Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why do Intelligent People Make War?

So many players, so many reasons to fight — while the people of Lebanon bear the brunt with their suffering. Poland — frequently annexed and partitioned — was once the proxy battlefield for Europe's great powers. It falls to Lebanon to play that role in the Middle East today. No amount of cynical realpolitik can afford to lose sight of that tragedy.—Los Angeles Times Editorial, 7/19/06

The conclusion of the above editorial, to all the reasons for the continuing of killing and destruction in Lebanon and Israel, states clearly that the result is always the same: tragic injury and death of innocents. The editorial makes clear several reasons for the start of the current fighting, and why some of the direct participants, and indirect supporters, all find advantages to keep the war going.

Israel is afraid of nuclear Iran, Hamas likes the distraction from having to vote on a 2-state Israel which could lead to peace, Syria may be asked to help broker a cease fire. The Saudis and Jordan fear Iran on their own terms, separate from Israel.

Even the Bush cadre, avoiding the possibility of egg on their faces in case of failure to get a cease-fire accomplished in an election year, wants Israel to do the job of neutering Hezbollah before the fighting has to stop. And the editorial makes its final implication clear with the comparison to Poland’s buffer-role in 20th-century European affairs—the next step can lead to all-out war on a global scale.

All these smart people in countries sophisticated enough to build cities and infrastructures commensurate with the grandest anywhere in the world, and they just want to bomb the hell out of each other. The only thing worse is the smart US government, with the only real leverage and enough might to really get a cease fire, sitting idly by chewing on dinner rolls and spending a real fortune on occupying Iraq in a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to focus voters on a phony cause.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will introduce a resolution in Congress on Wednesday that calls on President Bush to appeal to all sides for a cessation of hostilities in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict and to commit the United States to multi-party negotiations.--TruthDig .org 7/18/06

Here’s part of Kucinich’s speech on the House floor July 18:

…Making and endorsing war demands a secret love of death, a fearful desire to embrace annihilation. Creating peace requires the mirror of compassion, putting ourselves in the other person’s place, in all their
suffering, with all their hopes, and to act from our heart’s capacity for love, not fear. The fight against terrorism in the 21st century is beginning to have the feel of the fight against communism in the 20th century: Conjuring of enemies, scapegoating and wanton destruction…

We have not yet begun to explore our capacity for peacemaking, so we are reduced to a predatory voyeurism: creating war, watching
war, being aghast at war, impotent to stop ourselves. We are the most powerful nation, but even we do not have the power to reserve for ourselves, or to grant to our allies, an exemption from the laws of cause and effect. The fate of the world lies in the balance. And until we consciously choose peace over war, life over death, the balance is tipping toward mutually assured destruction.

That’s the most intelligent thing yet!

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