Monday, December 29, 2008

Hamas Mess

I am not an Israeli, and I am not a Palestinian, therefore I can probably have no authority in commenting on the horror of wars in the Middle East between Arabs and Jews (and so many other entities.)

But I do have an opinion, as unwelcome as opinions may be. It has been 60 years since the creation of Israel after the fall of the Nazis and the Jewish war with the Arabs to obtain a homeland. I have not witnessed any of those things directly, since I was not born yet when they occurred. I will most likely be dead when and if there is ever an end to the wars. So far they have occurred during my whole life.

The Arab perspective is always from the point of view of someone whose land has been occupied by outsiders. Naturally they feel wronged, displaced and oppressed. It is probably not fun to be an Arab in Israel or the Palestinian territories. However, there are also other Arabs -- not just Jews -- who contribute to the bad lifestyle of the Palestinians. And they also have themselves to blame. Much foreign aid has gone into those lands, only to be transformed into weapons or gangster kingdoms instead of a better lifestyle for the intended people.

The Israeli perspective is always from the point of view of people without a homeland, driven from every land they wound up in over the centuries, and with many exterminations and atrocities committed against them by their host peoples. This started long before there were any "Palestine" borders. Between the Greeks and Egyptians and Romans and, in modern times, by the Nazis and Soviets, the Jews had always been slaughtered and displaced, and in far worse conditions than the worst of the modern Palestinians.

Although I am American, and therefore am hated by all parties for various reasons, (both true and false,) I still have my point of view. I was born into America, and I had no choice in the matter -- no differently than a Jew in Israel or an Arab in Gaza -- to be born into that world whether one likes it or not is not a choice, it is a matter of circumstance. To be hated merely because I was born here is strange, but more common amongst the world's primitive societies.

If Hamas had a nuclear weapon capable of destroying America, there would be little hesitation before it was used. I am afraid they have such deep hatred for Israel they would use it immediately, right next door to Gaza, even if the effects would destroy most of Palestine as well -- one of those "martyrdom" operations that also wipes out unwitting women and children in a brilliant splendor of religious fanaticism.

Unfortunately, there are such nuclear weapons in the hands of precarious Islamic countries, although in Pakistan the balance of power is mainly between themselves and India, another precariously ruled nuclear power composed of several other religions. Both of those countries are consumed by religious extremism, however there are some rational people in control of the weapons launch apparatus -- so far.

In Iraq and Kuwait, at least partially radioactive materials are laying about on the ground in the form of depleted uranium, used by anti-tank weapons, A-10 Warthog munitions, and the armor of tanks and other vehicles.

I am not sure how easily one can collect such stuff, and fortunately it is "mostly depleted" and cannot be formed into nuclear weapons or power station fuel pellets. It is radioactive, however, especially when collected into unshielded piles. It is especially dangerous when vaporized and breathed, since it is also quite toxic - like many other heavy metals.

People who are living in poverty may be quite happy to collect the stuff for small amounts of money, obtained by some bad actors who may be more capable of using it in a dirty bomb, or making their own armor piercing weaponry. We should always be careful what kind of stuff we take out of Pandora's Box and scatter about in foreign lands.

I do wish that Israel and Hamas would find some sane balance, in which both entities could live more peacefully. But I know it is just a wish, some mistaken belief that people everywhere can be rational, to live and let live. Since my wish cannot come true, then, since Hamas only feeds the fanaticism of terrorism, which is also directed toward my children and my future -- I can only hope that Israel quickly "wins" their war.

But I know it will be just a temporary win, on whichever side, and in some future time it will be perhaps my grandchild who writes a similar opinion as this, in a future war of insanity, only to be followed by another, and another.

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