color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Musings from My Livingroom: Love More Than Hate

Monday, July 24, 2006

Musings from My Livingroom: Love More Than Hate

I keep watching all these reports on the Israeli/Lebanese (or more correctly Hezbollah) war… It’s always the same and I wonder why I can’t stop watching. I continue to hear how support by the Lebanese for Hezbollah continues to grow. I see Lebanese saying that they are supporting Hezbollah because Hezbollah is promising that they will provide bomb shelters from the bombs, protection from the bullets… that Hezbollah will rebuild the buildings, will provide food, that Hezbollah will provide medical care… and it strikes me as the story of the child who murders his parents and then cries because he is an orphan! Hezbollah promises to fix the damage it created!!

I heard an interview with a young Hezbollah supporter that said Hezbollah is a political party not unlike the Republicans or Democrats in America! Well, except while we have problems with some of our neighboring countries, neither the D’s nor R’s take up arms and bomb our neighboring countries... and the only “bullets” they exchange are verbal. But as I sit here I can assure you that had any other country come across our border, kidnapped Americans and was firing thousands of missiles at us, we’d react the same as Israel. No doubt. The same.

I wonder what type of hue and cry would have gone up across the world had it been Israel who stole across/under the border and kidnapped two soldiers (or civilians since there were no Lebanese military in the area) and then fired missiles daily into Lebanon? No one in Lebanon seems to be acknowledging that Hezbollah has been able to -- and can -- stop the Israeli attacks and incursions at any time by returning the two Israeli soldiers and stop firing missiles into Israel. They don’t have to raise money or give up their first-born… just do what is reasonable… moral… right. Oh wait -- this is a terrorist organization: they are not reasonable or moral, nor do they care what is right. They are not bound by the mores of decent society.

I am almost amused by the calls for Israel to cease fire; considering that Israel has the capacity to kill millions in Lebanon but have shown such restraint as to have only killed 300… and while 300 truly civilian deaths is horrible and regrettable, when you have terrorist fighters who are not in uniform and who move among the civilian population and store their weapons in civilian homes and in mosques and hospitals (because unlike themselves they know that civilized, compassionate peoples will not indiscriminately bomb civilians), how do you know when the dead are Hezbollah or civilian? If no member of Hezbollah is really military -- and certainly none wear a uniform -- wouldn’t that make all of Hezbollah “civilian”?

I have read editorials and opinions of journalists saying that the state of Israel is a “failed experiment” -- that putting a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world was just asking for trouble… Don’t you think it’s time that the “modern” Arab world to get over it already? It’s like being 5' 7" or olive-skinned, or a short, bearded, frothing‑at‑the‑mouth liberal journalist: not much you can do about it -- so get over it and get on with life already. Israel isn’t going anywhere… time to put your big girl panties on and deal with it.

If those that cannot reconcile themselves to a Jewish state would put half as much energy into building their countries, those countries would be wealthy in more ways than money. And frankly, the argument that Israel in the middle of the “Arab world” is a little weak because these people aren’t opposed to Israel per se: they are opposed to JEWS anywhere in the world… not just to Israel as a place. They would hate Israel wherever it was located.

I find it disingenuous that Muslims who hate others because of their religion (Hebrew or Christian) are the first ones -- ala CAIR* -- to stand up when people (any people) fret about Muslims and the dangers they pose. And while I understand and accept that not all Muslims hate every non‑Muslim, it seems to me that the larger Muslim population has yet to accept that violence by Muslims is at the forefront of all the major violence in the world today; not just military violence, e.g., in Afghanistan and Iraq, but violence against civilians in the world: Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Pakistan, England, France, Spain, the USA… And I can’t imagine that those who claim to be true Muslims, i.e., those that say Islam abhors violence in its name, are not as frightened as the “non-Muslim world” at the thought of a new world caliphate that would be ruled by such extremists that would deny even such moderate Muslims their form of Islam. More frightening is that these extremists care not who they kill or maim on their way to their “new world order” -- Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic. And I hope that moderate Muslims take no comfort in that Islamofascists will grant them the blessing of martyrdom if any of them are killed in the fascists’ fight.

