will be bullied into taking care of the rest. Elements in the united States want war; the Cheney mentality, nurtured by the AIPAC block, believes that war is not just inevitable, but a fulfillment of divine providence. Finally; many in the streets and governments of the Islamic states surrounding Israel want war.

Not surprisingly, the future casualties of this war aren’t happy about the various governments and their inability (and unwillingness) to act like adults and resolve these problems. Unfortunately, it is becoming ever more difficult to find maturity on any side of this conflict; the behavior of all involved is enough to make one an isolationist. It seems fashionable, in today’s climate, to hurl labels, insults, rocks, and rockets at one another. The confrontation at the “Freedom Flotilla” was a perfect example of how far we have to go.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza is a terribly executed and counter-productive strategy. But the strategy highlights the general problem with sanctions as a tool for enforcing international mandates; economic restrictions exacerbate conditions that lead to unrest while doing little to restrain the perpetrators of violence. It is difficult to criticize Israelis for wanting to do something in the face of rocket shelling from Gaza, but the blockade itself is a recipe for more bloodshed not less. Which brings us to the famed flotilla. Had this collection of ships been staffed with trained non-violent protesters, and charged with a civil-disobedience styled mission of resupply, the Israeli’s would have been laid bare as the instigators of violence. Instead, activists on board one ship came prepared with weapons of riot and disturbance and were clearly bent on violence. Those on board the Mavi Marmara attacked the commandos before¬† the Israelis were on the ship, shattering whatever illusion of peaceful intent they may have had.

The reporting that followed the blockade running was a shambles. Those activists did bring weapons, but right-leaning news media and other pro-AIPAC outlets reported video of “heavy weapons” being found stashed behind bags of rice. The bias on both sides of the reporting has only served to inflame an already tense situation, and give idiots like Iran’s Mahmoud Achmadinejad an avenue for trouble-making. The Red Crescent, the Muslim world’s equivalent to the Red Cross, loaded and dispatched a ship from Iran and bound for Gaza. Always one to stir up trouble, Achmadinejad didn’t miss the opportunity to look like a good Muslim while thumbing his nose at the international community.

But the Gaza/Iran connection is nothing new. The Revolutionary Council in Iran is the true holder of power in that country. They and other Islamic bodies continue to hold a mixture of legitimate anger over the Palestinian situation and an amoral fixation on the destruction of Israel. It has been the inability of the world to come together on an acceptable resolution to issues created by the establishment of the Jewish state, that continues to inspire bloddshed and strife throughout the Middle East. Iran sees itself as a model nation in the Persian Gulf area, and believes a solution to the Palestinian question must have the blessing of Tehran. Their drive to a nuclear program is an at least partly legitimate answer to the Israelis nuclear program. Israel (with a nuclear program that stands outside of the law of the non-proliferation treaty) is left with little diplomatically to stand on when it demands other nations disclose and disband nuclear programs.

Finally, the Gaza blockade and flotilla brought Turkey into the fray. An Islamic Republic with a solid pro-western posture, Turkey has always been a linchpin between Islam and Europe.  Now, as Turkey prepares to send naval units in support of a new flotilla to Gaza, a nightmare scenario is beginning to materialize. The Turks have long acted on their own diplomatic strategies, independent from the East or West. They are a member of NATO, meaning that if they were to be attacked by Israel, NATO members (including the United States) would be required to come to their defense. If the United States were to side with Israel, it might destroy the NATO structure, and push Turkey into an alliance with Iran and/or Syria.

Of course, the Dick Cheney’s and John Hagee’s of the world like this potential. Cheney likes the idea of the billions in defense contracts that would be generated in the conflict, and Hagee (along with the other Old Testament-Revelationists) believe that large scale war in the Levant is a prelude to the Second Coming of Jesus. The Prime Minister of Israel is a hawk as well, but he realizes what his constituents do, that such a war would result in millions of dead, many of them Israeli Jews. That is the ultimate reality of this situation though; the grand visions of (a small group of) evangelicals, war profiteers, Islamic fanatics, and hawks see war as a big opportunity. The humble people who settle new the River Jordan just want to live their lives. Now is the time for people on all sides to step to the fore and yell enough!

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One Response to “The Gaza War”

  • B.T. Balls says:

    Michael – “War profiteer” is an unflattering name. I prefer to conceptualize the defense segment of Balls International Industries as simply meeting demand for our products in the marketplace! If that demand should ever diminish, our Media and Lobbying segments will endeavor to create demand for our defense products in some other area of the world in which we do business. -Balls

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