Prague Twin

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And the Answer is..... Bombs.

I've been taking on this issue with Hamas much to my own peril. This issue is so charged and complicated, it's almost imposible to state an opinion that isn't absolutist in nature without coming off like a terrorist supporter.

I am saddened that Hamas has not taken this opportunity to renounce violence directed at civilians. This was the litmus test, and they failed.

But the issue of what exactly to do in response is more complicated than ever. Analysts seem to be running away from it, content to say they deplore terrorism. Of course, most people deplore terrorism. I certainly do. The question remains: is starving out the population the best way to address it? Does anyone expect anything good to come out of starving out the Palestinians? If someone wants to paint me a scenario where the Palestinian people suddendly realize they have been wrong to support Hamas because the U.S. and the E.U. are withholding humanitarian aid, I'll post it on my blog.

There is an issue of consistency. Essentially, sanctions are being taken against Hamas for three basic reasons: They won't accept Isreal's right to exist; they have engaged in terrorism in the past (despite mostly observing a cease-fire for the last year); they continue to assert the right of groups like Islamic Jihad to engage in terrorism as a legitimate response to Israeli agression.

The problem for me is that the United States has, in many cases, acted just as brazenly, and not that long ago. After the U.S. supported puppet regime in Nicaragua was overthrown, the U.S. refused to recognize the new Sandanista government as legitimate. CIA agents not only advocated the targeting of civilians, but trained thousands of troops in terrorism's finer points. At least 30,000 civilians were killed as a direct result of U.S. intervention in a country that had elected their leaders elections deemed fair by international observers. Then, President Reagan broke the law by authorizing weapons shipments to the "freedom fighters" (read: terrorists) after congress had specifically prohibited such assistance (which they did becasue it had been shown that the "freedom fighters" were indeed terrorists).

O.K. we all know the story (I hope), but some of us seem to have forgotten that American security justified all kinds of terrorism not so long ago, including avid support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, which led to the rise of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.

Now, alot of my right-wing friends are quick to point out that the old "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" doctrine, which ostesibly led to these gigantic blunders in foreign policy, is no longer in use.

That may be true, but I must have missed the press conference when they announced that and admitted that it had all been a terrible, terrible, mistake.

How does anyone expect us to be taken seriously considering the past?

When exactly is the cutoff date for the US support of terrorism? 1989? 1992? 2000? No, it is clearly September 11th, 2001 when the United States finally realized that terrorism was bad news. Before then, as Hamas would say, it was a perfectly legitimate response to aggression.

4 Comments:

  • Working off the assumption that you're saying somebody (presumably Israel?) should bomb Palestine...

    Israel has been bombing Palestine. They've been bull-dozing homes and entire villages. That's a major reason why the violence continues and escalates. Palestine may not be able to acknowledge Israel at this time, but the feeling is mutual. Israel doesn't much acknowledge Palestine's right to exist either. This isn't a one-sided argument where there's the "good guy" and the "bad guy." Both sides are behaving poorly toward each other.

    I do not use say this because I believe the Palestinians terrorism is justifiable. Of course it's not. However, Israel's "habit" of forcing the Palestinians (and all Muslims in their area of control) into roles of subservience isn't any more justifiable, including the use of terror-causing military might to enforce their wishes.

    Bombing won't create an atmosphere of mutual respect, which is the only thing that will end the violence.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 8:10 PM  

  • Yup, the old "terrorists" vs. "freedom fighters" scenario. The Nicaraguan "freedom fighters" were terrorists, like you said. And the motto of "my enemy's enemy is my friend" is how we became so closely allied with Saddam Hussein in the early '80s. He was Iran's enemy. It's a tangled web...

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 3:20 AM  

  • Stephanie,

    No, I was playing with the old "Guns or Butter" thing. The previous post asks "Bombs or Butter." I.E. Will the Palestinians choose bombs or butter. It is a convoluted reference.

    I totally agree with what you are saying. I agree that they are both wrong. People celebrating this latest bombing is dispicable. There is nothing to be happy about, no matter who the victims are.

    Until we start to place the same value on each and every life, we will not progress, and that goes for the Palestinians as well as the Israelis, and everyone else for that matter.

    They are all "bad guys" if you ask me.

    Tom,

    Thanks for noticing. I understand that there are compromises in politics, which is why I can't understand this current no-compromise-right-vs.-wrong stance being taken.

    Everyone has their skeletons in the closet. Coming off all high and mighty in light of 20th century history makes us look like total hypocrits.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:42 AM  

  • Well, in this case their bombs and their butter are all coming from the same source: IRAN. Now, perhaps if we weren't being so antagonistic towards Iran, there'd be more room for peace? I don't know, but it sure isn't helping resolve the whole Palestine/Israel dilemma.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 5:48 AM  

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