I also sit stunned at the sheer number of missiles and the weaponry available -- via Syria and Iran -- and the COST. I ponder this with respect to Hamas as well, and it compels me to ask: How many hospitals could have been built with the money? How many schools? Roads? Homes? Clinics? How many infant deaths could have been prevented with a Women-Infants-Children’s nutrition and pre‑natal care program? How many businesses could have been started with the money? How many factories and manufacturing facilities could have been built -- places to make things and be the linchpins of a sustainable economy? How many Palestinian or Lebanese youth could have been sent to college? How many could now be teachers? Doctors? Lawyers? Statesmen and diplomats?

I wonder if the Lebanese and the Palestinians ever ask themselves these same questions? Do they ever wonder where the money for the weapons comes from? Do they just not care? I cannot imagine any mother (or father) anywhere that did not want more for their children than they had themselves… that they do not have the same wish that I have for each of my children -- and for all children everywhere -- to be happy. And safe. It is beyond any point of reference I can conjure. I cannot imagine living my life and helping my children move into the future shackled by the actions or inactions of people 50, 100, 1000 years ago.
Yes, yes, yes. I understand how complicated the history of the region is… Yes, yes, yes, I understand that there are so many sensibilities and sensitivities… But the truth of the matter is that the Future is all we can really give our children and I cannot imagine taking it from them so callously. If these people really looked at their history -- especially recent history -- the futility of their actions should be stark and it should be obvious that the fighting, the envy, the warring… the hating has brought them nothing but despair, death and destruction. Surely they want more than that for their children? Surely…

I keep wondering whether it is true -- that the fighting will never be over until the people of Palestine and parts of Lebanon and Syria and Iran love their children more than they hate the Israelis… and Americans.

* Council on American-Islamic Relations

Copyright Some Soldier’s Mom 2006. All rights reserved.


At 7/24/2006 10:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we hear that support is growing for the terrorists over there, do you ever wonder if that isn't a line of bull? How do we know that it is true? So many places sound liberal Canada, Great Britain according the media and then there will be an election that seems to say the opposite.
From what I have read of soldier blogs, any anger from Iraqis' towards them has to do more with their presence drawing fire from the insurgents. Wouldn't it stand to reason that Lebonon would be feeling the same type of anger at the terrorists within their borders? Unless, of course, they are total idiots. Which is a viable theory too.

At 7/25/2006 3:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's truly a mixed-up, upside-down, inside-out world! There is no such thing as "good" and "evil" any longer. Journalists and others have, to their credit and my chagrin, effectively blurred the lines. If we continue to live in the "grey" zone, we'll pay a heavy price.

At 7/25/2006 6:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the first things we learn as kids is that two wrongs don’t make a right.

So killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers is wrong, but so is methodically destroying a country as a ‘collective punishment’ in revenge.

In the end Israel will be right back where it started. Oh, and don’t forget that Hezbollah grew out of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

I don’t know what the answer is, who does. But it won’t come through military force alone.

At 7/25/2006 7:45 PM , Blogger SC said...

This is why I don't watch the news anymore.

Realist - there is a difference between "destroying a country as a ‘collective punishment'" (a logical stretch to be sure) and taking the fight to the people who are attacking you.

It's funny that the word verification blogger picked for this comment is momok. You're ok mom (even though you're not my mom.)

At 7/26/2006 8:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing I can't even get my brain around is mothers watching bombs being strapped to their childrens bodies and celebrating this. It just won't compute at all. (I'm grateful for this, actually.)
I too have a hard time not watching the updates on the news and I don't know why...

At 7/28/2006 2:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But as I sit here I can assure you that had any other country come across our border, kidnapped Americans and was firing thousands of missiles at us, we’d react the same as Israel. No doubt. The same."

I said this same thing to somebody the other day. His position was that you can't fight an ideology with military action. I wrote a post about it, but now that we have had military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, it now opens the door to teach a different ideology.

At 7/31/2006 4:09 PM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

If I can remember my history, isn't the reason why we have a country called Israel sitting in the middle of the Arab world, because they were persecuted and threatened in all the other countries they tried to live in.
It isn't because they are sitting in the Middle East that they are hated, it is because they are are Jews. It is the ultimate in prejudice. Remember the Nazis.


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