Monday, July 17, 2006

The Enemy Of My Enemy...

The good news is my blogger friends have been sending me e-mails about options for my back should the current course of treatment fail. The bad news is, one of the causes of bad backs in our culture, it would seem, stems from the storing of anger and frustration - even depression. This from a friend who is an anthropologist. That being the case I should quit reading the newspapers, quit watching the news and the talking heads - and probably quit blogging. I don't know how else to rid myself of the angst.

It's Sunday. The news has been full of the ever expanding conflicts in the Middle East. It seems ironic to me that this hot bed of hatred for one another, as well as the rest of the world, is so deeply rooted in the part of the world where not only these religions but civilization itself took form. The hatreds run so deep in large part because of outside influences; Western countries - mostly the U.S. and Great Britain trying to impose their will on cultures they little understood. Nor do they today. The Muslim communities had land taken from them to form the Jewish state. Scores of people, who had lived in the territory since the beginning of civilization, were displaced because the Jewish state wouldn't have them. Didn't sit too well. Now we have two factions who hate one another, the Sunni Hamas and the Shiia Hezbollah, allied to, in their minds, protect themselves from the Israelies and the Great Satan. Read U.S.

Nothing changes. Not just over the years - but centuries! The quote from King Lear holds true "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Perhaps we need to do a better job of teaching it. Or give potential office holders a proficiency test. What is it about our collective psyches that allows our egos to run so destructively rampant in the quest to impose our will? I have an acquaintance who lives pretty much in the "here and now". We've had some interesting conversations about our "them against us" mentality - even in our science fiction where one might hope for the unknown to be benevolent and loving rather than monsters driven to conquer. A bit of role reversal perhaps?

If anything will depress you it should be Newt Gingrich's pronouncement this morning on "Meet the Press" that this is indeed World War III.

Look at the two maps. The first shows the scope of the Muslim world today. The second depicts how many westerners perceive that world. Study them. Think about it. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World. And, boy, does my back hurt!


Betty said...

I saw Newt Gingrich this morning, too. World War III, indeed. But, if you really want your hair to stand on end, try watching Fox News for about an hour. That's all it'll take.

The propaganda has started in earnest, to get us to believe we should attack Iran. It scares the wits out of me to think of how much more damage this administration could do in the next two years.

Michael S. Class said...

The War on Terrorism pits the forces of freedom and democracy against the forces of tyranny. Unless you are ready to shred the Constitution and live under radical Islamic rule, this is a war we must win - for ourselves and for our children. With the enemy producing videotapes and Web sites to get its message across, the meaning of this war couldn't be clearer.

But Newt Gingrich is wrong - this is World War IV. World War III pitted the forces of freedom and democracy against communism. (We won.)

This is discussed completely in a new book: Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame. World War IV is not news to even the youngest readers of this book.

World War IV is completely discussed here:

Kathleen D. said...

I am definitely not ready to shred the Constitution, which is why we should impeach George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of that criminal bunch.

The "war on terrorism" is just creating more terrorists. It can't be won by any sort of conventional battle weaponry. At least Israel and its neighbors are actually fighting on their own turf. What's our excuse?

And when did Newt Gingrich become a senior statesman to be taken seriously about anything? Bring on the ice packs!

Stephanie said...

I was living in Israel in 1973 when the fathers of these fine fellows attacked Israel without warning on a Holy Day when everyone was fasting (one way of catching the enemy with their pants down, n'est-ce pas?)

Israelis also have a right to keep on keeping on. Americans do not have a right to expect Israelis to allow themselves to be killed to appease the Arabs...and appeasement never works anyway.

Terrorists are the same as schoolyard bullies and what we need to recognize is that schoolyard bully is a kind of mental illness.